This year is the year I am finally owning the story that I have engineered with so much care, and written for our family.
I’ve been homeschooling – or rather had E at home now – for over a year, and before now I’ve sort of hid in the shadows at owning that I homeschool. Saying it in half whispers to people in conversation, assuring myself that she’s still so young that I didn’t have to look like I knew what I was doing yet, having stacks of books to read on the best way to do it all, a myriad of images and ideas and to do’s and best ways, all smudged over with a smooth glaze of busy-ness and life and travel plans and teething baby.
I’ve felt the need to prove to our loved ones that I am “schooling her at home”. Even to the husband who is so on board with this and backs me in any way that I think is the best way to do it.
I’ve followed amazing blogs – tagged at the end – who showcase amazingly successful homeschooling lives of unschooling., world schooling. following the world of the child, Waldorf inspired days and curriculums – all sorts. And most of them I have shouted a huge YES to inside, but then still tried to set up our days like school, with sitting at the table to learn and do worksheets and provide something to PROVE that I am doing school right.
But, and its a huge but, with a massive sigh of relief attached to it….. I don’t want to do it like that at all. I KNOW that that is not the best way for my little girl to learn. I don’t believe in it, I subscribe so much more to the methods of waldorf and unschooling. Through learning via real life interactions. Using daily activities to expand knowledge and look things up and learn as curiosity is piqued. Maths and English are used in every moment daily, we really truly don’t need to sit there with a stale worksheet.
In fact E loves academia and curriculum. I have no struggle to get her to do a worksheet. She loves it. But the act of making it formal and asking her to sit for “school”. A huge turnoff. An immediate resistance. But when we do it in the spirit of part of our day. As fun. As exciting learning. It’s incredible the difference it makes.
I think I’ve been trying to create routine because life seems so chaotic daily, but in completelty the wrong way. Ive been trying to set rigid boundaries so that I don’t go insane myself with the intensity of it, but all I’ve been doing is building us up a cage of walls that of course we are all going to kick against.
Instead I am working on a rhythm. We are not there just yet, things are changing as we find things that work better. But we are getting there. Instead of a rigid set time and tasks, I instead have a to do list for the day that can flow in a specific way, if it works. And if it doesn’t then as long as we do those things in the scope of the day, at any time, then that is just fine.
E also has other unique variances (undiagnosed – by choice – Aspergers but thats a story for a different post), and so the art of learning also has additional challenges to circumnavigate. She wants to play in a very specific intense repetitive way. And learn in the same way. And is very resistant to anything too set up or “teachy”. Always thinks she is right and will argue in a very clever manner to make it so. Does not understand make believe and real life. Cannot understand or tolerate anything with un-relatable concepts such as talking animals….Lots of variables! And this sometimes makes a more Waldorf inspired (storytelling and art) form more difficult.
So we are taking strands from a variety of sources now. And I am weaving a tapestry. For her and for me. To make it feel good. And it doesn’t look like anything that is “expected” of us. Its unique and kind of exciting. But only because I’ve stepped into it. I feel like I am owning this story now. I know what we are doing. And I no longer feel the need to prove it to anyone but us. Life is so short, and so fast. And we are homeschooling for exactly the reason to be able to slow down. Fully soak in their childhoods and a life lived well and on purpose. And that picture is a whole lotta different from the normal road.
It will be lovely to have you follow along, give me some inspiration and be witness to the beautiful colours of the weaves that we make.
Oooh and those amazing homeschool blogs….here are just a few: