Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!
Now that I’m slowing down a bit for the holidays, I’ve had an opportunity to take mental account of where we are and where we should be according to my best-laid plans of the summer. The preschooler is still working through the letter F, although I thought we’d be about halfway in the alphabet by now. I almost laughed out loud when I thought about how this revelation would have impacted my “old self”; will she ever learn to read? Have I ruined an opportunity for brilliance? What about college? The games that the mind plays, and moreover, the lies of the enemy, are amazing. Doubt can seep in so quickly. I have been very unlike myself in letting her dictate our school schedule since I’ve read enough about workbook burnout to not force this type of rigidity upon her at such an early age. We’ve read regularly, some twaddle but mostly living books, and I’m becoming a master at the brief, but teachable, moment.
The older two are a bit closer to on track. After a couple of weeks within the last month where field trips have shortened time at the table, I did make them complete some work this week to be sure we don’t get too far behind. Sadly enough, my primary driver for having school this week was not letting the cork I waited two weeks to buy push our science studies off track—a plight I fall into every year. They balked about having to work while the public school kids were on break, but I quickly suggested that if they were that interested in moving toward the public school system’s holidays, then why not give up the extra week that they get during Christmas season? That change of perspective did wonders for our school day.
Another finding from my “gap analysis,” as we called it when I worked in the corporate world, is that we probably won’t finish our world history curriculum in this school year, so again I had to quickly dismiss my panic and associated doubt about their learning and how to “fit it all in.” It’s been a difficult adjustment for me, but homeschool wisdom dictates that we gauge our success using altogether new measures. Completed texts and checked boxes are not the determinant of how much our kids have learned. Personally, I smiled as I listened to ripe, plump fruit—our educational harvest, so to speak–in the form of a dialogue between the older two. As they watched someone on television talk about his Irish heritage, the kids, unsolicited from us as parents, began to discuss the fact that a narrator incorrectly listed the person as being from Great Britain. The older child continued with a discussion about the countries that make up Great Britain and the inconsistency of the information. Man, am I armed for the in-laws, public school educators (need I say more about their disposition about what we do) today. God bless you on this holiday weekend.