Sunday, April 3, 2011

Home Schooling Panic

ahem, did I say "Panic"? I meant "Plan", yes, that's what I meant.

There were countless hours of turning eyes to ribbons of red rivers as I agonized over one website and another and another and another .... actually, this could go on for days. There's also this blog and this blog and this blog and this blog .... My bookmarks are embarrassingly stuffed and the home schooling folder is particularly thick.

And I'm panicking concerned about the slowness of internet-in-Vermont-to-be. This coupled with my concern absolute panic about the lacking library system (compared to the Ocean State's library system) - well ... I'm frantically reading (and ordering unprecedented numbers of books from amazon).

The home schooling issue has kept me up at nights.
Late nights.
I feel in tune with unschooling. It makes the most sense to me. Our children learned the alphabet, how to add, how to dress, how to pour their own milk, how to collect eggs, how to spell their names ... all without our input. Why would future education not be the same?
And I am certain that I have learned so much more since finishing school than I ever did in school.
This isn't to say there was no value to my school experience, just that it wasn't necessarily necessary.

But in the practical think-out-how-we-live-our-daily-lives thoughts I started to worry.
What would we really do with our days.
Currently, the parents of the house are often trying to fill our internet addiction doing important business on the computer and I'm concerned that we will not make spending time with our children a priority unless it's built into our routine.
This is where a curriculum could come in as helpful. This would give us "must-do" daily tasks that could not be usurped by internet. That's my hope.
Waldorf, Montessori, Enki - they appeal. But then it seems too structured and talking about fairies and gnomes and inner spirits or whatever does not appeal to my down-to-earth personality.

And ... I'm back to unschooling.
But nervous.
What if the children seem interested in reading? How do we approach that if we're unschooling.
Then I read (on a blog? on a forum?) about a family that has reading curriculum because their child was interested in learning how to read.
So you CAN have curriculum if your child is interested.
And presumably at some point they'll at least be interested in the 3 R's?
We purchased Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons after reading rave reviews.
We also purchased Handwriting without Tears after reading rave reviews.
I think we'll get Math-U-See but I'm not positive.
And to help with my sanity (which is disintegrating rapidly with moving anxiety) we figured out a rough routine for the day to help us stay on task, somewhat.

farm chores, some academic time, lunch, rest time, projects, farm chores, dinner

We'll see in reality how that plays out.

And in all that reading I tripped over Charlotte Mason which seems to make sense too!

I think what we're taking from this is the importance of Nature Study that we plan to do twice weekly (I hope) at a minimum.

In addition I'm really hoping to discover a secular home school co-op in North West Vermont or I will create one - in all my spare time. I think it's essential.

Ren Man keeps saying: "It's only kindergarten - we have time to figure things out."
My thinking is: "It's kindergarten - we need to figure this stuff out!"

And feeling good about home schooling plans at this moment.

Don't worry - my panic may have moved from the home schooling issue but it doesn't mean it's moved from me. There's still plenty of other things for anxiety to settle on ;)


Jana C. said...

Breath ! It will all work out. My kids have a knack for learning even when I am not teaching them, and in spite of what I am not teaching them. ;-)

I am not an unschooler, I am a rigorious neo classical mom, richly literature based.

Just remember to breath! In the end it will all work out !

*just* said...

Thanks so much!
Especially coming from a non-unschooler - thank you.