Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Preparing to Homeschool

I start homeschooling next week!  I'm so nervous and yet very excited to start this next step in my life.


I have always stayed home with my kids and while I was sad when they finally went off to school, I'm honest enough to admit I was tap dancing inside at the thought of having time to myself.

Even though it's really only been this year that they've all been gone I realized the tap dancing had almost stopped.  Instead I started to realize I was missing out on so much of the day to day happenings with them in school everyday all day.

We no longer had time for all the fun stuff we used to do when they weren't in school.

I hated saving all the fun, smiles and laughter for school vacations when we finally had time for trips to the zoo, taking on messy art projects or even just visiting with family members.

I felt like our days were spent with my yelling at them for the hour or so in the morning from the moment they woke up until I got them to school trying to instill the importance of being on time and prepared to learn and then we'd spend the evening fighting over homework, rushing to get dinner on the table, squeeze in a bath or an after school activity and then fall into bed to start all over again the next day.

I knew this just wasn't working for our family.

 My children were getting stressed out and burnt out mainly because I was so stressed out trying to keep us all on track and they were picking up on it.

Once I started looking into homeschooling, with the encouragement of most of my family, I thought it sounded like the answer to my prayers.
  • Not having to live everyday by a clock
  • Not having to worry if they'd mastered this skill by a certain date/time
  • Knowing what they were learning and allowing them to learn in a way that wasn't as stressful sounded too good to be true.   
So like most things in life, I jumped in with both feet.

I  have a degree in teaching so you think maybe this wasn't such a huge step for me or perhaps that I'd be very confident and feel like I know exactly what I want to do.

I became a teacher because I believed in the system and how it works,  but the more I've watched my kids grow and change as the school years have passed, I realized I don't particularly like the way the system is working for my children.  

I don't want them to have to do a lot of traditional school work like tests, worksheets, and rote memorization.



Let me repeat that: Childhood is fleeting and  I want my kids to remember it fondly.

I've bought all kinds of homeschooling books that focus on games and learning through play.

This week I've been very busy buying all kinds of supplies and have pinned so many project ideas on Pinterest but I'm still hesitant on where to start, and how to start, I'm even a little unsure on WHEN to start (the day after school ends? the following week after they've had a little break?  in the morning? in the afternoon?... you see... totally undecided).

 I think that is the hardest part for me.

As much as I feel like I could be an unschooling mom, my kids are very hesitant to take the reigns in any way and are looking at me to make the plans.

If you know me at all, this won't be a shock to you since I am a planner.  I love to plan, organize, label and structure our life in any and all ways, so for me to plan on not having a plan has been rather shocking for me and my family.

Yet something about letting each child follow their own interest and path in life and learning really appeals to me so while I will have to plan many activities for a few months or so to keep the kids busy, entertained and distracted from fighting and quarreling with each other out of boredom, I'm hoping they'll eventually start to take over and tell me what and how they want to learn.

  I'm counting on this blog to keep us focused and help me find the learning in all the fun we're going to be having.

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