Thursday, September 10, 2015

Homeschooling Year Three: Week One

Last year was a hard year.

A lot did not work.  To re-frame that: I can say, that I learned a lot about what not to do.  I did find many kernels that did work to continue into this year.  Our first 6 months; the year before, were on a much better track, but I had questioned myself into joining a charter.  That was; I want to say, a mistake, but ultimately it wasn't because I learned a lot from attempting it.  It was not all bad.  Nothing is all bad.

I have spent the summer trying to get over the many failures of last year.  I fell head over heels in love.  With photography.  I think I even love photography more than writing and reading and knitting; which says a lot.

I have a new blog; but for tonight; I need to write in this old familiar one.  This one is after all about homesteading; and homeschooling fits in with that more than my new photography angle.  This is my imperfect blog; and I feel more casual with it; and for tonight, I wish to be more informal.

Yesterday on day 2, my facebook post:  Realizing how liberating it can be to homeschool. We can learn topics as "units" and rotate those subjects in the way that works best for us. For example; we can spend two hours on science today; and then the next day, put more time into Language Arts and focus on a book or a writing topic. Another day, we can put more energy into an art project or music; instead of just trying to fit it into a little "left-over time" when the kids are "done" And now with Kei, she can have a simplified version of almost everything we do; or she can do sensory/constructive things on the side. We can devote entire days to social time and field trips as we can condense some of the learning days when needed.

I was feeling much better and optimistic.
Today on Day 3: I have been physically more worn down and in need of creative rejuvenation time; and most likely exercise as well.  I was feeling less supported in the endeavor.  Piles of dishes awaited me first thing; after having spent so much time the day before with this task.  It feels like a reminder that I am this second class citizen.  The stay at home mom...  And I think of myself as "more than that" 
I am educated. I have my masters degree.  I am an artist.  I am an artist. I am an artist.  
Yet, the dishes.  Even after making all the meals and doing all the other dishes; these ones were still there like a reminder that I have this glass ceiling.  

The feminist part of myself has been loud in my head lately.

So, on day three; another feeling set in.  

But, on day two, I realized how much better this is this year than last.  It is so very much better to have the freedom we now have than it was to juggle the charter homeschool with a cooperative preschool.  I know more about this than I had given myself credit for.  I CAN do this.  My kids CAN do this.  This CAN work.  At this point, this year in time, we do not need those 2 schools and right now I feel a very strong "Good Riddance" feeling like those two schools are balls I want to throw as far away as I can.
They were not what we needed.  I feel a deep hurt from one of them.  An emotional let-down I do not even have the time to describe.  
But this year is better; already. 

I hope.

So far it is.

We are using Moving Beyond the Page curriculum and I love it!  It is working.  My kids seem happy so far.  Even Kei has already learned how to write A and K.  Just this week.  

It is good.

But on day 3; I just realized and remembered how much work this is; and how I can't just run to the store like I could during the summer and now I have less energy to spare.  I am feeling the need for more sleep.  

I had a wonderful wave of creativity and seemed to be able to exist on air (5-6 hours of sleep); and now summer is over; and there are dishes to do still; on top of; teaching/learning with my children; and the dishes; the dishes get in the way.  I hate them.  I did them without thought during the summer, but now, when I have so much more I have to do; they mock me.  Those dirty dishes.  Isn't making the meals enough?  Don't even get me started on the laundry.  Same thing.

There is that voice of entitlement.  I am better than the dishes.  I should not have to do them if I make the meal.  Someone else should do them  (and they do, my son pitches in and sometimes my husband) but there is always more and more and more; and I still have piles of them.

This is not the point.  I am obviously tired and rambling.

So, year three.  Year three; I am hoping will be the year that "works"  

We are not unschooling nor are we doing "school at home" either.  I think we are in the middle.  We are "homeschoolers"  We follow curriculum but with lots of flexibility.  I plan to have 4 condensed learning days a week; and one for social/adventure/field trips.  That is the plan.  

And I may have to accept that I need more sleep; now.  Also the creative force within me (this may sound strange)  is yelling really loud.  I am not okay unless I am able to spend some time each day on art; writing/photography.  I start to become angry and resentful; so I think I really need to honor that, too.  That is what happened to me today on day 3.  I had a lot of time on Sunday, but by today, I was needing another devoted amount of time with art.  I needed to produce "something."

So here is a little of more of it:  I am thinking I am making much more progress in my photography than my writing... (also forgive the highlighting. I cannot seem to get rid of it)

Can I come in?

Team Effort

Reflections and Shadows Light and Salt Water


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