Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The countdown begins

While others are counting down the days until school is over for another year, I'm kind of doing the opposite...counting down the days until our homeschooling journey begins.  In one week, two of our children will have their last day of public schooling, at least for the immediate future.  I think our oldest is ready, and I wonder if the reality of what homeschooling will or could look like has sunk in for the other one.

After a year of toying with the idea, we finally decided to take the plunge to homeschool our children.  We made up our minds in January and started to ready our children.  Why?  We saw the opportunities for creativity, imagination, and experiential learning dwindle.  We saw fewer opportunities for our children to learn in and from nature.  We saw less opportunity for supported risk-taking and more focus on getting the right answer on a test.

Since then, we've taken time to prepare our children for the next chapter in their education.  We've talked about what they are interested in.  We've talked about what our family wants out of the experience and why we think homeschooling is a good option for us.  We've talked about worries and fears.  We've done a lot of talking and now we're ready to get down to it.  We're so ready to get down to it.

Slowly, very slowly, we started telling family and then friends.  Feedback has been mixed.  The first question fired our way was, "When are they going to go back to school?"  We have been labelled brave, patient, crazy, and I'm sure other things that weren't meant for our ears to hear.  Others are curious and supportive.  We feel blessed to run into folks in this last category!

And really, most moments I'm not too concerned about the future.  I believe firmly that our children...all of us, actually...will learn here.  Our children will learn different topics and differently than they would if they were in school.  But they will learn nonetheless.  They have that innate ability built into them I'm sure.  Of course, there is the odd moment where I wonder if we will be able to stand one another.  This is usually when the house in noisy, there is a crying toddler and fighting siblings, and I'm trying to get supper on the table.  There are others when I wonder if my sociable little one will get enough chances to chat with people who are not in her immediate family and if this will drain her.  And I wonder if the grandoise plans and projects we've thought up will be entered into emphatically to begin with, only to fizzle shortly thereafter, and how I will handle not finishing them.  But I do not worry one bit about whether they will be learning calculus or quadratic equations...because they just don't need to know that now.  They'll get there when they get there.

So, this blog will share our highlights, low-lights, and insights from our adventure into homeschooling.  Enjoy, and please share your experiences too, wherever you are on your journey.  Peace.

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