I've been warned about this. An experienced home-schooling mama put it this way: "When it's done, let it be done." She was talking about unit studies, and saying that if the children have lost interest, to let it go and move on to the next unit, regardless of how many other exciting, engaging, and wonderfully educational projects you had up your sleeve.
In my head, I know she's right. The last thing I want to do is take a topic my children adore, and turn it into the topic they never, ever want to hear mentioned again. But then self-doubt creeps in.
Will I know when my children are just having an "off" day, or need a break from the topic before they go in for another deep dive? Will I be able to fight off the occasional panic attack when it feels like, or someone brings to my attention, that my children aren't learning anything? Will I know when my children need a loving push so they can experience an explosion of learning or a new level of talent they didn't know they had, and will I know when they need me to back off? Will I be able to be mindful during these times that their learning experiences must be enjoyable to them? Will I be able to peel back the layers to see when it is my ego wanting to feel brilliant and creative and it's really not about my children at all?
It makes me wonder if the eclectic approach we're going to take will work for me or them. Our intent is to take the parts of all the different approaches that feel the best fit to our values and vision of homeschooling. Various aspects of unschooling, unit studies, Waldorf, Charlotte Mason, and other approaches appeal to me. I like the idea of children taking the lead in what they choose to learn and how they learn it. I like the idea of grouping subjects together instead of teaching them individually, because little in our world stands alone on its own. I like the idea of caring for the whole child...head, hands and heart. I like the idea of instilling a sense of discipline and responsibility in my children, as well as exposing them to beautiful and intellectually stimulating writing and art. The flip side is that we're flying without a compass, which I know will be unsettling at times.
Lots of questions. I'm not sure I have the answers right now. And I need to be mindful that I don't need all the answers right now. I just need to strive to live in the present moment, detach any emotion from the equation, and see each situation as it arises for what it really is. Dig deeply to breath...be calm...be reasonable...be patient. Hard, but do-able. I'm not there...I am a work in progress.
A quick little "aha" moment...maybe my children will get their richest learning experience from watching me learn to live in the moment. Hmmm...now I've really got something on the line.