I've been rather quiet in this space the last few days, and I've struggled to write inspiring posts of all the creative, fun, wonderful projects we've been doing. The latter because we've fallen into a rut and aren't doing creative, fun, wonderful projects, and the former because I've been internally wondering how to break out of this blah spell we're in. And I do believe we're all in the depths of this spell. Children seem to be moving slower and slower in the morning, I find myself nagging more often, and I just sense a general malaise around us.
I find it incredibly hard to sit by and wait for things to just work themselves out, because while I do believe that some things are bound to happen simply because of fate, I also believe that one has the power to create their own destiny. After all, if one is to create an intentional life, then one must know what they want that life to look like and take consciously decide to take whatever steps are necessary to get there. So that is where I will start in delving into this problem - by asking myself, "What did I want this homeschool to look like again?"
My vision for this homeschool is a place where children are active learners. In fact, they decide what they will learn and how best to solve the problems that may get in the way of that learning. My children are curious - they want to learn more and they know how to find out the information they seek. My children are resilient - if whatever they are doing doesn't lead them to their desired outcome, they will try again and learn in the process. Their learning will be messy, experiential, and intrinsically rewarding.
So, what to do when the ship isn't exactly sailing in that direction? My head has been spinning around that question until a walk today helped to show me what our homeschool looks like in a better light. Yes, there are little things I can do to reduce the conflict in our days. I sat down with Nicholas yesterday and we talked about the bookwork he needs to complete by the end of the week and the consequences if it does not get done. We also talked about goals he has set for himself and broken them into smaller activities. I also let him know that I would prefer not to remind him about these goals. Each of the children have been told when the kitchen is closing for breakfast and they have told us when they need to be woken up so they can eat their meal with enough leisure to suit them.
And during my walk today, I had the little "aha" that I need to relax a bit and recognize that some of the stuff that happens in our house will not look like school and embrace what makes us unique. Often, I find myself fretting that we aren't doing enough of a defined subject and worrying about the judgment others may throw our way. Today, I paused long enough to see that all that stuff that doesn't look like anything is actually my children diving into the subject matter of their interest and devouring it. They build fantasy worlds around the topics that inspire them. They draw pictures. They act scenes out. They read about it. They search for movies. They are using all their senses to bring these topics to life.
Here's to keeping my chin up in the days and weeks to come!