Lately, our homeschool days have looked more like a battle ground then a peaceful learning environment. I even questioned whether or not I was up to the task of homeschooling anymore? I was hoping to find some homeschool blogs writing about days like this but all of their days looked magical! I felt defeated; I blog about homeschooling and my days looked nothing like what I was discovering on the web. How could I share about our homeschooling journey when most days I wanted to run out the door? Don’t get me wrong I truly applaud these women who can keep their kids in line and get hours of homeschooling done but where were the mom’s who struggled like me? I have to admit I never found them on the web but I did find them in my own community and it was a relief!
Even after I found a clan of homeschool challenged mom’s; I still felt the desire to turn and run when our school day started. The push back was getting stronger, my resiliency was weakening with every passing day and our relationships were tattered. I needed to find a resolution quickly! Then I remembered something I heard at one of Barbara Dewey’s teacher training sessions;” look at the child in front of you.” At the on set of this revelation I was not sure what to do with it or even how to begin. So, I decided to keep a journal; I began to pay attention at play time, watch their interaction with friends and intently listen to our daily conversations. After a few weeks I concluded that our children were articulating their own interests beautifully ; I just had stopped listening. I got so caught up in the image of what I wanted, what others expected; I stopped listening to our children.
After journaling for a weeks I decided to deconstruct of our school day; keeping what worked and tossing what didn’t. During this time we all had AHA moments; like when Logan said..” Man I love to write when it’s something I am interested in.” Or when Sophia picked up a chapter book written by her favorite author and read it in two days; jumping up afterwards and shouting” I love reading”!
I had several AHA Moments:
1. I was no longer going to be beholden to one set style or curriculum.
2. When the push back starts we need to step away and let it go.
3. Observation is invaluable.
4. One size does not fit all.
5. Experiences matter most!!!!!!! (this one is a game changer) Thanks Alison:)
6. I need to throw out my measuring stick.
7. Accepting I do not have all the answers.
8. Children love learning they just need the freedom to learn.
9. Let go of your image of what should be and allow it to unfold organically.
10. Be present.
Our path is still unfolding and we may never have a defined route but I am no longer running to the front door on a daily basis.