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Friday, February 26, 2010

The New Plan

Ok, the mid-year “Are they learning anything?” panic has set in here. Lately, I feel like a slave driver, pushing the workbooks, grasping at quantifiable evidence that, yes, we really did spend the year doing school, not goofing off. My children don’t like me and I don’t like me…it’s so easy to lose sight of the big picture, so hard not to make comparisons and to envy the reams of workbook and coloring pages they would come home with if they were in school. Are their portfolios going to be big enough? Yes, I know that “paper” doesn’t prove anything, but after a childhood spent in a “traditional” school setting, it’s very hard to shake those preconceptions, they seem to be at the core of my being. It really takes a tremendous and sustained effort. The irony is that when I become lazy about my mental cobwebs, I’m liable to work all the joy out of everybody.

So, it’s time to take a deep breath and take an honest look at where we’re at and where we’re going. This week I sat down with the older kiddos and we worked out what their personal goals are. They never cease to amaze me. Their ambition, their interests in such a wide variety of subjects…I don’t have their permission to share their goals with the world at large, but I’ve thrown out the plan, the schedule (again). I guess this is what you call “delight-directed” learning. My focus for the remainder of the school year is to help them achieve their goals. It promises to be a fun and fulfilling spring. I’ll post about their progress along the way.

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