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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Is it really just over 6 years until graduation?

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There’s that picture, again, lol!

This kid is going to be 12 in a month and moving into 7th grade in the fall…and it just finally dawned on me that this means he only has 6 years left until he’s done with grade school…yikes!

Ok, 6 years, is still a way off, but we’re looking at high school in 2 short years.  High school! 

My husband and I sat down and had a talk the other night about what we would like David to get from his education before he goes off to college (or an apprenticeship, or whatever he choses to do after graduating).

Because it’s so easy to lose sight of the big picture when you’re doing the day-to-day stuff or even planning from one year to the next.

We’ve always had a set of overall goals, but it helps to talk them over periodically to see if you are meeting those goals or need to change them.  Turns out our overall goals are still about the same and hubby and I are still on the same page.

Another thing that we talk about every year is whether or not we will continue to homeschool all of our kids the next year.

We aren’t rabid, spit-in-the-eye-of-mainstream education types, nor do we plan to hide our children from professional educators until we die.  Ok, ok, I do have some issues with mainstream education in this country, yes.  But I recognize that for all its warts and imperfections, public school has an important place in our society and maybe works more than it doesn’t work.  Nothing in the realm of human life is perfect, after all. 

We just want what is best for each of our kids and that can (and does) change over time.  There may come a time when we decide to enroll one or more of them in public or private school (depending upon finances).

For now, we will continue to educate our children ourselves and start to look for other educational opportunities for the high school years.  Perhaps art or science classes with a co-op or a private instructor, for instance.

David is making progress towards becoming more and more independent in his education, so we’ll be encouraging that.  In some ways I think his work has been a little too light this year, so we will be adding difficulty and slowly working on increasing our expectations for him.

And we are looking at a significant curriculum change for next year, because something else we are looking at is the drain on Mom.

Don’t let anyone lie to you.  Educating your children yourself is hard work.  It costs money and time and energy.  You can’t just hand a workbook over to them and expect them to do it all themselves.

Sometimes I eat, sleep, and dream my kids’ education.  Sometimes I lose sight of the Susan in there.  And that’s not good, because as much as I believe that God has made me a steward of these kids, I also believe that he made me for being me.   Being a mother is good thing.  Being a wife is a good thing.  But being me is also a gift from God and sometimes that gets lost in the day-to-day parenting/teaching struggle.

I don’t say this to discourage anyone, but only to remind you that we invest in our children with our lifeblood.  It is worth it, yes.  But sometimes Mom gets stretched too thin and needs to change things a little so she can be more present for her family and explore her mission in life.

There are times when I wish I could just be the mom and not the teacher, too.  But then I reflect a little more and realize that we all teach our children all the time.  Being a teacher is an integral part of being a parent, and while not every parent will teach their kiddos grammar rules or how to outline a research paper, every moment we spend with them is a teaching moment in some sense. 

My teaching moments are little more intense than usual at the moment, so we are moving towards a curriculum that is more planned out for me---much as I do like to make plans for our homeschool and research books and invent unit studies (I know, I’m a weirdo), I’m really looking forward to this.  More on that in a bit.

Are you making changes in your homeschool?

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Adjusting Our Language Arts

Learning Unintended Lessons

Hammerhead Sharks Study

2 comments:

  1. I have a 7th grader this year who is 12, and it does hit me so often that our time to teach her is short now. I've learned from my (now 8) years of doing this homeschool thing, that I constantly adjust an change, adjust and change to do what works for each child. That's so important and one of the blessings of homeschooling. :-)

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