I am thinking about next year and what we will do, because this year has been, eh!
Not bad, that’s not what I mean. The kids have definitely made academic progress. Peter is fast becoming an independent reader. Mary is flying through books and fast improving her spelling. David is becoming more of an independent worker and beating back those math nuisances.
But there have been some growing pain, yes, definitely.
Some of that stems from my oldest getting ready to hit puberty.
Some of it stems from my second oldest who, at the tender age of 8, is probably jealous about her older brother getting ready to hit puberty.
Because when you are a middle child, it’s not fair that anyone gets to do anything without you.
Even puberty? Yeah, even puberty.
And some of it stems from having a 6-year-old boy with some special needs that are more special than I thought they were at the beginning of the year. I simply cannot imagine a world without Peter (or any of my kiddos), but sometimes life with him is hard.
It has not been the stellar year I envisioned (how often do our visions match the reality?). But I’ve learned a lot. We’ve all learned a lot.
One of the things I’ve learned is that I’ve held them back. They can do more. I don’t mean more workbook pages or more lessons. We’ve definitely done as much or more than they would have done in a public school situation.
But I want more than that for them. I mean these kids are really willing and able to claim more and more knowledge than what I have offered them this year.
I miss the “good ole days” in the beginning when I meticulously researched books and created epic…stuff…pardon me, but it’s late and my college vocab seems to have gone to bed already.
I’ve learned that with 4 kids, each of whom has their own very special needs, I don’t have the time or the mental energy to continue creating curricula from scratch that will challenge them in the way they need to be challenged.
They can do it! I despaired for a bit, thinking that my kiddos were not as smart or as motivated as I once thought…but then I came to realize that they were simply bored with the paltry stuff I was handing them. I can see when they are engaged. Actually, I can feel it. It electrifies the air. And when they are not, when they think something is stupid? Wow, I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall.
My oldest is approaching 7th grade, he’s not a little kid any more. There’s so much more that I can offer him. This should be the fun time, when he and I can sit down together and talk about what he’s reading, rather than filling out worksheets or cutting out bits of paper to stick in a lapbook.
And it’s truly a challenge to keep all 3 of my “school-age” kiddos engaged all the day, plus mind the adventurous toddler, get dinner on the table, and have clean clothes to wear without losing my mind. When is there time to plan? I need someone else to do the planning for me for a change.
Because I am human. But you know that if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time.
And so we are planning to change things up next year. We’re looking at moving away from our totally eclectic way of doing things in our homeschool, scrapping Mom writing studies, and embracing Sonlight. And, eeks, now I know I’ve lost my mind! We’re looking at 2 cores! One for David on his own and another for Mary and Peter. Because I just can’t keep reinventing the wheel. And they all need their own level stuff. And David is completely looking forward to studying the Eastern Hemisphere. And the younger kids will love studying the History of the World.
And now I’ve got to figure out how to afford it all. ;0)