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Sunday, September 21, 2014

When the Real World Crashes through Your Ideal Vision

A little while back I listed my ideal plans for our homeschool this year.  But our first day was simply awful.  Awful to the degree that even after 7 years of doing this home education thing I was really thinking that I’d made a horrible mistake.

My Album 3-001I was having really serious doubts.

Maybe the 9th grader should have gone to public school this year?

Maybe the kindergartener needs a classroom to keep her busy-ness occupied?

Maybe the 3rd grader is never, ever going to get math?

Maybe the 5th grader really does get her shrillness from me?

So what happened?

My ideal vision of what my homeschool should look like once again hit the brick wall we call real life!

Real life is never going to fit that ideal. 

Confession time here…maybe I spent a wee bit too much time lurking on homeschool forums and blogs and got too wrapped up in what a good homeschool looks like.  Oi!  You would think I would learn my lessons.

Sometimes Mom’s vision of where her kids ought to be just doesn’t match up with where they are, whether it be academically, emotionally, or even physically.  Sometimes, she gets her head turned and forgets where she really is in her homeschool journey.

The first couple of weeks of school tends to be full of revelations.  Be open to them.

Maybe spelling, plus handwriting, plus a writing program, plus written narrations every day really is overkill.

Especially if the kid is of the meticulous-perfectionist type who goes above and beyond whatever you were expecting in the narration department, anyway.

Maybe the kid who spontaneously writes out (long-hand, mind you) sequels to the Wizard of Oz stories that are pages and pages long, with nary a punctuation or spelling error in sight doesn’t really need a formal writing program at all.

Maybe the youngest really does crave more workbooks and maybe there’s nothing wrong with loading her up with colorful printed stuff. 

Now, there’s nothing wrong with initially planning too much (or even too little), because I always have the opportunity to change what I’m doing to fit our needs a little better.

After giving it a fair shot and conferring with the kids, I slowly made some changes and will be revising the plans I posted here to reflect those changes.  It’ll take me a bit, but I will revise them.

We have dropped a few things and switched out a few others---the good news is that we are getting very close to our magic balance.

You know what I’m talking about…the point at which each child is kept intellectually busy enough that he’s progressing, but not so bogged down in requirements that he lacks the internal motivation to continue on and pursue more interests on his own at the “end” of the day (instead of zoning out). 

The routine that ceases to feel like a box and becomes just the right support for my particular kids.

The school day that you not only don’t mind doing, but look forward to.

What changes have you made in your plans for the year?

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