Monday, April 4, 2011
I believe I officially fell off the radar 3.5 weeks ago. Seems hard to believe that's the extent of it. I still don't feel like a homeschool parent. But we have had a partial week and a full week, and are now into our third week. Interested parties keep asking, "How's homeschool going?"
I feel like answering, "Good, bad, ugly, and awesome." Truthfully, it's too soon to tell the kind of big picture answer I love to have. But I have a few observations about our experience so far.
I must have had low expectations for the first week, because we met or exceeded most of them. Or perhaps they were simply realistic, as I have pondered this course of action for five years.
I successfully set goals, documented my plan for each day and plotted actual time usage. I believe goal planning ten weeks of a school year was a great preparation for planning a full year.
The #1 goal was and is to spend quality time with my free-spirited firstborn; to strengthen our relationship. We are doing that. Especially when I keep reminding myself over and over, "Quality time." It helps me let go of worry for the things we are not doing.
My house is more clean than I expected.
I had more free time than I expected, including two glorious soul-filling nights out with girl friends.
My pupil and I did butt heads, but not as much as I expected.
I am really tired, which I totally expected.
Actually getting my hands on this girl's learning time, after four years of being afraid to demand it, has proven revelatory. She strongly resists buckling down to work, but what kid doesn't? I have always allowed her to resist, since she feels she works all day in school. Now she does not have that excuse, and when I call her on it, she brings her effort and we have a decent session. I hope that by the time school lets out in May, we will have worked through this particular hang-up. Maybe at least in part?
I have noticed her struggle with perfection. Every time she gets an answer wrong, she pounds her fist on her head while muttering, "I'm so stupid!" And I just want to take her in my arms and reassure her that failure is an essential part of learning; that nobody comes to the party knowing everything; that school is all about training the brain. Compassion for her has replaced my former impatience (mostly), as I try to encourage her and show her where she is already growing and learning. I guess that makes big-picture goal #2 to build her confidence in herself and her abilities.
As for my previous life (and subject matter), I probably have readers who wonder where it disappeared to. I privately wonder, too. But I am fairly confident that once I get homeschool underway, I might find it again. Actually, some neat things seem to be in the works behind the scenes, that I will discuss in a different post. For now, I know this is my number one job. And it seems to have gotten off to a pretty decent start, for which I thank God and the many people that have been praying for us through this transition.
For now, onward and upward.