So it seems as though this past year has been a big derailment from what I envisioned. I hear on the homeschool grapevine that that happens a lot. Each year is a new year to learn about your children and yourself. Each year presents different challenges, different goals, different gains and losses.
One big thing I discovered about myself is...I HATE CURRICULUM PLANNING. While I love the idea and the practice of using "real books" it is the tying everything together that really really bogs me down. On a yearly overview I can plan it out, even on a monthly overview I can plan it out. But when it comes to the day to day I get so overwhelmed.
Spring is around the corner (I'll keep telling myself that) which means that homeschool convention time is nearing. That means that talk and planning of curriculum comes up. Sometimes I think homeschoolers spend as much time deliberating and debating as they do actually teaching the dang stuff. I know that is true in my case. I have read my guide books, I've done so much online research.
I feel like I sit between wanting to be the perfect planned daily homeschooling mother and wanting my children to learn an all encompassing and self guided approach as is unschooling. Rock meet hard place.
Truth be told we have been doing a lot of unschooling. I don't like to admit this because I fear the fall out from it. What will others think?? Am I failing my kids?? How are they possibly learning?? Those are some of the guilty thoughts that pop in my brain. But all I have to do is really observe them to see that they ARE learning. They are absorbing so much. Sitting back and allowing them to gravitate to their interests and learn various concepts seems both lazy and gratifying to me at the same time.
Nonetheless I don't feel 100% confident in unschooling so it is not a path I can take. Not to mention what *gasp* others will think. I care to much about what others think really. I have to work on that.
So where does that leave me? It leaves me waffling between curriculums. Where do we go from here? Thankfully I have never made a massive financial investment into resources (thank you internets) so I can shove any guilt there. And as a homeschooler I have the flexibility to shift gears whenever I think we need to.
Who says curriculum starts fresh and book spines cracked for the first time in September. I can rock and roll this thing anyway I want.
In going forward here are a few random thoughts:
-I can't stand the daily curriculum planning
-I know what I would like to approach subject wise
-I don't like printing. Free resources are great...until you are on your 10th ream of paper and millionth ink cartridge
-While my boys are rambunctious they do seem to enjoy sitting down and doing worksheets, go figure.
-I really need to separate my homeschool pinboard into different areas.
-With three kids already and a very busy husband I don't have time to spend fretting about daily lesson plans
-I like knowing what I *should* be doing and then doing my own thing based on that
With some of these points and other in mind here are some less random thoughts:
-We need a core curriculum to guide us through each day
-The free resources will make great supplemental material
-We need flexibility to take days off
-We need flexibility to delve deeper into areas of greater interest
-I need to use both curriculum and my children as my guide
-Most of all I want learning to be fun and exciting for my children
Over next while I am going to be working on creating more balance where all of this is concerned. Say a little prayer for me. Imma gonna need it.