We have been taking this week off from formal schooling.
I needed the break.
I have been pushing and pushing in so much fear of them "falling behind" their classes in school. Because what if I decide to send them back. (I clearly have a fear of commitment.) When we started I said "Well, we will give it one term and see." Then I said, "Ok, the rest of this school year and then we will see." Now, I am saying, "This is one of the biggest blessings that has happened to my family." I am grateful and amazed that while on this "break," I keep seeing my kids reading, or playing a board game together, or researching on the internet, or working on their pinewood derby cars (2 weeks away, whoo hoo). I remember summer breaks where all they would want to do was watch TV, and then say, "I'm bored." Since homeschooling they don't even ask to watch TV very often. (I don't let it be on until after 4, unless it is a specific show/movie that has to do with our lesson.) I haven't heard them say I'm bored that often either. They actually watch less TV now then when they were in school. They are beginning to gain that LOVE OF LEARNING!
One of my many goals was to keep them at or above their local public schools grade level standards. While that still remains a goal of mine, I was putting way to much emphasis on it. I was stressing over it and it was affecting my teaching, I was teaching at a faster pace just to finish curriculum that I had bought in November, before June. This break has helped me to realize WHO CARES WHEN I FINISH! The more time I spend on a subject, the more my family will get from it. I had K in preschool since she was 3, and she doesn't know her ABC's or days of the week. One thing that her first preschool teacher told me was that it was ABOUT THE PROCESS, NOT THE PRODUCT! I am going to remember that the rest of this school year. Who cares if we are in the same history book next year, or if we don't move up to the next level in math until December (or whenever really). When my kids are older what will matter is that they know the stuff, not when they learned it!
Many of you know one of the biggest reason I began homeschooling was to bring my family closer. I felt as if the teachers knew more about my kids than I did. Once my primary leader called to spotlight one of my children in church, and asked me his favorite color, and I didn't know it. I felt like a terrible mother. Something so silly, showed me, that I needed to do more. Here I am, doing more, giving it my all, and I am loving it.
I have been doing some major cleaning out and organizing this week. I have made this big change into homeschooling, and this lifestyle change. My home was not set up to be a full time school. We still do not have a "school room." As much as I would like a central location for everything, that is something that we just don't have the space for. We got a new bookcase and have moved many of our books onto it, especially the ones we use daily. The bookshelf is located in our main living area. I also have a shelf on it for library books, to be kept in a central location. (I used to have a basket, that was working great, so we will see if I go back to that.) We have a small bookshelf in our kitchen for art supplies and preschool supplies. We have a large bookshelf downstairs for less used books. I had to "put away" a lot of stuff, that I just haven't gotten around to yet, since beginning this journey. I am falling into some routines that are starting to allow me to keep up on my house better. But it is definitely not easy for me. I have never been a neat freak and I think clutter loves me. I am working on that always. I really feel good, no, I feel great (I will have to learn how to do that cool strike through words trick) about my house now. I think it will help us have less distractions during "school time." The more organized I am, the less time I will have to look for something, while the kids wait.
Now if only I can keep up on it.