I read about all the different ways to home school frequently. Everyone has a way that works for them and I so often think- wow! That looks great, I’ll do that too! The detailed timetables with family breakfasts, highly academic days and craftyness mixed it– I’ll do that too!!! Mothers with 30 children that seem to be able to work independently and stay on course– amazing! I’ll do that too!!
And then days like this happen. Days like today when, again, I’m questioning if this is a good fit. Maybe the fact that we woke up to a gloomy, rainy day in otherwise sunny Florida. Maybe it’s that the kids are starting to feel a bit under the weather…or maybe I’m just in a funk.
Regardless, when one is counting down the hours to an “acceptable time” to have a glass of wine, I think it indicates that it was not the greatest day in the world. (Chardonnay. 5 o’clock on the nose, thank you very much!)
Here’s the thing I haven’t done quite yet: I haven’t seriously considered my children, their personalities, or how they best learn. I have done this enough to know that this choice suits them, but not in how to plan/schedule our day. I’ve spent so much time learning how other people home school rather than focusing on what works for us as we home school.
Here’s the biggest thing I’ve learned recently: My expectations were unrealistic. I can’t say why, and I’m embarrassed because I know better, but part of me was under the delusion that our first grader would magically become self-directed and interested in only reading books and doing science projects. Yes. On some level, this is what I thought. Clearly, my expectations are not our reality. This is causing most of the social unrest in our house.
Here’s what I’m going to do about it: I’m going to lower and change my expectations. I’m going to really think about what each kid needs, and give that thing to them each day. I’m going to play a few games with each of the kids. I’m going to figure out how to slow down a little without giving up our social time with friends. I’m going to resolve not to cook complicated meals during the week.
For a mom who spent the last three months of 2013 deschooling, and only really has started to home school in January, I’d still say the kids and I have a long way to go before we hit our stride. Anyone venture to guess when that will happen? I’m really ready for it all to just click.