7.26.2017

making plans to not make plans :: homeschool version

It's homeschool planning time.  Our official plan that we submit to our homeschool authority is going to be a bit different this year.  Last year, two months into the school year, we were forced to change what school authority we work with due to bizarre workings of the government and while it turned out to be unnecessary, it's probably best overall that we did. 

The new place, though, has a wee bit different accountability protocols and requires a plan that is less, 'yeah, we'll go to the library and find some books to read' and more 'we will read this many books in this many days and here are the titles of all the books'.

It's really hard for me to wrap my mind around all this alien 'structure' and 'organized' stuff.  I am being kind of facetious, but kind of not.  Our homeschool plan will be a living document that we can alter to fit what works as we go, but right now it feels like throwing the dart at the board while blind and drunk.  Lots of optimistic ideas and probably totally off target.

Thinking about it, I have to go back to why we do this crazy homeschool thing anyway and what it is that we are trying to achieve.  Funny enough, it's not about the education.  I mean it is, in the sense that I have ideas about what constitutes a good enough, even excellent, education for my children and try to implement that, but it's more about utilizing the greatest resource that we will ever have: 

Time.

We homeschool because we want to spend time together and have time to do what we like.  We want to get the stuff we have to do over with quickly, preferably in less than six hours. I can't even imagine trying to have the kids learn schoolwork from nine am to three pm.  They'd run away and join a circus after day two. We want to use our precious time doing what makes us human and complete.  

I remember when I first started entertaining the idea of homeschooling as a new parent.  Girl child was wee and watching her learn and grow while considering what sort of school she'll need to attend and I started to feel very... jealous.  Selfish.  Weirdly mama primal.  Watching and being involved in her growth was so satisfying, I knew I didn't want to turn it over to virtual strangers who would barely notice. 

Basically I just wanted to grab my toddler and scream, 'MINE! MINE! MINE!' at the rest of the world.
 
Girl child, summer 2007, seriously engaged in her blue period

Of course, that feeling like I want to keep my children isolated all to myself passed quickly.  In fact, I try to send them away often, because it's good for me and for them.  (Take my children... please.  But have them home by dark so I can read to them before bed.  Also, they have chores to do.)

Another dimension to this is that the childs are getting opinionated about what their education looks like.  With all the meta-learning stuff and knowledge hacks freely available - learning on how to learn - they figure they can learn their skills fast.  Thanks to strategies put forth by people like Timothy Ferriss, they can learn incredibly quickly.  And they know that if they aren't interested they will forget it by the next day.  In other words, they are hyper aware of their own learning processes and capable to being deeply involved in this homeschool plan.

But they just want to say, 'yeah, we'll go to the library and find some books to read.'   So maybe they're not so much help right now. 

We all need to come up with clever way of measuring things that can not be measured.  Making plans to not make plans. 

I am thankful for this bit of hoop jumping for the homeschool, though, because it does allow me to evaluate, on a broad scale, just what it is that I think I'm doing and appreciate the amazing years we've had together. 

Also, so I can officially plan to say to the school authority and government:
 
MINE! MINE! MINE!

Girl child, summer 2017, seriously involved with her hipster phase
(That's kombuca, not beer, for anybody who's eyes are failing them.  And girl child would like everybody to know that she's wearing her What We Do in the Shadows "Werewolves not swearwolves" fan t-shirt, ordered from Etsy shop UnicornEmpirePrints, a mockumentry that is brilliant and trending on Netflix.)


 




1 comment:

  1. YES YES YES YES YES!!!

    I give all kinds of "good" reasons why we homeschool, but the truth of the matter is, I didn't have a child so that someone else could raise her. Seriously, if I got out of the military so I could raise her, why would I want to stop when she was school aged?

    And yes, I am also at the point when I am happy when we can find ways to get away from each other for a bit. In fact, I love summer with all the summer camp options! A week of day camp is the perfect amount of time for us to be apart (but I still get to tuck her in at night), she gets to see kinda what it's like to go to school (exhausting is what she tells me), and she gets to experience all kinds of cool things! This week she's at the Humane Society for camp and she is loving it!

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