This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Friday, February 9, 2007

Why We Homeschool the Way We Do--

Journey and Curriculum Choices
A Meandering and Musing

Part Three—In Practice
(Part One & Part Two)

We homeschooled even though I was working nights, which I did on and off for almost three years. I will tell you it can be done. At what cost to health and relationships I don’t know. But it was that important to us. There was no option. And the boys were little, so the amount of paper work didn’t need to be huge.

Those were our “desert years.” I felt often like the Children of Israel wandering…but those are different stories. Let me say, I never felt God was far, I felt we were learning and growing and we never saw an option not to homeschool. God is good.

Thankfully I have been home for the last year and a half. I have seen the world through less than bleary eyes.

It is apparent Roo adapts to structure more than Boo. He likes a yardstick to be measured by. Now saying that, he still likes the ability to bunny trail at his whim. So we have come up with the things I am sure he cannot live without doing, many books to read, workbooks to use. Then I have boxes checked for “them” –you know, those people who might come and check up on us, whoever they are.

It also includes a lot of piano. Which he has both facility and desire to do. And then the rest of the time he explores his interests. He isn’t completely following things through to a conclusion yet, but at nine I don’t know that he needs to. He will wander away from things for a while, seemingly done with something, and then come back with renewed ideas and he has time to grow and pursue and be creative.

Boo is my “fence-rattler,” button pusher, limit tester child. “I just want to be a little boy, Mom.” Peter Pan in the making. Because of Boo, I delved into unschooling. I stepped back and let him do it his way. He decided to watch movies with sub-titles. He told me he was learning to read. He played games and didn’t want help with the dice, pieces or cards. He could do it himself. And, to my surprise, he managed. But sit him down at a table with a pencil and try handwriting? Well…see HERE. Give him math worksheet. He would rather sit and stare at the wall.

Now some would say he needed discipline. We have never shied away from discipline. But after so much of it and he still was resolute, I began to worry I was losing my son’s heart. And I think I was. After having been gone physically at night for so long and only being present in a barely functioning body during those days, and then arguing with how God created him, I was losing him. So I really did back off. And spent a lot of time learning about Grace Based Parenting and Attachment Parenting, which I was already practicing at some level.

I needed to work on balance.

Part Four


DebD said...

This is so encouraging to see your journey. I have always shied away from UnSchooling because of my lack of discipline. I know in my home, unschooling would really be non-schooling.

I wonder if many of us start out a lot more strict and then end up more Grace-based. I seem to be finding it everywhere I go and its such a breath of fresh air.

Joyful Days said...

Thanks for the kind words.

I think the big word is "balance."

I don't know that we could unschool all the time. Maybe I don't have enough faith? But it is really good for the soul sometimes to back off and see where the heart leads.

Parenting needs balance too, I suppose. But I would rather err on the side of Grace and trust God for the rest. Now to practice that more.