Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Schooling from Home - Fits and Starts

An art project in our school/play room in the house in Raleigh, NC circa October 2012

Well, it's been a while since I posted a truly MOM related post. I suppose it's time...

We have been traveling a lot this summer and after getting back from our last planned trip of the year, I was ready to hunker down, get my house in order, and start some semblance of a homeschool program. The first couple of days back, I was a woman on a mission, reorganizing the playroom to make it more of a school room and trying to figure out how I was going to approach "homeschooling."

Jonah's birthday is a few days after the cutoff for starting kindergarten where we live, so technically I have another year, but I was feeling like it was time to maybe get into some kind of school schedule.  By the second week, I was ready to "start" (or so I thought) with worksheets in hand and activities planned. Well, I broke down in tears twice in two days, because my darling son was not wanting to cooperate with any of my plans - especially anything that involved him holding a pencil!

So my husband, seeing my frustration and distress, digs up some reading materials for me - which at the time rather annoyed me - but when I actually started reading them and doing some research of my own I was pleasantly surprised. I was reminded that (a) I shouldn't push things that my child isn't ready for and (b) I should be cautious of making my child abhor learning because it could stunt his/her educational progress in the future.

I read this and this, which helped me to realized I'm already doing the "right" things. I have many different activities all sorted out in the playroom/school room and I do great projects and things with them all the time.  

Being a mom, however, I am constantly on the lookout for things that I should be doing or doing better in order for me, my life, my house, my children to be perfect! Sound familiar anyone?! Come on, I'm not the only obsessive-compulsive, overachiever out there!  I hope...  Well, getting my child started writing and reading just seemed like that next thing I should be stressing about. 

Then the clincher came when I read this BBC article that cited studies showing how children in Finland academically outperform all others AND they do not start school until 6 or 7 years old and they spend the least amount of time in the school room!  Hello!  Who would have thunk it!  

So, I'm no longer freaking out about this school thing. This week, I have been much more relaxed and taking one day at a time with an emphases on having fun in everything we do even when we deal with the ABC's and 123's.  

(Education can be a controversial and heated topic with many nuances. This is just me sharing where I am at the moment. Who knows I may be freaking out about it again in a couple of weeks! There is a lot of research out there and every child and every family is different with differing circumstances. I am grateful to live in a world where a good education can be obtained via many modes, and that I can choose which mode suits my child and our family the best.)

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