By way of introduction, I will say that I have been thinking about many of the thoughts I will present here for quite a long time; some of them for months, and others for a few years. I'm still not finished my thinking process, and I have written and processed elsewhere far more than I will publish here...but I have decided to stop merely drafting words and just put them out here now, even if somewhat unvarnished or incomplete in thought. The writing of these posts has helped me clarify where my head's at, and maybe the posts will give us all something to chew on a little bit. That's my hope, anyway. :)
You may read my posts and wonder what the big deal is...why I had to think through this stuff for so long 'cause it's just obvious. Or you might think something like 'yeah, oh well, to each her own.' Or you might find a nugget of something here that will help you move forward in your own journey. Or you'll respond in some way entirely unlike anything I'm suggesting here. Whatever your response, and whether or not you agree with me or frankly don't care, I'm ok with it.
I would love to hear your feedback if you'd be willing to take a moment to post a comment at some point over the next number of days. Is there something that really resonates with you? Something you really disagree with? A further thought you'd like to add to mine? I'd love to hear any and all of it. The stuff I'm thinking about stretches my brain - which may just be an indication that there's not much going on upstairs - and I'd appreciate your response to it. Good. Bad. Or ugly.
So, here goes...my rant on the subject of learning at home, and how this has led us in a new direction that we begin this very week.
What do I want for my kids some day? What kinds of people do I hope they will be? What are my deepest dreams for them? What do I believe will be in their best interests as adults?
These are some of the questions that I imagine most parents ponder from time to time. I've been thinking a lot about these and other questions of late. Obsessing about them, to be honest...mostly internally, though I've had brief conversations with a few friends about them. The whole thing has been precipitated by my observation that the way we have been 'doing school' at home isn't working. It just isn't. Even though we've chosen to keep the kids out of the public schooling system in order to give them the education that we hope is in their best interests, I see that how I've been going about things isn't working as well as I had envisioned, planned, hoped, assumed it would.
I thought that my good intentions, combined with diligence and commitment to teaching my kids at home, would be enough. It's true, after all, that my kids have a mama who works very hard to teach them the best she knows how, the best she is able; my kids have a mother who changes methods as needed and who is committed to providing them with the best possible schooling, albeit schooling in a not-so-traditional sense.
From an outside perspective, I imagine that it looks like we are succeeding at the way we've been doing school for the past few years. Matthew is currently 'on par' with his school-educated peers in terms of curriculum; Seth and Lizzie are making great headway as their brains integrate more and they're more able to 'do school' stuff. By all appearances, we're fairly 'successful' h/schoolers at this point (whatever 'successful' means). I am comfortable with where they are at, from an academic standpoint.
But at what cost?
At what cost.
There's the rub that has me sighing and re-thinking things.
(to be continued)