Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Meeting the Needs of our Children

Recently, we took a wonderful trip to a wonderful place and I was able to step back from homeschooling for about three weeks. During this period, I was in a place of immense beauty that lent itself to reflection, prayer and a seeking of peace in life.

Before I took this trip, I thought that everything was working fine in my homeschool. We did schoolwork without too much fuss. My little one liked doing worksheets and my oldest was progressing in her work. We were getting history done and science done and this done and that done but deep down under the surface it was not working.

My youngest was doing worksheets in phonics and math but she was retaining the information and half the time I was guiding her through. She could not do the work on her own. She is kindergarten age so she needs to do kindergarten worksheets, right? No, as I stepped away I realized that no she is not ready for seatwork or even most schoolwork. And I am going to say it right now--My child is not ready for school at home or in a public building. She needs more time to grow.

So we are going to relax. I am leaving her a binder full of pages that she can do on her own as she wants to but I am backing off until she physically and mentally ready to learn to read and do math. We will play games with big sister and learn about the rhythms of daily life instead.

Now, my oldest and I have been internally unhappy about quite a bit that we have been doing as well. I like the theory of Spell to Write and Read but we don't like the methodology. I don't like spelling with letter tiles, she doesn't like writing the words on paper without seeing what they look like first. So we are going to take our yearly break from Spell to Write and Read and come back when my daughter has matured some more and is more confident in her penmanship skills.

History and science have also seemed rushed and we have not been making time for experiments or projects because I am tired after just trying to get the basics of reading, writing and math done. So history has been moved to bedtime stories and science has moved outdoors and at times when we feel like doing a project.

Copywork is working for her as is Singapore math and the grammar programs we have been using. So we will continue with math, grammar and copywork.

I have also had numerous requests to paint, play with play dough and get creative. I would also like to bring music back into our lives. The girls also want decorations for the themes of each month--I've been too tired to change them over the past year.

So you will probably be seeing quite a bit of changes on this blog over the next few months as we incorporate a slower pace that is more delightful, enriching and magical. As we work at remaking our home into a place of refuge from the world. A place where we know all is safe and happy and welcoming. As we transform our school into something that is not rushed and crammed but inspires true learning, exploration, questioning and fun.

Things will change as I meet the needs of my children instead of the pressures of the world. I am homeschooling for the good of my children and so I have to do what is right for them.


Brittney said...

It's amazing the things that are revealed to us when we take a step back and breathe. The changes you are making sound wonderful and you have given me a lot to think about. I especially love the last two paragraphs and will ponder them for awhile. Thank you :0)
Happy Homeschooling,

CloseAcademy said...

Thanks for stopping by. It makes me happy to inspire others. I hope to be adding new posts about our direction as they happen. Good Journey.

susie said...

It sounds like you are doing a great job in your family and your homeschool. Keep up the good work!

susie in tx

CloseAcademy said...

Thanks for the encouragement and for stopping by.


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