There was a whole lot of craziness in the process of teaching public school. The demands on teachers are enormous and the demands on students are just as hefty. I remember seeing the intense exhaustion that my mother would have from the hours put in as a teacher and I am enjoying seeing the elation my oldest sister has at being free from the job of wrangling 30 or so kids everyday. While it will be different with my own children, there will, no doubt, be some craziness at times while homeschooling them. And I am determined to find a flow that will accommodate our natures and envigorate the process.
I've started the process of dreaming. I'm dreaming of the ideal, dreaming of just what will make everything work for us. And no, it doesn't involve street speed or high doses of caffeine. I finished my collage this morning and, as I mentioned in the previous blog, the things we need less of and the things we need more of were not quite as extensive a list as I anticipated. They had become bigger in my mind, exaggerated, and once I put them on paper in front of me I could seem them for what they were. But I really want to be honest with myself about it all so I can take the bull by the horns and make it all work.
Things I need less of:
4. grains and starch
5. people who don't approve of me wanting to homeschool the girls
Things the girls need less of:
2. late nights
3. obsessive worrying from their mother about whether it will all work out
The weight of worry that I had over this made these things feel like the list would be much longer, in the dozens. Putting this into visual framework really lifted the burden for me and allowed me to see just how simple it is at this point. Basically, what we need less of is tv and internet.
Let me elaborate a little: we don't watch television programming, don't pay for cable, and don't sit around watching tv all day, but there is this point in the day when I need a break-- I needed a break about four years ago and that just hasn't really happened. So I turn on movies for them and escape into a cyber existence in order to find a sense of self. This isn't entirely evil, but it's not what is best for all of us.
And oh, yeah, lets not forget sugar and grains. Yeah, I definitely need less of those. They cloud my judgment and increase my slothfulness, so that needs to be tackled too.
Now for things we need more of:
1. real life activities both inside the house and outside the house
2. fun! face to face time!
3. a more consistent connection to nature
4. a more predictable connection to being nurtured-- and being nurtured more by extended family
6. hiking, library, play, crafts, books, expression, dancing, rhythms!
What we really need is time together in the morning, a little independence just after lunch, activities through the afternoon, and an earlier bedtime.
A couple of potential issues that have been brought up over the past week or so from friends and sisters are:
1. if Jetta starts kindergarten in school, she won't have to deal with that "first year" experience later (you know, when we fail at homeschooling)
2. how will I get time for myself if I am always with my kids?
While my sarcastic comment about failing at homeschooling is noted, I am taking these concerns genuinely. I want to put it on the table and address it. But it's not really all that complicated. If, for any reason, the girls have to or choose to enter public school later, then I'm hoping I'll have prepared them for that. Summer camps seem like a great place to encourage being comfortable in an independent (from me) group experience, but they'll be visiting playgroups and library storytime weekly as well. And the most obvious way to find time for myself is to get our daily schedule (and bedtimes) a little more structured. We cosleep, so the girls tend to wake up with me in the morning. What I need is for them to have an earlier bedtime than me. A couple hours a day to enjoy my time would do wonders. And if I need more than that (I'm sure I will), then we can always work around my husband's schedule.
Next stop: the big picture plan, gathering information from all sources to formulate a checklist of skills that need to be addressed.