Monday, January 2, 2012

Home School First Semester

So we officially finished our first semester of home school.

It's been an interesting experience so far.  I started our year really low key.  Part of it had to do with my desire for Owen to have a good old-fashioned boyhood, running around building lego cities, and playing lots with his brothers.  Part of it was feeling like I have no need to rush or push Owen at this young age.  (He's got plenty of time to be amazing later.)  And honestly I think part of my low-key laid back approach to starting out was a deffense-mechanism against ideas or pressures from others that I may not know what I'm doing or getting myself into.

Not that I had anyone saying that to my face--what people say it things like they could never do that, they couldn't keep track of all that, or have the patience to do it, or make it work.  So my reaction was to say it's no big deal I don't care about anybody's expectations.

In the end I think it was an (inadvertently) excellent way for us to begin our homeschooling.  Many people start freaked out about how they'll ever make it all work. They try to do it all, every day, starting the very first week, and pretty soon they are totally burnt out. On the other hand Owen and I started out really casually, have gone along fine this semester, and have recently started to do "more" with our homeschooling, feeling like we are ready for it now.
Overall my feelings after our first semester are that everything is fine.  Sometimes in the evenings when I'm thinking to myself-- I wonder if we're making the right choice.  I wonder about the other options.  But during the day things just feel fine--natural almost.  As in --of course I have all my children here at home with me, they're my children.  Durring the day I don't go around thinking Owen should be somewhere else.

We do have rough days.  Owen get's on my nerves sometimes, but he would anyway.  The good thing about home schooling, is that sometimes when he's being tough, I can say, Why don't you sit down over here and do a math worksheet? Or why don't you go read to Jonas?  Or sometimes, because it's best for the situation I say, forget lessons, why don't you go play in the back yard?

Home schooling has been nothing but positive for Owen and my relationship.  Owen is such a nut.  He's so silly, and yet so intelligent at the same time (sound's a bit like his dad. . .). And I've tried hard to get to know him better, and to love and appreciate and accept who he is.  And we've had more cuddles this year, more hugs and kisses, more "I love you's", more reading together, more "chatting" together.  And that had been a major goal for me in all of this.

Owen and I weren't in a good place last year.  Maybe that's my fault.  Probably the result of my shortcomings as a mother.  But now we are improving, and maybe we won't always homeschool.  But right now we are, and before I send Owen out of the home again--he needs to know that I'm on his team.  So that's what homeshcool is for us right now--family team building.  And so far. . . so good.

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