Wednesday, March 12, 2008

If First You Don’t Succeed…Wing It

The most important thing I have discovered on this journey is that perfection is not only overrated but it will hinder all progress. The first few weeks of homeschooling, I would stay up late putting together everything for tomorrow’s lessons, searching the local library database online requesting all the associated books and printing off mountains of supporting documentation. I was armed with knowledge, enthusiasm and material for the subject.

I became so frustrated when THE STUDENT (TS) did not share my focus for the day. Then the frustration turned to self-doubt, which lead to re-examining the entire decision to Homeschool. The result was a confused and frustrated child with a self-conscience depressed mom.

A veteran Homeschool mom gave me the best advice so far.
  • This is not about YOU, it about the child.
  • If you are not enjoying it, then the child is not either.
  • Step back, get prayer focused and relax.

She was right. So, I stepped back and prayed and prayed and prayed….. The next day I asked TS what he wanted to learn if he could pick the subjects in school and his list was a revelation.

  1. Play (but of course), but play more frequently to get the wiggles out.
  2. Learn about trains…everything how they are made, how the move and what is in them.
  3. I want to play music. (Very focused and very clear.) I want to know about the kinds of music. I want to know what music there is in the world.
  4. Art…more painting please.
  5. Who are my family? Why are we a family?
  6. Planets, stars and countries…all the world stuff.
  7. I want to make friends.

Okay that list alone was enough for the first year with any Kindergartner. In each item, I saw the opportunity to put in the basics like handwriting, self-care, math and science. Reading is in sustaining mode as he reads on 1st grade level.

Due to a horrible, Montessori experience handwriting, cutting, pasting and art where areas he avoided. Imagine someone telling a 4 year old that he has terrible cutting skills, HE IS 4! Way to build the old self esteem.

So that is how we came up with the plan.

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