May 4, 2015

out with the old, in with the new

It's crazy how fast things can change. Just a few months ago, I wrote in my journal, "I don't know why I ever thought I could homeschool these kids. My five year old defiantly rejects every fact I ever present him, and he won't let me teach him how to do anything!" But the seed was there in my heart, ready to grow- God was making me ready to realign all my priorities.

I've prayed and prayed for Him to change my heart and make me love the thing He's called me to do. Slowly, surely, I've begun to let go of everything that's all about ME ME ME and focus on my precocious precious children. Why did it take this long? All I can say is that my child's stubborn heart surely reflects my own. That's humbling.

start-homeschool

The past few months have been all about breaking our screen-time habits and bonding with each other. We've finally got to a point where most days, Seth doesn't even ask if he can watch TV. Often, the computer sits on the counter all day without ever being cracked open, and I might go several days without peeking at Instagram.

This morning, Seth and I were talking on the way to school. He said, "I wish I'd never gone to 'real school', Mommy. I wish you'd always been my teacher." Sadly, I thought, Maybe I have been your teacher- just not a very good one. I unintentionally taught you some of the wrong things. That's a sad thing to think. But at the same time, my heart leapt with joy for having another chance!

Five or six weeks ago, when all the curriculum I'd ordered began arriving in the mail, I eagerly sat down to plan a year's worth of lessons. Let me tell you, for my first time, it was thrilling. I was pretty proud when I got done, looking at that perfect spreadsheet!

The more I look at that spreadsheet, though, the more I realize it flies in the face of every reason I ever thought I might want to homeschool in the first place. For all the intentional simplifying and minimizing and saying "no" to things we don't need- there I was trying to micromanage the details of days months into the future, ready to put my kid through the wringer to pound book knowledge into his head.

So, back to square one. "Seth, I want you to make me a promise," I told him the other day. "School should be fun for you. If it's ever NOT FUN, I want to to tell me right away so I can fix it!" He was ecstatic about that idea. And I'm scrapping the schedule so we can take things day-by-day.

I plan to keep a journal of what we've done so there's a record that we're actually "doing school"- in the state of Alabama, I will be required to report our curriculum choices and schedule to an umbrella organization. Aside from that, I suppose that unschoolers we will be!

We counted on our fingers this morning how many days there are until Seth's last day of preschool. Only 8 days! EIGHT.

"When do you want to start homeschooling?" I asked.

"The very next day!" Seth exclaimed.

So, on to the next adventure we go!

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