We have slowed down our learning. I call it being intentional or in tuned to my daughters needs in learning.
Lately Bear has been all tears when we sit down to do any studies. Can we possible learn if we are crying? I need to rethink approach and if I am maybe expecting too much from her. We homeschool for learning enjoyment not to recreate the school room at home, but I think I have failed in carrying out our desires in an attempt to fit into a mold. This may confuse some, and its hard when friends and family ask.... We want to justify that they are learning and fulfill their expectations and ideas of what learning is. For some, yes that is learning, but learning is more, and for some, it can't be that box style of open head insert information and ask for a regurgitated fact that is just as quickly forgotten.
I am not putting down those that think this is how it should be, not in the least. But that isn't the direction we are taking. Its nice and comfortable being a part of a larger "school"but its not what we need. I have a bad
habit of looking at myself and consequently our homeschool and trying
to measure up, not to what our family needs but rather what I think others expect of us. I need to enjoy walking our path, because I certainly
have not enjoyed following someone else's.
I am trying very hard to instill in my child the idea of "I can, I ought, I will" and to that end, I tell her we never say "can't" and we don't stop doing something because its hard. That's why stopping right now is so "hard"; it feels almost like I am failing. But, we aren't stopping, we are just shifting gears. Yes, to you it might appear like we have thrown in the towel. You with your kindergartener already reading chapter books, or your second grader taking his IQ test to get into the talented and gifted program. But those are your children, not mine.
Thus, we are slowing down; I get the looks, or shocked stares. A few years ago I would have been shocked as well. I get the neighbors suggesting some ineptness on my part. They don't see the little hands spending hours finding found objects just to create a slingshot. They don't see the wonder of discovery or proud "Mommy, look at this" as I gaze at another thing she has created from a found object, or watching her as she searches through a bird book looking for the bird she thinks she saw. They don't see that she knows exactly what abstract art is and WHY she likes it. Its easy to know the "whats," its is the "whys" that are hard. Its the whys that will make her love learning. That's what keeps me going.
That pile of expensive books full of facts and worksheets sits on the table where, exactly where I left them when I tried last week to make her spend time doing some inane worksheet, to prove to the world that indeed I was homeschooling when in reality we had a battle of wills. That pile is going to just gather some dust for a while, maybe just touched occasionally. For now we are going to pick out some great science books, work on some great "experiments" exploring different theories, read about what interests us in our books, spend lots of time outside, and doing art and crafts.
Yes, we are slowing down. Now if everyone will relax we might be able to see where this road takes us.