Monday, March 22, 2010

Seeing the light . . .

We are on the home stretch of our school year and it feels great! We're on track with where I wanted to be and I am ready to finish strong. Around the end of January, I started feeling sluggish but we plodded through. I started getting worried that we'd end up slacking off and we'd either start next year behind or have to work during the summer to catch up.

But then we got some warm, spring days and all of a sudden, I started counting the weeks left and it didn't seem that far off! We started a new writing book, which I absolutely love, and have a good routine in place. It feels so good to actually feel like I know what I'm doing now and feel fairly confident with what the kids are learning.

I have always had a more relaxed approach to schooling. I didn't think the kids needed to sit for long periods of time and had no desire to give them busy work to do just to fill up their day. I am also big into the basics - reading and math. We do history and science but I'm not as concerned about that information sticking. I want them to become familiar with ideas and names and concepts without necessarily memorizing anything at this age.

Last year I started to become concerned that maybe my relaxed approach was a nicer way of saying lazy. I didn't want to be lazy with their education. So I made it a goal to be more consistent with school and to finish what we started. We were close. We didn't technically finish the curriculum but that was partly because we added some new books in January. My thought was that we'd finish them throughout the summer but I wasn't disciplined enough to do that. It's not just the kids that need a break from school - I need a break from being a teacher sometimes, too. It still ended up to be a good year for all of us.

This year has gone even better. I have more defined goals for the kids. We're all more comfortable with the work we're doing and the routine we have. Brendan and Tori know what is expected of them every day and this causes less complaining - in theory anyways. Some days are better than others. I know myself better as a teacher. Overall, we're in a very good place in our homeschooling journey and I'm so glad we've stuck with it.