Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Stream of consciousness during homeschool family writing time

 It is homeschool family writing time, which means we are all cuddled up on the couch - cat included - typing away. It may look like a beautiful homeschooling moment on social media but let's dive into it a bit.

 We just finished up a rather frustrating attempt at completing Colonial crafts we bought in Jamestown last August. The directions were poor and with only one adult jumping between two different craft projects to provide assistance we all got a bit frustrated. What to do? Take a break and write about it in a 'small moments' style. Of course, when you are already frustrated trying to complete a group composition isn't always going to help. Ehhh... we got through it.

That text completed we dove into our fifteen minutes of independent writing. Nothing to write about? Often happens in moments of frustration... so.... diving deep into my creative writing classes from my childhood I implemented the "just write anything - even if you write "I have nothing to write about." I'm writing this... one child is writing about how tired she is and one is writing about me.

I'll write about her too.

My oldest is one of the most determined children I have ever met. She taught herself to tie shoes one afternoon in kindergarten, taught herself to tell time on Christmas morning when she was six and just got a new watch, and she follows through with whatever deep challenge she comes upon. 

Lately, we have been diving into some of my favorite books together - Wonder and Book Scavenger. It's been so lovely to share these books with her - and even more exciting to get book recommendations from her. One night I came upstairs at 9:50 and found her sheepishly still up and reading. "You HAVE to read this book, Mommy" she declared, showing me the sequel to Wonder she had been reading. So I did. It was excellent. Both the book and the fact that I now have another book-lover to give me recommendations. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Homeschooling Reflections

 We have been homeschooling for about a month now. My greatest surprise, other than how much I love it, is the stress I feel in being in charge of my daughters' education. This took me by surprise because I've taught many, many children over the years. I've also supported parents in their homeschooling. I've written up homeschooling units, monitored students' progress, adapted for student need, and always felt 100% confident that the child was completing what they needed for that year. So I was not ready for the wave of mom guilt that flooded over me about a week ago. Was I enough? Am I wasting a year of their childhood? What if I explain something incorrectly? What if I don't cover some essential knowledge.

How have I felt confident creating plans for others but am so wracked with guilt when it comes to my own kids? Is this just the way being a mother is? When it comes to our own kids how do we ever know what is enough?

Logically I know my kids are fine. They are nonstop readers and are doing great in math. At the moment I am sitting between them on the couch for family writing time. On one side of me my third grader is converting one of her stories into a play. On the other side of me, my first grader is stretching out her sounds for words in a fiction story about a girl who is moving. I think we are OK. But all my logic does not quiet that little voice that says "what if you are wasting their time? What if this isn't enough?" I think I need to acknowledge that the voice is there and let it push me to be better for them. But I also need to know when to tell it to hush. Remind myself of the good-enough parent. And enjoy our good enough moments.