Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Homeschooling in February
There is a rumor going around that February is a horrible month for homeschoolers. I am actually not sure this is true. I know for me, May is often torture! But It makes sense that February would be terrible. Christmas is past, Easter is too far away. It is simply just winter. And often, very winter.
This year has been very different for us. We had a very unpleasant experience trying a charter school. The backfire of that time exploded any love I had for homeschooling. I knew I didn't want to send my kids to brick and mortar, well, 85% sure I didn't want to. I think there was a day when I did call some school to find out when an orientation was going to be. But I didn't go. I know this is my vocation, even though it sometimes really drives me batty.
I seriously considered a year of radical unschooling, and we did take three months to recover. I spent that time contemplating what we should do and where our homeschool was going to go. And while I love the idea of unschooling I fear I am too lazy to do it properly. I also think that I have simply too many kids and not enough money to make it a truly successful endeavor. I have said these things before and I find them to still be true.
So that left me in a slump. I was just not sure where to go or what to do. The whole situation and the following months of nothing very constructive, had left me questioning everything about our homeschool journey so far. I listened to a lot of advice. But in the end I knew that a more formal homeschool was going to be right for us.
While I loved the romantic notion of everyone floating about with fairy wings garnering knowledge like a bee does honey, I knew that was not a possible reality in our hectic and busy life. I wanted them to have time to do that, but also time to sit with serious study. I didn't want them to miss an opportunity because the knowledge had not been presented to them. Gaps will happen, so I am not saying I want them to LEARN ALL THE THINGS! But I wanted them to be able to presented with ideas that might not come up in our normal day to day.
I weighed all our options. I wanted them to have a Catholic education and plenty of time to explore. I wanted them to be challenged but also intrigued. We have been following Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum's history timeline or RC History for a long time, but I knew that I was going to need more help this time. I love RC History, but was always very uncomfortable that it was not complete and felt I could not use it as our main history curriculum because of that. So I am using it to supplement the Catholic Heritage Curricula's history timeline. I am using mostly CHC and enjoying the help the boxed curriculum is giving me. It is actually giving us more freedom and it has taken immense pressure off of me and I feel less guilty about whether I am doing enough. Along with Meet the Masters for art and the Life is Precious program for health, we are finally finding a good groove for us.
We have been back in the saddle for a few weeks now and I occasionally freak out and think about throwing that homeschool hand grenade, but I see how we are starting to gather steam. We are getting it done and having more time for play. I tossed aside a few things that were simply not working for us but I thought that we had to do and embraced things that I had neglected for too long, even while doing charter schools and such.
This February has been going amazing so far! But then, it is more like September for us. So ask me again in May! Hopefully I will still feel the same.