Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Freak Outs - Long Division vs. Everything Else

Learning History objectively with my son is definitely one of my main goals. We've only been homeschooling for three months, and I'm just starting to figure out how to make a schedule that works for us.

I know there are families out there managing to cover all the "important" subjects in two or three hours a day, but we're barely managing to squeeze everything in - even though we're putting in as much as five hours a day just on Language Arts, Science and Math. I really want to have a History focus, but don't want to sacrifice any of the conventional basics.
I know about Unschooling and Self-directed Learning. It sounds fabulous, but I just can't quite let go of the fear that if my son doesn't get long division or write a detail-full, three paragraph essay today - he might one day get mad at me for not being able to pass an admission exam to something important to him.

I've been editing a 200+ page World History Summary that I found on the internet. I really like how it's written, even though it has tons of mistakes. So, I'm going through it, making corrections, touching up the pictures and resizing the font (so my son doesn't get flustered with the small print), and I'm also starting to freak out (as I'm skimming over Prehistoric Humans to French Revolution) about HOW MUCH STUFF THERE IS TO LEARN!

There's so much to cover - in all the subjects. So, so much. The more I research and see what other families are doing or what other resources are out there, the more overwhelmed I get by realizing everything WE SHOULD COVER. And then, it hits me...

We can't do it all today.

Since we started homeschooling, I ask my son at least every three days what he thinks about it. I ask him if there's anything he would like to change, if there are any subjects he would rather drop or any subject he'd like to do more of. So far, he says he likes it all and that he's interested in all of it. He did ask me to make our Science classes a bit shorter but that, other than that, it's all great.

I can't complain. We're both excited about what we're learning and I, for the most part, have a very enthusiastic, motivated and hard-working little study partner. Our biggest problem so far is that we can't fit everything into our schedule. I suppose it would be a lot worse if we were bored and didn't know what to do with ourselves.

I love reading stories about families that just go with the flow and find learning all around them. And maybe, in a year or two, I'll also be writing inspiring accounts about how we finally dropped all textbooks and just let the homeschool day unfold naturally and worry-free. For now, apparently, my son and I seem to do well with a more classical structure, and there's nothing wrong with that. Right?

So, I guess, I just need to relax and remember that as long as we're happy, it's all OK.

1 comment:

  1. No, there's nothing wrong with that :)
    Visiting you from Secular Homeschooling btw...

    One of my girls loves having a full load of academic study, one doesn't, and my ds likes to have plenty of unschooling time. It's all about meeting each child's needs as well as your own.

    True, there's a lot to learn - but there's a lot of time to learn it:)I find frequent breaks from researching what's out there or reading other people's blogs! helps me not get overwhelmed and stay focused on what's working for us.