I haven’t posted anything for a few weeks because for a while, we all just ran out of enthusiasm for the whole idea. We made it to the mid year break, and then just couldn’t summon the energy to start up again.
I got some reassurance by having read about other people having similar problems, so I knew it was not just us. It still posed a problem, though, because I didn’t want to go back to doing more of what we were doing previously, with the expectation that things would be different. Something needed to change. I think there are a number of reasons why we stumbled.
Firstly, it has been half a year. I have never seen anyone give a definite timeframe for the honeymoon period, but I guess it is probably over now. Our adventure has become a lifestyle reality.
Secondly, I often see ‘I couldn’t be around my kids all day’ given as a reason why people choose not to homeschool. Despite the inevitable chorus of objection that follows, I think it is a valid point. My boys are funny and charming, but they are also very loud and very intense. They frequently overwhelm newcomers to the house. As much as I love them, there are times when I just can’t stand to have anything to do with them.
Thirdly, my wife and I both work, and between work and school there is not a great deal of time for anything else. Ordinarily, this is completely fine, but it doesn’t leave much wiggle room to deal with the vagaries of life. Things really need to be running pretty smoothly for us to make it all fit. As much as I philosophically disagree with the childcare aspect of sending kids to school, I can see why people do it.
Last, and perhaps most importantly, I seem to have drifted away from what I learned in my first lesson, and began being driven by the curriculum. This has slowly become the source of quite a bit of tension and bad feeling at home. I have only just worked that out in the last couple of days, and suddenly everything is much easier again.
So we have had a few weeks off, and now I can come back to it with a renewed perspective. There is nothing to be gained by making him hate a subject by trying to teach it through a methodology that isn’t working. If my boy collapses in a groaning heap at the prospect of writing a list of ‘in’ words (bin, pin…) then I just need another way to study reading and writing. Regardless of that, it is still OK because he knows an awesome barrage of science stuff, and is keen to know more.
Sometimes I forget that.