Adventures in Homeschooling
Since the inception of this blog, I really haven’t written much here except for travel or local adventures. However, as we venture into homeschooling (again), I want to share my frustrations, triumphs and finds with others who might be considering this or who find themselves in this situation due to the current environment. I find that often travel and homeschool go hand in hand. Those of us who love travel, tend to also want to know if homeschool is an option for our children too.
After worldschooling with a little bit of curriculum thrown in last year while traveling I realized a lot of things about myself as a teacher. I have high expectations and low patience. I do exactly what I had always hoped I wouldn’t do.. be way too hard on my child about his academic achievements. Instead of honoring where he is at naturally, I feel compelled to compare him to his classmates or to his friends in public school.
I know he has great strengths in certain areas, but he also has great weaknesses. And it’s those that I hound upon. Most days I don’t worry about his achievements because I know he is learning so much. But when it comes time to ‘report’ his learnings I panic and stress. I go over his writing with a fine toothed comb wanting him to be perfect when he’s not. I take his assessments as a personal failure. Why didn’t I teach him the things he needed to know to succeed on their measure of success?
Knowing these things about myself and needing a break, we opted back into private school after our year of travel. I have never been 100% happy with his school, but everyone always says that no school is perfect. I pushed my gut feelings aside and continued to send him to an environment that felt safe and loving even if he wasn’t learning much at all.
Fast forward to March 2020 and here we are faced with a lockdown and no in-person school. My son was ecstatic. He was so happy to be home, working on his projects, discovering things he didn’t even know he wanted to learn. He made time to do the little bits of school work sent across, but it was just to check the boxes. He wasn’t interested in learning it, just being done with it so he could move on.
Within a week of being home he started to say he didn’t want to go back at all this year. Or the next year. He wanted to give homeschooling a chance again. Even with a teacher who has low patience, yells more than necessary and isn’t always loving and supportive.
This made me sad and happy. Sad that he has been attending a school for so long that he just didn’t feel worked for him even though he seemed happy. He would remark to me “Don’t you remember those days when I would cry on the way to school saying it was a waste of my day?”