My Journey in Pounds

Friday, October 31, 2014

I'm about to unschool y'all!

As I'm starting to write this I have no idea what I'm going to write about or title it.  But here I go!

This week has not been very successful in a lot of areas.  It's been a lot of driving from one end of town to another.  In all that driving any rhythym or semblance of a routine - as a homeschooling mom, as a healthy-ish mom, as a pet owner, as a wife, as a believer - vanished like the smoke from my exhaust.  Which stinks because I rely so heavily on a sense of routine.

Habits and routine relieves stress because it's less decisions I have to make.  Less of a conscious process - and therefore easier for me to focus and think about other things.  This week, the majority of my thinking has been focused on driving with a manual transmission (a skill I have not mastered), on figuring out what to eat between appointments so that the kids don't go starving for 12 hours straight the way I might be likely to.  On not forgetting appointments or forgetting to make follow up appointments at these appointments.  Fun times!

But life happens sometimes, and we all got through it time.  I didn't have any significant health/fitness related achievements and honestly I ate anything I could.  But the kids put their brain to the test with their assessments at school and blew everything out of the water.  I'm super proud of their hard work. I'm also super happy that they can go through these things without fussing and complaining. 

Their assessments covered their learning styles, emotional quotent, values, cognitive skills, and a few more I can't remember off the top of my head.  I'm happy that not a lot of things revealed were surprises - it all felt like confirmation to what God was showing me about my kids through prayer.  I'm also grateful that Frontier Charter School supported me by doing these assessments one on one and giving me practical tools that will help me help them.  The assessments are worth $400 per child + staff time.  I paid nothing out of pocket.

I learned that homeschooling was probably the best decision for my children.  Anakin is a tactile learner and has improved memory and critical thinking skills when he's engaging his large muscle groups, so sitting in a classroom for 7 hours straight is probably not the best place for him to reach is full potential.  Brielle is an auditory learners and very much a creative free-spirit - but our school system's curriculum is designed for visual learners and in a very concrete fashion.  Would they survive in public school - yes.  Would they thrive? Just enough.

I discovered that Anakin is really smart because he works 3 times as hard than the average kid to learn what they are learning.  I also discovered that he has a very harsh, unforgiving view of himself.  Things we can work on.

They both are so much further ahead than their grade level that we could, in theory, take a year off and they'd still be ahead.  However, in practice, I can't slow down learning.  My kids will always read.  They'll always work on math concepts and build on that.  They'll always explore and use scientific processes to understand biology and physics around them.  We can't turn it off - it could be at 7pm while we're watching TV.  It's the beauty of an open, non-pressure, non-testing perspective of learning.  And they still have chance to play and do chores.  Which both are so importants!  For their sanity and mine!

But I am considering going lighter on the bookwork and focusing more on our Bible studies, on sports/physical skills, and on crafts/hobbies.  Why not?  We all could use a little more living, a little less same ol' same ol.

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