4/11/10

once upon a time I was falling in love, now I'm only falling apart...

There's nothing I can do
A total eclipse of the heart.

That's right, I found my throwback American Idol CD where Jessica Sierra does a kickin' version of that song. So I jammed out to it for most of the morning (with occasional breaks to croon along with Scott What's-his-face singing Against All Odds- another classic)

And by the way- don't you think that is a great song lyric (referring to the title of this post)? I do. In fact, I might say I. Like. Those. Lyrics. except that I made a personal promise to not get into that fad of over punctuation- so I'm not going to say it like that. I'll just say I really dig that song.

Well, I'm back from the homeschool conference. I feel a little bit of that old familiar high you get when returning from youth camp- you know what I mean? Kind of all revved up about life and where I'm at and what God's doing and where I'm headed. It was a good conference and I think I got some needed clarity on a few of the questions that were stirring in my mind. And I got to browse curriculum which was way fun. And I got to bop around Lincoln with my friend, Teresa, who is just a party waiting to happen. And I drank a lot of fountain drinks. So all in all, I had a blast. You can join me next year, if you want.

I am planning to sum up some thoughts from that time but it's still all a little raw. So I don't know where to start in trying to post about it. Here's a few random thoughts.

I was surprised that there weren't very many people in long jean skirts and waist-length hair. Yes- I know that homeschool stereotype is probably decades old...but I dunno. Most of the people I met were just everyday moms who made a choice to educate their children differently.

I was freed by the reality that the education of my children doesn't need to look like anybody else's. The point of homeschooling is not to create a mini version of school in my dining room, to imitate education as I experienced it. We are choosing to do this because on a deep heart level we believe different things about education and want to give that to our kids.

I was excited about all the possibilities.

I was relieved to learn (in multiple workshops citing multiple different sources) that early reading is not in any way linked to academic success. (Drew is 5 and not reading- though he can decode words- and I was starting to panic that I was already behind). New studies are suggesting that academic success is more closely linked to parental support, a variety of experiences, plenty of physical development in gross and fine motor skills (lots of PLAY), and exposure and interaction with literature. I breathed a sigh of relief.

I was thankful for my education. I love to read. I had so many opportunities and experiences through travel and proactive parenting in general. The decision to homeschool certainly is not a reaction to my own education, but instead a thoughtful choice based on our location, kids, and the dreams and schemes we have for our own little ones.

I was thrilled to attend the workshop for Math-U-See, a math curriculum I had read about. I enjoyed the demonstration and bought it- an uncommonly quick decision for me, but I was convinced it was right.

I was a little perplexed about what other curriculum to pursue for Drew's kindergarten year. I had a tentative plan to be part of a homeschool group that is pretty heavy academically, but I'm not convinced it's going to help us best meet our goals. I'm considering E.D. Hirsch's Core Knowledge series (the curriculum that I student taught with. That man is a genius- why is no one in public education getting that?) I am excited by that idea but intimidated- it isn't a formal curriculum in that you just hand a workbook page. It would require quite a bit of preparation on my part...so we'll see.

So there's a few of the things I am thinking through. What an adventure. I feel a little akin to when I got engaged and would think to myself, "Wow...I'm really doing this. I'm getting married...." except that it's more like "Woah. I'm really doing this. I'm going to homeschool." Who knew?

Big week ahead- house guests, book club, appointments, Ella on the brink of walking, and little men who are adjusting to the wide world of the backyard (hence the need to google "chipped baby tooth" and "is there a limit to how much sand a 2 year old should eat?")

Over and out.

2 comments:

rachel said...

I love talking homeschool stuff- and wholeheartedly agree with lots of stuff you said!

I'd love to try to get together - somehow - with you guys when we come back. We'll be home for 8 months, so surely sometime in there we could make it happen...?

I know you'll have a great time making your choices and getting things ready for whenever you decide to start - it's true how very many choices there are. (Not great for very indecisive people like myself!)

My biggest issue has been scheduling - trying to fit in the things I want to fit in during Abby's naptimes...because, let's face it...nothing of substance happens when I have to divert a toddler from climbing on top of the table or coloring on the couch with whiteboard markers. =)

Great times ahead, friend!

Lucy said...

Becky! EVERY TIME... EVERY single time I hear this song I think of you all because one time I was writing you a letter filled with all kinds of things and this was playing in the background and now it is forever in my memory as the Swanberg theme song.
HAHAHAHAHA Oh this made me laugh and say that is crazy!