This weekend was a holiday for us. November 11th was Remembrance Day. We had friends from out of town visiting this weekend, we have had family dinners, we have slept in and relaxed.
By Tuesday everyone had left, some family was catching up on work and I was at home with my 2 children and my 3 nieces. I thought we would get some homeschool projects started before my nieces came over but that didn’t happen. Ronan and I did get a chance to discuss his story that he has been writing and slowly adding to over the last two years. He has finished the first story in his saga and is working on the second story. He read the first story out loud to us. It is about a sturgeon fish named Yuri. It’s quite the adventure, I love it.
But that brings me back to the subject of homeschool. I know a fear that comes up for me and other homeschool moms that I have spoken to is the fear of being “good enough” homeschoolers, or “doing enough”. Will our children be behind the others? Will they measure up? I would be lying if I said this never crossed my mind. We have an unschooling approach to homeschool, but I was raised in the traditional schooling approach. After all of your young life being molded into that structure, it becomes hard to shake those rules and ideas. Especially when the adult life you live is opposite to that.
So sometimes I worry. Did we do enough this week? Am I letting them play too much? Should we be sitting down at our table more? Should I plan a lesson for them tomorrow?
Then I remember my daily practice of “letting go.”
So I watched yesterday as the 5 kids decided to do what they have been doing regularly for over the last month. They baked, and they played “school”.
I watched as they decided to try their cupcake recipe again, but with revisions.
My niece Hanley wrote down the ingredients and steps as they went along. Every child had a turn at suggestions, adding, pouring, mixing. They cleaned up after they were done and when the cupcakes came out of the oven they were delicious!
They then all decided to play “school”.
My oldest niece was the teacher and I loved watching as she crafted their school day. She assigned a teaching partner to each one. She had my niece Hanley work with my son to teach him cursive. She had my daughter Zahra work with my niece Thiery to practice her reading. She asked me to help her complete some papers that she was designing a group exercise on. Wow!
All the kids were happy, engaged, and working hard. I smile as I write this and reflect on their level of engagement and enthusiasm. This is what homeschooling is all about.
The kids are the teachers. They have fun. They learn through play.
They “played school” until we sat down for dinner. They even ended their school day with a field trip of the kitchen as my husband and I finished up dinner. They called it the Soup Kitchen visit, and asked questions at each cooking station.
The amount of learning, creation, and fun that they engaged in was fantastic to observe. There was no enforced table time, no planned out lessons from me. I was an observer, and helper when asked.
My son continued to practice his cursive after everyone had left and we were getting ready for bed. He continued his cursive practice all of the next morning.
So I ask myself again, did we do enough? More than enough.
Am I letting them play too much? Thank god they are playing so much.
Do I need to continue to let go? Absolutely.