So I finished my first week of homeschool, and am staring the start of the second right in the eye. As is my wont, I spent a large part of the week in pointless and soul-sucking introspection, wondering if in fact I was doing the right thing - especially when the whine of I'm BORED! sounded on the first afternoon. Let's be very clear, my dear readers: it is not without conflict and drama-filled trepidation that we decided to go this route.
But it was a happy week when Madam Teacher forgot her navel-gazing for a few minutes here and there. We found an easy pace: a cheerful energy of busy-ness, with workbooks, dry erase boards, and a few Dick & Jane stories. We searched high and low for rectangles and squares in the house, we added [and subtracted! mmm..] cookies at snack time, and we learned about surface tension with a giant-sized bubble wand.
At the end of every school day, I was filled with butterflies-fluttering nervous energy - very much like the feeling of riding a two wheeler on your own the very first time. I'm doing it! I'm really truly doing it!
Tonight I came across this video, and it stopped me short. In it, Kirsten Dirksen talks about her slower-paced childhood, her constant conflict of busy-ness and stillness in parenting, and the critical importance of achieving a pace of life that fits for your child. She uses terms like 'slow parenting', 'free-range parenting,' and 'idle parenting' - all of these phrases intended to describe the idea that perhaps our children need less - less scheduling, less focus, less playthings - rather than more.
When I finished watching this, I had the same butterflies-fluttering feeling again. And I realized that what I was feeling was the fluttering of hope within me.
Hope that as a parent I may be finding the path towards what Dirksen calls "a good pace." Hope that we are creating the space to find the right speed. Hope that my children will see more of me reading - reading to myself.
Hope that by diverging from the Official Path in this small way, I will find a trail that is a good match for my little tribe.
I am full of hope, all of the sudden, and that? Is no bad thing for a teacher.
I'm posting on Hope as part of Bridget Chumbley's One Word at a Time Blog Carnival. But keep your eyes peeled - hope is going to be a theme for the blog this week. There's a fair amount I'm hopeful about these days. Again, no bad thing.