Sunday, April 14, 2013

Home/School

       (Rooms)





  My studies have, so far, been wonderful. I've noticed a change in myself which is obviously the desired objective. That's not so mysterious. But, my love of books has doubled, tripled... maybe more. I spent all winter reading reading reading. I find I understand the art of the drama better than I do anything so far (imagine that). I enjoy it the most, to be sure. But I am also studying French, brushing up on my skills.... I may need them when I end up in France (you never know?!). I was going to drop that class because it was so tedious for a while. I had lost my initial excitement because--well-- I don't really know why. But, I did. Then I realized it would be a waste to drop it, so I kept going. That class in and of itself is changing me. I feel like I am drifting off toward a sunny spot when I am studying. Then I feel like I drift off into a very dark place when I worry about how I am going to make this work in the long term. It's all okay, but this dreary weather isn't helping my levels of optimism.

    Our boy is almost 12 years old. That means and entire new level of freedom is coming my way because he is able to take on some new responsibilities. I feel like everything is new, yet old. He's growing up quickly, but it has taken forever. At any rate, we did it. We met our goals (to a degree). We wanted to always have one or the other of us home with our children. No daycare. I realize we were lucky with this, in some ways. Some parents don't really have a choice, and I get that. I didn't have a career and I am not a single mom. I have had a few choices in the matter and I realize that is not always the case.We experimented a little with two incomes, daycare, whatnot... but it was not for us, in general. Not for me, in particular. I look back over these last (almost) 12 years and I see that we've done our best. Always. And I can live with that. No regrets. Not yet, anyway.

   Being a parent is the highest calling (may I be ever faithful). My perspective of mother hood is changing, however. My children are moving away from babyhood to adolescence. It's scary. I was a horror of a child when I hit my teens. I was not an easy person to love. I am not sure if my "ways" were due to life circumstances or if I was (am?) inherently disturbed. So, to say I am a little freaked out about this approaching phase would an understatement. I want to be there. I want to be tuned in. But I also want to let go a little. The right way. What exactly does that involve, anyway? Does anybody know what the hard and fast rules are? We have so many things to consider. The world is not what it was. It seems like there are assholes on every corner sometimes. It's hard to always see the good. But there is good. Lots of good, good, good. I want to rediscover the good with them. I always want to find a fine line between their independence and their security. Oh gosh. I could carry on about this forever.

   We are still homeschooling. I don't think we are your traditional homeschooling parents though. Things get pretty seriously academic around here. Books all over the table. Maps out. Magnifying glasses at the ready. We do science experiments. We read read read. We talk to the point of exhaustion sometimes. We clean the house together. We buy groceries together. Everything is shared. We work together. We study together. This is still all very new to me and it seems strange sometimes because we have a definitive ideal in this aspect of our life. I think it stems from the fact that public school was such as dismal failure to us. Ian had a teacher tell him he would never be university material and that stuck with him. Yet, I know for a fact that he is more than capable. As for me, I applied to university and got accepted and would have gone but for the fact that my family was expected to contribute some money to the cause (a minimal amount in hindsight) and my mom just didn't have it. I could have used a little guidance, but I never felt like there was anyone to actually go to in high school for things like that. Basically, what I am saying is, I think we want to allow our kids to understand themselves a little better than we did growing up. We want them to embrace their potential, we don't want it to be shot down. So, that's why we homeschool. The irony is that maybe we are living vicariously through them, maybe we are not. But we are comparing our experiences to theirs. Schools today may be much better than they were for us. Then again, nobody was getting shot at school back then so I do have to wonder... Anyway. Yes. Everyone is always worried about the social aspect of a home-schooled child's life. I say bollocks to that. I say friendships come and go. I say a solid personal foundation is more important for the present. When my kids really decide to strike out into friendships beyond their immediate circle, those friendships will be much more meaningful and lasting.

   I will be starting my third term next month. I only take three courses per term so I will be at this for a while as I work towards my degree. I am actually very glad to have a plan. I know what I should be doing when I get up in the morning. My restlessness is not as bad as it used to be. Being a stay-at-home mom is seriously the hardest thing I have ever done. My Sagittarius nature does NOT like to be tied down. Yes, I believe in astrology.

 





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