This October

Although we homeschooled throughout the summer months, there was a heightened level of instruction that started after Labor Day.

It’s been about a month since fourth grade started and I am pleased at the progress.  Most days we are completing our state history and geography lessons, two pages of math, reading the book that goes with our social studies and reading a chapter or two for enjoyment.

In addition to this daily work, we are doing swimming lessons, taking neighborhood walks, watching YouTube videos about whatever interest us, and complete one or two Minecraft modding lessons a week.

This feels good.

I would like to see his love of drawing and story writing return. Both of these favorite past times disappeared when school became too painful.

I wished he would start piano lessons again or  pick another instrument to explore. Isn’t every child supposed to endure some sort of music lesson for a little while?

Not likely, at least for now.

Other homeschooling parents remind me to slow down, enjoy it. Remember there are no pressures or time restrictions that say that you must be finished with your Lewis and Clark studies by mid-October.

This is a hard habit to break for this ol’ classroom teacher.

Honestly, I’m still most comfortable using a plan book and checking my lessons against grade level standards.

Although my planning isn’t as flowing as some homeschooling mamas, it is clear that the more flexible day works well.

Food, drink and bathroom breaks happen as needed. Swimming lessons require more energy and often result in a less strenuous academic day.

Even petting the family fur children seems to help with harder lessons or more accurately described as “the boring stuff that I don’t want to do.”

Yes, in our family…homeschooling includes some of the not-so-fun stuff; however, the benefit of being able to balance that with his interests and strengths continues to prove to be valuable.

Is everyday perfect?  No, but if I look at our learning across a week, it looks good.

Because I am a recent convert, I still have worries.

I wonder if he will be able to sustain testing situations for possible gifted programs or college?

I wonder if he is missing opportunities to make neighborhood friends?

I wonder if he will be able to return to a group learning environment?

I wonder what this means for my teaching? My writing?

The other day, we happened to take our neighborhood walk at the same time that his old school was having recess.

I felt sad when I heard all the children screaming and laughing. I imagined that he felt sad too.

I asked him if he missed it. He quickly answered no.

I wasn’t convinced.

I asked again, “I’m sure that you miss something…like recess?

His answer surprised me. It shouldn’t have, but it did.

“Can’t you hear all that? Why would I miss that?  I hated that!”

There it was. It was the proof that I wanted. It was the perfect reminder that while school and those recess sounds are fun and invigorating for most, it was not fun for mine.

I’m not sure how to alleviate my concerns about his future, but I know that at this time, in this October, home is where he needs to be.

6 thoughts on “This October

  1. Good for you for listening for what’s important to him. I’m sure you’ll find a way to make sure your concerns are addressed too. 🙂 But I totally understand the worries in both directions.

  2. I really like your approach to homeschooling. I never thought I would consider doing it myself (for various reasons), but I did feel like I was doing my own little informal homeschooling this summer with my 4 y.o. He needed the extra intellectual stimulation, and he seemed to enjoy it when it was just to two of us. It was emotionally taxing for me, but also rewarding.

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