Monday, August 5, 2013

A Day Filled With Doubts and Fears

Today has been a day plagued with doubts and fears.  

I don't see how it is possible to accomplish all of this.

I don't think I can do it.

Have I made a huge mistake?

Are my kids going to be able to do all of this?

Should I have chosen a different curriculum?

Can they get as good of an education if I don't use this curriculum?

Can they get a good education if I'm overwhelmed by the curriculum we're using?

Will we enjoy this?  Will there be any joy in our days?

Are we setting out into a school year filled with drudgery?

Honestly, I don't recall any school year feeling this overwhelming and hopeless and intimidating and miserable as this one feels on Day 3.  Frankly, I'm a little terrified.

We've had a tough year.  The first half of 2013 was solidly marked by The Unknown.  And Hard Stuff.  We took off June and July from all school work to have time to rest, recover, and experience joy.  I thought we were all set and ready to go.  And yet here I am, freshly plunged into the icy waters of the new school year, with a panic attack lurking just below the surface.  

So what is a homeschooling mother to do?

I am reminding myself that....

We may not get it all done.  But we will get a whole lot of it done.  And since we are aiming high, wherever we land will be ok.

It might be a "mistake."  That's ok.  It won't kill us.  It's a curriculum/program choice, for goodness sake.  I am free to employ an additional observation point through this school year to evaluate and inform my decisions for the next year.  We'll stay the course for this year and see what we think from there.  Because you never know when PMS or stress or lack of sleep or being over-informed might mess with your head and whisper scary stories in your ear while you try to carry on through your school days.  One thing I have learned well in almost 2 decades of homeschooling is to Ride It Out.  See what the consistent, long-term thoughts are.  Don't make any big decisions based on sudden bursts of extreme feelings.

Can they get a better education elsewhere?  Sure, probably.  There are always other paths that could have produced other outcomes.  We all have our journey, which includes all that we experience, and excludes everything else.  No educational setting can give a person everything.  What I *hope* to be able to give is a love of learning, and an understanding of how to learn.  I hope to give them the tools they need to do whatever they want to do.  I'm pretty sure we can accomplish that with whatever curriculum we use.

I don't know if my kids will enjoy or thrive with their programs this year.  Just like I never know if they will like brass band festivals or celtic music or a particular kind of art or new recipes or going to a theatrical performance or a trip to the zoo.  I keep giving them a variety of experiences and then see what happens, because I believe you never know what will inspire a person.  So, the same applies here.  While one child may have discovered a passionate hatred for geography, another might find that he is extremely interested in cartography.  You never know.

Will there be joy?  Yes.  Because I couldn't survive without it.  We have a family culture that is fun and playful and chill, and not even the rigors (man-oh-man if I see the words "rigorous education" one more time today I am going to scream!) of Latin or Logic can take that away from us.  If we have to make up jokes and crazy dances and raps about ad hominem attacks or 5th declension noun endings, we will.  You can find us acting like crazies in the kitchen.  Count on it.

1 comment:

really.truly said...

I'm not sure how I found your blog, but I enjoy it....and can relate to you! The fears are normal and I actually think a good thing. It keeps us on our toes now and then and maybe motivates us a little. Or, it keeps us up at night with worry. Probably both! I'm with you- we are a chill family and a mom who wants the best for her kids. I am also SO tired of the word " rigorous".

Tweak or stop the books that are not working! Do what works best for you!