Friday, January 20, 2012

Ideal vs. Realistic....finding the balance

As a homeschooling mother, this is the time of year I begin planning for the upcoming school year. We school pretty much year round, with our new fiscal year beginning in July after our summer break. This year will be my first year with 4 students and also the first year of "official" education for my youngest most active and spirited child. Which of course makes it all that much more interesting! ;) It also makes me feel an even greater need to be well prepared for our days. My struggle is finding balance. I don't want to create an unrealistic, unattainable idea of the perfect school day or else it will seem as a failure, or at least a disappointment, on the days that we are unable to achieve for whatever reason. Our lives at this stage demand flexibility. So where is the balance? Where do I place the emphasis? How much advanced preparation is necessary? How do we maintain a natural learning environment while still fulfilling the necessary academic requirements? How do I incorporate grades K-8th? And how do I keep it fun for us all?
 I think I cycle through a similar list nearly every year at this time. And the truth is, while we have developed routines and consistencies with curriculum and learning styles, each and every year has been different. The one thing that remains the same....the reason I even entertained the idea of homeschool in the first place....I absolutely LOVE spending my days, every day, with my children! I love watching them learn and being the one that not only encourages that, but first hand experiences those moments when it all comes together. When words come to life. When numbers create traceable rhythm. When storytime and storytelling are a choice greeted with anticipation. When life is learning and learning is life.

So, while we may not achieve that "perfect" day....whatever that may be, we are growing. We are learning. Together. And it is good.

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