Monday, April 06, 2009

Knowing When You're Done

For most of our homeschooling lives, we didn't have a certain amount to do per day. We "did school" most of all day, every day. Learning is so integral to life that it was something we couldn't NOT do. The idea of a school calendar, or school hours, just didn't fit.

But now I have kids who aren't self-compelled to read the encyclopedia, write, or do other auto-didactish things. If I am in charge of deciding what they will learn, and how much they will do, and which resources to use, then homeschooling can no longer be a 14-hr per day, every day of the week, sorta thing. I've never before had to come up with a list of how much is reasonable to accomplish, how much I will require, and be satisfied that nothing may get done beyond what's on the list.

Cleaning the living room today, I looked at those piles of books for the kids, some of which are not being used. Too much is too much. I removed the piles, picked out some schoolbooks to remain on the shelf in the living room, and placed the remaining materials on the appropriate shelves in the basement. I feel like a heel for setting aside the Lyrical Life Science, and the Country Magz book of Depression-era memories, and the drawing lessons, and so many other things that I "should" be doing with the kids. I'm hoping that if we can actually accomplish what we set out to do, there will be some motivation to add a little here or a little there, over time.

But for right now, carrying those books downstairs and shelving them
feels like I'm admitting defeat.

1 comment:

  1. I love those depression-era memory books! That was my favorite part of working at the nursing home, I got to read them at least twice a week.
    I was also thinking Lyrical Life Science is something I should get in the next couple years. Brainwash the children when they're young with fun science songs :-)