Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Trust

(the photo above has nothing really to do with this post... I just feel all posts should have a photo)

That's my word for 2009 for our homeschooling journey.... TRUST. This all has to do with the epiphany I alluded to in an earlier post.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and here's where I'm at right now...

I need to TRUST my children more on this journey.

I need to TRUST that when they balk at certain things and struggle with others, it is not (always) because they're being difficult and don't want to work that day... but because whatever we were doing doesn't work for them. It doesn't fit their interests, their learning style or the pace they need to work at. I have been extremely guilty of trying to cram Clara into Alex's mold and getting frustrated when it doesn't work. I need to see that it is not always defiance at work, but her need for something different.

I need to TRUST that left to their own devices at times they actually come up better "educational experiences" than I could have ever have thought up for them. Plus there's the added bonus of their enthusiasm for those projects they devise themselves.

I need to rethink my TRUST in "curriculum". Okay... that sounds odd... I'm not saying that I don't trust curriculum.... but I'm talking more about my thinking that somewhere out there is the perfect curriculum that will solve ALL of my homeschooling problems.

I need to TRUST myself in my thought that the way I learned in school is not the only way to learn. There is no one right way to learn, different things work for different people.

I need to TRUST myself as the facilitator of my children's educations. Notice that I did not say "teacher".... I am the facilitator. We will learn together, I will provide educational opportunities, I will gather materials, I will say "oh, I didn't know that... tell me more".... my job is not really to teach them anything, but to help them learn.

I may have more to add to this but at least I've got the start of it written down.

Funny thing is... this whole thing came from a freak out I had about spelling. I kept looking for that one "perfect" curriculum that would magically teach my children to spell. Then I thought about school spelling programs a moment.... they don't exactly teach a child to spell (stay with me here)... they give them word lists, spelling rules, some worksheets and tests... just like almost every curriculum I had looked at and/or purchased (I have quite a collection). Where the child truly learns to spell is outside of this curriculum either through activities created by the teacher or at home with their parents... through a myriad of ways... drills, flashcards, writing out the words, spelling games, computer games, etc. The list goes on and on... but it all comes down to what works best for that particular child. I needed to stop looking for a curriculum to solve my problem for me, I need to trust my children when things didn't work and I needed to trust that I could come up with ways that would help facilitate the learning to spell process.

So, here we are at the beginning of 2009 with a fresh outlook on our homeschooling journey... let's see where it leads.

4 comments:

Alycia in Va. said...

I've seen a few posting about having a word of the year. I like the "Trust". I too at times have trouble with self-doubt. Especially when it comes to educating Alex and giving her opportunities. There is just soo much pressure out there for kids these days....and parents.

Amy said...

I really agree with you! I am always torn between following the kids' interests and following the curriculum we have chosen. They are always so motivated and happy to learn when it is something they have chosen to study. They always seem to know what is best for themselves and how they learn best... and it is not always the same for each child. No matter how much time I put into planning the "perfect" learning activity it seems they always have a fascinating and creative way to learn it on their own. I love your statement about being a facilitator as opposed to a teacher! Thank you for all of your wonderful posts!

Jocelyne said...

Great perspective. I am struggling with similar things as we truly begin our homeschooling journey. And I really like how you said you are not a teacher but a facilitator for learning - love that - it is so very true.

A Family On Fire said...

This was so encouraging! We (I) too had been struggling with how to school, which curriculum was better, which direction we needed to go, etc etc. Your post was so honest about the same struggles and questions. And it has really encouraged me to take a look at what we had decided to use and what we are finding will work the best for our family. Thank you so much for all your sharing - it has been so encouraging (especially since I'm still so new and uncertain of myself in this new role)!