Take a Step Back
I’d put on the calendar that today I would begin introducing the boys to our homeschooling journey. We've discussed homeschooling and how "Mommy will be your teacher," but this was to be the week we’d begin a more strict schedule, make sure the basics (math, reading, and handwriting) were hit each day and generally developing the mindset of “we have learning to do.”
I was really excited about the activities I had planned. First, Max and I would read the first chapter in our math book, Life of Fred, while Isaac worked on a counting activity with cars and trucks. I'd just purchased a brand new handwriting book so Max could practice his lowercase letters. Later in the afternoon we’d head to the library to pick out some books, do a little reading and maybe, just maybe I'd time our arrival to coincide with the petting zoo program being offered that day.
The best laid plans, right? We were "off schedule" by 8am when breakfast wasn't ready and one kiddo was still sleeping. Isaac loved his activity but Max wanted to do what his little brother was doing instead of reading Life of Fred. In fact, he asked me, “Tomorrow, can Isaac start with the book and I’ll start with the trucks?” The boys had ZERO interest in attending the petting zoo and instead begged that we get back home so they could play basketball with the neighbor (so glad he was home because I would have been the one to shoot baskets in 100* heat with them if not). I felt like I was forcing things instead of letting them happen organically, which was what had been happening up to this point with amazing results.
I was frustrated, but it didn’t take me long to realize that it felt like I was forcing things because I was. Until today, handwriting practice came in the form of writing to our pen-pals, not copying letters out of a workbook. Until today, there was no school “time.” We just found answers to our questions whenever this questions popped into our heads, explored new places, made observations about our surroundings.
I know that we will find our grove. I know that homeschooling will work for us. So tomorrow, I will take a step back and repeat to myself over and over again why we are here in the first place: Children can and will learn without being forced into it. Learning is instinctive.