homeschooling, homemaking, homesteading...home.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

School daze, part 1

This is the time of year that I get to feel a little sheepish. I'm certain that I don't want my little ones in school. But, oh wait--they aren't the only kids in the house. They have two older half-brothers, who have just completed their first week of school.

So I get to feel all conflicted and guilty and defensive and stuff. Why treat them differently? Oh, there are many reasons...the others are already acclimated to school. One of them is even doing well. They have friends and activities. Blah, blah, blah. But mostly...they are my stepsons. And despite the fact that they are with me more than both of their biological parents, the fact remains that, well, I'm not their biological parent. There's more resistance there...a bit more mistrust...a bit more hesitation on my part...and of course, a truckload of relatives who have much stronger ideas about the whole thing than I do.

And frankly, I don't know if I *could* homeschool the older ones. Nor am I sure that I would want to. Perhaps that makes me a hypocrite, but at least I am an honest one.

But hey--I just found a new Yahoo! group for parents who don't homeschool all members of their brood. So it's been done, and the respective gods of public school and unschooling won't be smiting me. Or at least not only me.

There's another other interesting thing that has left me feeling conflicted this week. I'm glad that the big kids are back in school. Not because I don't want them around (although it is often easier to run errands with two rather than four, but I digress). No, it's more a matter of me feeling more grounded in a day with at least a loose schedule. I can I be so attracted to unstructured time and unschooling learning and say such a thing? (I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm a Virgo.) I like having the freedom to choose what we'll do and when...but I like the framework of "so-and-so leaves at this time, so-and-so gets home at this other time, and dinner will be at X o'clock" to kind of keep some sense of order. I should probably go do a personal journaling thingy on this's kind of a commentary on my personality, and I'm all about introspection.


I apologize for the dearth of new posts recently. The little guys are keeping me extremely busy. The baby in particular has not wanted to sleep much, and Murphy's Law of mothers and computers seems to dictate that any time Mom finds a few minutes to try to frantically key in a few thoughts, someone (or for extra fun, two or more someones) will have an immediate and desperate need for attention. Sigh. Repeat...they will only be little once. They will only be little once...

Things we've learned lately? Cayden has a few new "words", he's picked up the open-palm "I don't know" shrug (which is SO damn cute, I loved it with Theo too), and he's learned to use the push-bike. Theo has learned to use a pedal-bike, he's rediscovered an interest in drawing and is starting his first attempts at people, and has acquired his first pet (a goldfish). I am learning that I hate the thought of documenting everything...or even trying to (see previous paragraph), and am therefore dreading the eventual necessity of dealing with all of PA's reporting regulations. Bah. I've been spending a lot of time online reading up, lurking on message boards, and asking questions. Which is also stressing me out. Let's face it, I won't have to deal with this for quite a few more years yet...but I'm a pre-emptive worrier (family trait, thanks Mom) and overplanner. Of course, the irony is that I'm all full of resentment about the eventual paperwork sucking the fun out of my kids' learning journey...and here I am letting my concerns about future hassles do exactly that, right now.

Repeat, again. They will only be little once. They will only be little once...


  1. So glad you're "back"! Sounds like you've been fun-busy! I really think (fwiw) that you're doing the right thing about hs/school for the four boys - at least right now. Who knows? Maybe things will change in the future, but for now it seems to me as though this is the most workable solution. Makes perfect sense to me, anyway. And I can definitely see what you mean about liking to have some outer structure to your days. It's good to have a rhythm and a routine. That doesn't mean you're not an unschooler. And (to respond to your latest post at the same time as this one), I think it's absolutely fine to have loved school (as I did too) but to also realize that it's not necessarily the best way for everyone (or even anyone) to learn. And I too love September and buying new supplies. I love me some new Post-it Notes and pens! And a blank composition book or notepad? Can't get much better than that unless there's chocolate involved! (Okay, that's sad, isn't it? :) )

  2. Oh, Christine. Thanks so much for your comments! It does mean a lot, especially coming from someone who's already "in the trenches". You must realize that you're one of my many mentors... :)