Monday, August 29, 2005

More thoughts again

In the past, I found that super-rigorous didn't work at all for us (for ME or for my kids) and that too little structure made me frustrated and uneasy, and my kids stressed. They felt that the expectations went underground there, and that was probably a true perception. I still had expectations, but I wasn't giving them clear clues how to meet them.

Nowadays, I tend to try things, and then back off if there is a lot of resistance, and try it a different way. I suppose that COULD be called unschooling, in a certain sense of the word. I don't like "schooly" activities and avoid them for my sake as much as because the kids don't like them. Our homeschool is fairly relaxed.

However, it keeps close enough ties to conventionality that if the kids get motivated to excel, they have the basic grounding.

But it doesn't flow from day to day life and interests -- it flows more from a vision of what academics should look like. I don't feel I'm expressing myself well there. I don't have rigid expectations of how learning should look, YET I do have this sort of ideal, and the ideals of classical education (which resemble CM's in the big picture, to me) are the closest to my ideal. I know I've gone on and on about this before, so I won't do it again.

I like the "Homeschooling with Gentleness" vision because it keeps to a minimum of 3Rs and leaves a lot of leeway for the "4Reals". I feel our homeschool needs some more exploring, mentoring time, that it's gotten a bit too compartmentalized -- me saying "Do this and that," and the kids doing it to be done so they can get on with life. ... while I am getting through it for the same reason, so that I can basically chill and get away from them -- exaggerating a bit there but it has been a trend at times.

It makes me feel anxiety though to think of cutting back even that much. My plans are a bit of a security blanket, giving me a way to interact with the kids and disciple them, even if it's a bit artificial. I still can't quite see what to replace them with.

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