I've done it again.
I spent all of last spring and summer obsessing over exactly WHICH curriculum we were going to use, thumbing through huge colorful catalogs, saving up money, drooling over web pages, and chasing down the UPS man. And I ordered and received the PERFECT curriculum! You know, the one that we were all going to love, that was going to end all schooling struggles forever, that was going to make both of my homeschooling children wake up in the morning clamoring for "more school!"
Well, I loved it. I really, truly did. And I love it all still. There is nothing that we were using for eight weeks that made me cringe, cry, or scream.
Let me say that two things happened in our lives at the same time: 1. Overload of life, and 2. A trip to the library. And since those two things don't seem to be linked in normal activity, I'll go a bit more into detail...
We have officially entered into a crazy season of our lives. Hubby is working late two to three nights a week, leaving the majority of the "getting kids where they need to be" trips to me. And those trips? INSANITY. Every afternoon, both girls are playing JV soccer for school--two different schools, mind you. Two nights a week, Firefly heads over to club soccer practice 45 minutes from home. Two nights a week, Turtle and Bug head to club soccer practice 20 minutes away, and of course, flag football season for Bug happened to overlap soccer by several weeks this year, so that's a practice one night and a game another. Add in Young Life, tutoring, parent meetings, church sacrament classes for Turtle and Bug, and, occasionally, a haircut or dentist appointment (both of which I have now had to reschedule twice already this month), and you discover what is meant in our home as insanity. Chaos. Lots and lots and LOTS of hours in the car.
And, hey, did I mention our new puppy?
And of course, to go with our hours in the car, we need reading material. So, right before the crazy season started, we took a trip to the library to stock up. Where I perused the homeschool section--just for fun. Because I am a homeschool nerd and love to read about it when I'm not doing it.
Anyway, there was a new book there, which got me all excited, so I borrowed it. It had some strange title and was a pretty big book, but it was new and it was on homeschooling, so I took it home.
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And now everything is different.
I haven't even read the whole thing yet, but I read enough to become intrigued with the idea of unschooling, or child-led learning. Enough to spend new hours I didn't have playing around on the Internet, searching "how to unschool a sixth-grader" and "scheduling a day of unschooling" (really?!). It has truly become my new obsession--but--with every bit of researching, my conviction and excitement has been growing.
What if my kiddos were given a chance to simply "be" and explore on their own?
What if we didn't spend all morning on a tight schedule--especially since we are spending all afternoon and evening on one right now?
What if I took the time to find the answers to all of the never-ending questions Bug asks all day long, instead of telling him, "we'll look it up later"?
What if my kiddos learned better that way?
What if we gave it a shot?
Last week, on a whim, we just dove in...
Want to read more about our adventures in unschooling? I'll be writing more about how it's going over the next few weeks. I'd love to hear about your homeschooling style as well. Any other unschoolers out there?