For the person who digs deep I feel like I have to explain myself 🙂
We started this journey so simply thinking about math and reading and teaching my kids to be obedient to my direction, yet free thinkers and hard workers. It’s so easy to feel like you’re not doing enough and so with those feelings we began to join groups, even when we moved I managed to have not one group but two up and running within the year. I love being with people and gathering people BUT they’re so hard to manage and it takes so much time away from what I really want to be doing.
If you’ve read this far you know we have 7 children and our youngest three are adopted. Two years ago, after 4 years of belonging with us I couldn’t fit our then 15 year old into this tangle of curriculum that I’d tied us into with hurricane strapping. My book shelves, colored boxes and filing systems all focused on the curriculum. That along with a scout program that he never found compelling. So, off to government school and down the rabbit hole of future incarceration.
What a joke that year of highschool was. It started off with me thinking he was back to lying because he told me things like, they don’t post the grades, they aren’t allowed to give homework, he had to bring extra supplies because some kids couldn’t afford it. (at the free government school?) Well, when I contacted a teacher she told me it was all true. Can you imagine? Well you may imagine that they must work really hard during the 8 or so hours they’re at school but you’d be wrong. 9th grade English, one book of your choice and only excerpts of a very few others. He happened to get the best grade on the 9th grade Algebra test yet an F on the state test (which by the way is still passing? I’m serious) and to top it off in the Ag Mechanics class that was 18 weeks long 50 minutes a day, that’s 75 hours, and the only product was a pre-threaded, pvc sprinkler head because God forbid you use glue because that’s dangerous!
I realized I couldn’t do worse and it so happens the year he was at school I set aside most of the curriculum to work on math and reading with the 6 and 7 year old. It was really freeing!
This year that now 17 year old has made a variety of things like welding a rabbit hutch, doing a great geography project, staying on top of his math at his own pace, and reading more than one whole book for sure. He’s been working with older neighbors learning some extra skills in cabinetry and welding etc. Doing his chores, keeping his room clean along with lots of cooking, which he loves.
So, as I look out into the future, since our youngest is 8 AND the grand children are starting to show up I think . . . . .
I want to return to the garden and all of the learning that takes place around it,
I want to share what we’re learning with others so they don’t have to make the same mistakes
I want to gather resources that everyone can use and contribute to so we can all have a more sustainable home based learning experience.