Saturday, September 13, 2008
Call us unschoolers, if you must...
Our family doesn't/can't operate on a real schedule. With a law enforcement husband, the grandiosity of Saturday/Sunday quickly faded because very often, days we can hang out as a family are not the traditional weekend, but instead some random Tuesday/Wednesday combo. Trying to plan, or relying on the days my husband is told he has off, doesn't much fly. I've done this cop wife thing long enough to know that when my dear husband gives me a supposed "work schedule", it will most likely change completely within the next 72 hours.
I came into life as a total anal retentive planner, and yet, homeschooling was sold to my husband partly as a great way to work around his schedule. (You can see where the issue might arise...) So in the very beginning it was me trying to plan school-at-home around his work schedule. Which was fine when his schedule didn't change. But when it did, I was freaking out about my lesson plans being behind. I would map out the month, and within two weeks, we were already "off". We'd not "do school" when Dad was home because, seriously...what kid, if they haven't seen their dad for a week, is going to care the least about long vowel sounds or counting to 100? Bring on the Daddy Love! Which was great for them and Dad, but then I was left with this Nag Lady in the pit of my stomach silently trying to change lesson plans while I was supposed to be enjoying the fact that my husband was home. Makes a great deal of sense, I know.
Long story short, I read some books (which I'll eventually get into a list on the right side) and changed our song and dance. There are so many different ways out there to learn, and I think you have to just find the one that works for your family. I think "unschooling", at this point in life, is our gig. The label can be a little wonky; from what I have read, there are about a gazillion definitions to the term. But at the heart of it, I think those dreaded "unschoolers" are what this family is destined to be.