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Let me frame this post. Life is grand. We are having a fabulous year. The BEST yet. So please read this post within the context of the hopeful smile that I feel as I write it. :001_smile:

=====================

 

The longer I homeschool, the more clearly I see the two ditches flanking my path. (I used to see them as two opposites that could be merged by applying enough effort. I can't for the LIFE of me figure out why I thought that was a good idea. If I HAD found a way to merge the ditches, then there would have been NO MORE DRY GROUND in between them to stand on! :lol: I would be left standing in the mud forever with NO where to go. SO - NOT any more; I have no desire to merge the two sides. NOW I just want to appreciate them and figure out ways to be at peace with them. I don't want to change them or their courses; I want to change me. :001_smile:)

 

On the one side, I see a delight-directed education. Days filled with interesting activities, inspiring conversations, and a deep interaction with ideas that grow the intellect as well as the soul.

 

And on the other, I see the high-school curriculum. Tests, courses, plans. All of the hoops that prove competence.

I get that - I GET why it's important! I really do!

 

I also think I "get" the notion of the high path between the two; the compromise - a willingness to cede to the reality that left and right can't actually ever meet coupled with the reality that once you find yourself as far south as you can go, the only direction you CAN go in is NORTH; there is just no more "southness" available. Weird, but true. But even within the context of opposites, there are disappointments: Infinity is an idea; you can't actually ever GO THERE - so the mathematical notation always has a soft parenthesis() - never a concrete bracket []. There is just no satisfying end to the pursuit. Once you get tired of heading in the direction of negative infinity, the only place to GO is in the positive direction: even that bouncing exploration can lose it's luster if you've already explored the positive direction before. Neither is incredibly satisfying once you understand more fully the nature of your pursuit. :tongue_smilie:

 

So I think I GET it! :001_smile: I don't need to debate standards vs. delight-directed learning.

 

BUT I was wondering where you gals turn for inspiration when you find that you've just headed too far in one direction with a kid. How do you swing the pendulum back toward the "wonder" side? How do you find peace in minor course correction? (Cause I'm sadly just getting to the point where I see changes as a ton of work. ;)) I know how to DO it; I just want to feel BETTER about doing it?

 

A book? A movie? A quote?

 

Thanks for the boost!

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

Edited by Janice in NJ
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The only thing that seems to work here for peace on any long-term basis is following the kids' lead. Ultimately, they have to be in control of their own educations. I can suggest things or even temporarily force something, but if they really don't want it, I just don't have the heart or the will of iron to keep with it. Maybe it's just us. I certainly don't know if it's the "right" way.

 

I also kind of like not being in total control of our life. It's too much responsibility. If I think of the kids as their own people with their own contributions to make to the world, it takes pressure off me to form them into little "perfect" packages. It makes life more interesting and our relationship more respect-based. I have to listen to them. I have to admit I don't know everything, even if I am the parent. I think that's a healthy place to be.

 

They understand that owning their educations means they are responsible for how it turns out, and that I'm not paying for them all their lives, nor making excuses for them. I'm not going to protect their pride. It makes listening to Mom and Dad more meaningful, I think, as they realize that we really do know some shortcuts from having had more life experience, while at the same time we haven't had their experiences, nor do we live in their bodies and know their innermost hearts. They really do have to be in charge of their lives.

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I don't know--but my thought is that, until they really have the skills to research and sift thru to find meaningful information, they will not go far enough in their delight-driven education to get to the point of a deep and rich education. Certainly can be the motivation to get those skills, but not all of them are acquired simply by doing.

 

Simple example--ds loves his cinema class in college. He has a burning desire to make films. Before he can pursue his love, however, he needs to be taught how to operate the camera, how to use angles and perspective and a myriad of other things. He needs to see how other films were made, and explore the history of film. If he plunges in without that basic info, he may make a good film thru sheer luck/pluck/determination/talent. But how much better would he be with the information? And, he may then be satisfied with the basics, but if someone teaches him to pursue even more knowledge, then maybe he'll turn out something even greater.

 

So, would he pursue that part of his delight by himself, or would he need someone to tell him what is important to help him go deeper?

I guess my point is that, even when kids are delight-directed, they often need help to make as good a product or go as deep or whatever you want to call it--as they can. Why is that important? Well, it may not be, but I want my child to see his work as the best he can do in order to contribute fully to his world, and to gain the satisfaction of doing all he can the best he can. I don't think talent is just for the one person's pleasure. I believe we are created for community, and it is "right" for us to develop ourselves as people and contribute to that community. That includes learning things that may not seem useful at the time, but may train the mind, or lay the framework for more developed ideas, or develop discipline, or give basic skills and even greater skills in areas of interest...

 

Not phrasing this well--just some thoughts I have.

 

Not even sure if I added to the discussion.:tongue_smilie:

Edited by Chris in VA
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Dd responds so powerfully when given the freedom to explore her passions that when I feel I am lost or too far off the track or needing to do one thing or another, it is dd herself I turn to for inspiration.

 

By this I mean not only can I clearly see where and how she learns best and is happiest; but also, she is increasingly in charge of helping construct those "minor course corrections" you mention. We look at cover school and university requirements together; we look at what she's doing together; she comes up with plans, materials, ideas, dreams, that will help bring together those requirements with her interests. She actually has quite a lot of input into the whole process this year, and I plan for it to become even stronger as she grows older. During her junior year I'm hoping we can design together an investigation into the history of schooling, the admissions process, the whole testing kettle of fish, and more. We read biographies and talk about how people get where they are: how important was their formal schooling? How else did they work toward their goals? How much was serendipitous, and how much was focused hard work?

 

In other words, the onus is no longer entirely on me to plan dd's education. It is a joint project. This makes all the difference in the world as far as me feeling burnt out or grumpy over changes; maybe this is because I don't tend to see them so much as mistakes or problems any more, but as part of the process through which dd is gradually coming into her educational "own." It's not me just responding to her passing interests or trying to judge what might look best on a college resume, but about her finding her way, learning how she learns best, exploring things that may or may not be productive in the conventional sense, learning to fulfill requirements without burning herself out and leaving no time for her real, pressing passions. When I look a it this way I expect occasional course corrections and see them as positive things in a way I was not able to before.

 

At least, when I'm ABLE to look in in this way, it's a good thing. This is not as easy or as done a deal as it sounds. Still working on it... but I like how it's going.

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Could I politely suggest that your whole underlying concept may be incorrect? By this age it's not *your* job to make that delight-driven stuff happen at all. It's the kid's job, and our job is to make sure he has enough time and some provoking things to make it happen. It's not *our* job to make sure everything happens.

 

In my high school experience, we had the balance of things we were expected to do and things we did because *we* wanted to. That's a healthy balance, since it teaches them how to find time in their own days to do the things that especially stimulate them. Not all of life is fascinating. It's ok for them to trudge through the basics with you (you said your year is going well) and do their inspiring stuff on their own. That leaves you free to pursue your own inspiring stuff, like learning Photoshop or something. :)

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I see the dichotomy a little differently.

It's between the got tos and the get tos.

 

My goal is to provide my child with an education that keeps her options open and enables her to develop her best talents and explore new paths.

 

To keep her options open means that she has to do the got tos and do them well. No choice about 3 years of foreign language. No choice about 3 years of lab science. No choice about 4 years of English and math. No dropping math because she hates it. Some things you just have to slog through, delighted or not.

 

To enable her to develop her best talents, I can free up time for unique opportunities as they arise. DD has sung in the children's chorus of a professional opera. She has been the project lead on a robotics team. She has written significant poetry and fiction. She has participated in a nature awareness apprenticeship. These are not normal curricular pursuits, but they have enriched her and enabled her to develop her best talents. If she were in school these would have been impossible to fit it. Delight and hard work are both in operation here.

 

To enable her to explore new paths, I can sign her up for things that she is curious about, or provide her with other means to study them. I can expose her widely to many interests and such. I can get her books about something that she has not tried before. An example--I signed her up for a science field trip that involved two days of boating. She got to paddle around in the Bay and try several types of personal crafts. She was not really all that interested, but it gave her a taste of boating so that she is not starting from pure ignorance if she wants to try it again in the future. On one of the days we stumbled on a major bonsei exhibit on the way back. We spent a LOT of time there, and now DD wants to try bonsei herself. It's a little thing, but those exposures do add up to an enriched background.

 

In general, I don't think that junior high or high school kids are mature enough or have varied enough experiences to choose all of their studies, or self-disciplined enough to grind through difficult material that they need to know but are not interested in. They don't know what they should learn. Yes, there is a partnership, and their input is valuable, but I don't thnk that most of them are ready to be completely in charge.

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BUT I was wondering where you gals turn for inspiration when you find that you've just headed too far in one direction with a kid. How do you swing the pendulum back toward the "wonder" side? How do you find peace in minor course correction? (Cause I'm sadly just getting to the point where I see changes as a ton of work. ;)) I know how to DO it; I just want to feel BETTER about doing it?

 

A book? A movie? A quote?

How about an epic 50+ page thread, full of discussion, advice and inspiration? Grab a cup of coffee, take your laptop to a comfy chair, and get inspired. :001_smile:

 

Jackie

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our job is to make sure he has enough time and some provoking things to make it happen.

 

I agree with these 2 thoughts :iagree:

 

The only thing I would add is that over the years, I've had to "require" my kids to continue with some of their choices. If they chose to start a certain foreign language or instrument or sport or other "passion," I have had to require they give it a solid chance, for say one school year. I found kids often made choices and then tired of them when the tedious parts of any endeavor kicked in. So on those occasions when my child chose the endeavor, I still sometimes kept parenting them through to the other side, which was the only place where they could really see whether they liked something or not.

 

One of the things I really, really didn't like about my experience with my kids in public school was the way they "empower" kids to make choices that they don't know enough about. My adult kids have asked me why I didn't "make" them continue even more things :tongue_smilie:

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The longer I homeschool, the more clearly I see the two ditches flanking my path. ...

 

Thanks for the boost!

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

 

Aaahhh...

 

I was just thinking about my own life changes and reminiscing (pardon my spelling?) about your Hobbit video this week, and this post brings it back to mind as well! I guess all of life is about finding that elusive perfect "spot" and then losing it for something better, huh?

 

No answers, here. Just commiseration...

 

 

By this age it's not *your* job to make that delight-driven stuff happen at all. It's the kid's job, and our job is to make sure he has enough time and some provoking things to make it happen. It's not *our* job to make sure everything happens.

...That leaves you free to pursue your own inspiring stuff, like learning Photoshop or something. :)

 

It's hard enough to make sure Algebra II and Chemistry happen! :lol:

 

And, yes, it would be nice to have some free-time to be inspired!

 

How about an epic 50+ page thread, full of discussion, advice and inspiration? Grab a cup of coffee, take your laptop to a comfy chair, and get inspired. :001_smile:

 

Jackie

 

Knowledge is good, method is good, but one thing beyond all others is necessary; and that is to have a head, not a pumpkin, on your shoulders, and brains, not pudding, in your head. ~ A.E. Housman

 

 

I just wanted to tell you that right after I read through that thread a couple of months ago, and noticed your quote above, my 5yo daughter had picked out a book from the library obviously aimed at Mr. Houseman - Pumpkinhead, by Eric Rohmann. The title character is, in fact, a boy born with a pumpkin for a head. His pumpkin head is stolen and travels the world, only to be serendipitously returned to his mother. He decides in the end he wouldn't have any other type of head BUT a pumpkin-head.

 

I thought that was an interesting take on things considering the side-thought in that thread about meeting your children where they are (IOW, classical education not looking the same for all children - some were using videos as the main medium rather than books, for example).

 

******************************

 

Hey, Janice:

 

You know, it's funny, but when I was a new homeschooler (and 30-something instead of 40-something and could still pull an all-nighter without it affecting the next day - LOL!), I would be so gung-ho after reading through a 50-page thread like that. Sadly, it just doesn't affect me the same way today.

 

(Segue-way into David Bowie's Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes)

 

So...maybe my way of dealing with change is to put on some 80's music. (Or, geez, maybe David Bowie was 70's music that I just listened to in the 80's, I don't know.) Clean the house like crazy, singing at the top of my lungs. Oh, yeah - Pat Benatar's got nothin' on me, baby...

 

Ok - I think I'm back on board break, now.

 

;)

Edited by Rhondabee
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My educational philosophy doesn't butt up against either of your ditches. I have my own ditches Hard Work vs. Chill Pill.

 

I believe in hard work. My kids can either work hard getting an education or they can work hard digging ditches....

 

I wish! I don't have any ditches for them to dig. But we did read a bio about James Adams who was whining to his father about his school (Latin in particular). He absolutely hated it. His father sent him out to dig ditches. It didn't take him long before he realized that Latin, as detestable as it was, was preferable to digging ditches.

 

I hold up this story and any other story, James Watt, Justinian the Great, Abe Lincoln to my children on a daily basis and my mantra is FIGHT FOR YOUR EDUCATION!! Own it, want it, work for it. It's your's. It's not mine. It's your life. Do the hard thing and do it excellently. Life is not about your comfort, etc., etc.

 

But of course I like to be comfortable ;) So there's the rub.

 

I want my children to have an excellent education but I want them to work hard for it too. Because I think that children who have been trained to do hard things excellently have the greater advantage when they are adults. On the other hand I want them to have happy childhood memories. Can I get both?

 

Just my .02 and probably doesn't help you at all. But that's what we're dealing with these days. :001_smile:

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I **think** I understand what you are describing (not really sure!!) My 11th grader had a huge list of "to-dos" for this yr. They were actually self-imposed more than my having anything to do with it. My 9th grade ds sort of did the same thing last yr.

 

They are both great students: self-motivated, goal-driven, know-what-they-want-in-life. Yet, life was off-balance and though educationally they were both doing well, I did have to put a stop on our merry-go-round and fix the off-kilter part.

 

I had serious sit downs with both of them at completely different times b/c ds was last school yr and dd this one (we have already finished almost a 1/4 of our yr). With each, we had to re-evaluate their goals, our lives, and how those matched up with where our priorities needed to be. At some point the balance tipped way too far toward academia and too far away from childhood, hobbies, etc. I made the executive decisions to reduce/control classes that I normally wouldn't have ever considered doing.

 

You know......for some families what was occuring here may not have been a problem. But, I had to go with my gut. I sensed a difference in educational atmosphere that did not occur with our oldest. It was all more of a "sense" than something tangible.

 

And Rhonda.......I laughed (or cried???? ;) ) when I read your post! My brain has been either swiss cheese or mush (or maybe a sad combination of them both). Being sleep deprived in your 40s with a baby......gung ho has taken on a completely different meaning in my life!

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They are both great students: self-motivated, goal-driven, know-what-they-want-in-life. Yet, life was off-balance and though educationally they were both doing well, I did have to put a stop on our merry-go-round and fix the off-kilter part.

 

I had serious sit downs with both of them at completely different times b/c ds was last school yr and dd this one (we have already finished almost a 1/4 of our yr). With each, we had to re-evaluate their goals, our lives, and how those matched up with where our priorities needed to be. At some point the balance tipped way too far toward academia and too far away from childhood, hobbies, etc. I made the executive decisions to reduce/control classes that I normally wouldn't have ever considered doing.

 

You know......for some families what was occuring here may not have been a problem. But, I had to go with my gut. I sensed a difference in educational atmosphere that did not occur with our oldest. It was all more of a "sense" than something tangible.

 

 

 

Oh my gosh. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. This so hits home for me right now. Especially the part about the balance tipping too far toward academia and too far away from childhood and hobbies. And you are right, sometimes the only thing you can do is go with your gut. Can you share a bit of what decisions you made to reduce/control classes? If you don't mind pm-ing me, then I wouldn't be hijacking this thread. I've had a lot weighing on me lately about our own academic environment here.

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I guess my Buddhist brother-in-laws, even though most of what they have told me was at cross purposes because they managed to misunderstand where I was coming from or didn't know what I did or didn't do, have managed to convince me that you don't need firm ground to stand on, that where ever you are standing is, by definition, firm ground. I don't think you have to worry about whether these are ditches or whether they are high ground. You can't do it all and everything you do is going to be a compromise, anyway. And yes, it is indeed a lot of work to convince your children that they have to jump through a certain amount of hoops to get to college, that some things they might want to do are going to require college, that they need a certain level of academic skills or they are going to hit a wall and get frustrated in their pursuit of whatever it is they have chosen to learn, that there is no easy way to do some things, that there is a reason not everyone is good at everything - some things are hard, dull work... Fo the intelligent, creative child who up until now could do everything he wanted without much effort, this takes even more work on your part. I think perhaps that is what you are facing now?

 

I can only tell you that it is awful and I hated it and some of it I refused/refuse to do, but that we seem to have survived that convincing period as a family.

 

For inspiration, I think of how useful I have found my academic skills for researching homeschooling and anything else I want to know and how useful I have found self-discipline when I wanted to learn a foreign language or music or art. I have the praise people give me when I do something they consider hard as a view of what it would be like not to be able to do it. That isn't well put. If they aren't family or people who can do whatever it is, I don't care about their praise, but the praise is valuable because it reminds me that it is something that I had to work hard to be able to do (mostly). I have the satisfaction I take in training my fingers to make the precise controlled movements needed to play a Bach piece on the guitar, and the joy and relief and escape that I get when I later am able to not-think about where my fingers are going and instead just get to express myself by making the music. I have books that I read that describe that self-discipline well, like Gaudy Night and Linnets and Valerians (spelled that wrong, probably). I have examples of people who have attributes that I want my children to have - Jane Goodall, for example, or my nephew. There is a focus and intensity and creativity that comes after one has put hard work and discipline into learning the basics, and I want my children to have areas of their life that are like that. I know they will need that to keep from feeling unsatisfied as an adult. I know it can all be empty at times, too, but when that happens, it is possible to learn something new, if one has the skills needed to learn something. I know adults who are disatisfied with their lives because they don't have the academic skills or self-discipline to achieve their goals without an unreasonable amount of hard work. They serve as inspiration, too.

 

But I think what you really want is a book title or movie title, right? How about watching some of the PBS programs on scientists? Or if you are more of a history person, some of the archaeology programs? I find watching the scientists in action reminds me why I am making mine memorize King Phillip Came Over For Green Spinach. I read Lindsey Davis books when I need inspiration for studying Latin. I read Kim or other children's classics where the children are bilingual when I need inspiration for studying a foreign language, or travel. You could watch travel programs for that GRIN. TWEM is nice for literature, or Gaudy Night. Year of the Griffin is fun, too. So are the books that have schools, like Harry Potter and Dragon Singer.

 

HTH

Nan

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.... fix the off-kilter part.

 

I made the executive decisions ....

 

You know......for some families what was occuring here may not have been a problem. But, I had to go with my gut. I sensed a difference in educational atmosphere that did not occur with our oldest. It was all more of a "sense" than something tangible.

 

 

I hear you! (I think. :001_smile:) At least I hear you for me so thanks for that.

 

Janice

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Fo the intelligent, creative child who up until now could do everything he wanted without much effort, this takes even more work on your part. I think perhaps that is what you are facing now?

 

HTH

Nan

 

Thanks, Nan. Actually I'm finding that the path I've chosen for the little guy is just too safe. (It's only 8th grade; I know what I'm doing here. He's got the entire year to play around to find his path. There are only a touch of things we really need to work on this year so all's well. Really!) However, he's bored which makes him listless and a bit cranky. I jacked things up a bit by adding a class he really wanted before the school year started; he really wanted it; I looked at his schedule and shared my doubts. He begged and promised to work nights and weekends; I added the class. Now I've notched things up again this past week. We'll see how it goes. The biggest thing is that it's harder on me; I used to welcome that. I know it's good. I can do it, and I know I will. I'm just tired, BUT I'm trying not to let my sigh show. Game face and all that! :001_smile: Hence the post asking for a behind-the-scenes boost.

 

So thanks. Great idea about the science/history thing. I have a couple of TC courses that I've been itching to dig into. I NEED to carve out the time to make that happen; it fills my psyched-tank. :001_smile: Gaudy night is buried upstairs on a shelf some where. I've never actually read any Sayers. Maybe it's time. Thanks for the suggestions!

 

Peace,

Janice

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I know. This age tends to be cranky and bored, except in spots, when all the stars align or something equally mysterious. Mine have shouted at me, "Don't talk to me now! I'm happy, for once, and I just want to enjoy it." Poor lambs. And they require so much help at this age to do the sorts of things they want to do, or that you can see they need to do to lay in the foundation of what you can see they are going to want to do later. Ug. It is indeed very, very exhausting. I wailed all over the board at the beginning of last year, and at the beginning of the year before about that very thing. There was a weekend at this time last year when I had to gobble down an experimental programming language whole so I could help. Now I'm trying to gobble down field ecology in one gulp. Now I know why my highly competent, unbelievably talented mother sometimes looked so uncharacteristically helpless when I wanted her to help me learn how to do something. Homeschooling is one of the only things in my life I've learned by myself GRIN because I knew it was so much work that it was unfair to drag her into it.

-Nan

Edited by Nan in Mass
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Could I politely suggest that your whole underlying concept may be incorrect? By this age it's not *your* job to make that delight-driven stuff happen at all. It's the kid's job, and our job is to make sure he has enough time and some provoking things to make it happen. It's not *our* job to make sure everything happens.

 

In my high school experience, we had the balance of things we were expected to do and things we did because *we* wanted to. That's a healthy balance, since it teaches them how to find time in their own days to do the things that especially stimulate them. Not all of life is fascinating. It's ok for them to trudge through the basics with you (you said your year is going well) and do their inspiring stuff on their own. That leaves you free to pursue your own inspiring stuff, like learning Photoshop or something. :)

 

Thanks, Elizabeth.

 

I think I agree with you. I don't spend my time running around making sure everyone is having a swell time. :001_smile: I'm an old lady; that would never work. So I hear you, and I truly appreciate your comments.

 

Here's the real issue for me: Homeschooling at the high school level is tough. There are TONS of disadvantages. Tons. There are tons of things that are very hard to do one-on-one. The list grows exponentially when you ramp up the dynamic to one-on-three. It's just the nature of the beast. The boards and the books are filled with a contrary message. Hsing at the high school level is great. Awesome. Wonderful. Yes, it is. It surely is. But there are plenty of disadvantages. The coin has two sides. That's ok. I'm good with that. It's just that I've done this long enough to appreciate the economy of this process. We can't have it all. We can only use the resources we have wisely. I believe economists call it "opportunity cost" - a very powerful idea.

 

So I'm not really in the position where I am choosing between things like should we do math or not because it's hard or because the child baulks or because we don't have the time or because____. I'm not trying to choose between an accelerated path or a laid back path. It's deeper than that. I am deep in the woods with this kid. His life is filled with TONS of interesting activities. He also fills his spare time with great stuff - without me. So that's not really the issue. And he is a very agreeable kid; he does what ever he is told. And he generally easily does it well.

 

So without boring you with the details, the longer I homeschool the more I've learned to see my job through new eyes - especially at the high school level. I'm not responsible for eliminating or ignoring the disadvantages of hsing at the high school level. They are there. BUT the advantages are there too. And they too are numerous; they also possess the ability to be life-changing. It's a very real but very powerful see-saw.

 

Every family is different. Every family will find their way to a good end; I take great, great comfort in that. So I have no firm advice for anyone else. I can only describe the forest that I'm in as I see it. Our family functions well when I use the perspective that I have to choose paths that capitalize on the advantages of hsing as it works in OUR home while trying to minimize the disadvantages of trying to teach one-on-three. And those paths are generally clear. Thank goodness. I'm not working with a bulldozer any more. Thanks goodness! However, it does get tiring to be deep in the woods with a kid and see a little side trail which lights up the kid's eyes. He turns to you and asks, "Hey. Can we try this?" It's a weird feeling to sigh inside but realize that the kid is right. Weirder still to remember the old you who used to get all jacked up about that kind of thing; it's just weird to be standing there wondering when that version of you wandered off and hid somewhere in the underbrush so she could just be left alone!!! :lol: Sure, you can look back at the HUGE trail behind you and think, "Doesn't this kid appreciate WHERE we are? Does he have ANY idea what it took to get here? WHY CAN'T WE JUST STAY ON THIS PATH that I've spent years carving out of no where???????!!!!!!!???????" :lol: But he's got it right. He's caught the fever; he just needs a traveling companion - one who is as psyched to explore as he is. He doesn't need a marching buddy who knows too well that new paths mean more work. Trudge. Trudge. Trudge. New paths mean more work; they just do. BUT they represent a process that represents the biggest advantages of one-on-one. That process makes all the difference in the world. In an over-the-top way. And modeling that process is the most powerful tool I possess as a hser.

 

But it doesn't work if the kid's traveling buddy isn't psyched. I won't be leading. I'll walk along side and share in the fun. And it will be fun. I've just done this long enough to know that it adds to my plate. And I'm smart enough to know that without these kinds of experiences, this process of homeschooling sinks to a place of par or sub-par to an alternative educational experience that could be had with MUCH less effort and expense on my part. That's just the way it works at our house. So I'll do it. I just needed a boost.

 

Peace,

Janice

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We had a few experiences that give me no choice about homeschooling, so the why-am-I-doing-this is a little easier here, but the do-I-have-the-energy-to-do-this-well is still a very big question, a burning, daily, hourly question, and the how-do-I-balance-all-this-great-stuff-and-not-add-the-straw-that-breaks-the-camel's-back-and-sends-us-spiraling-into-botching-everything-by-not-going-far-enough-with-anything question haunts me constantly. I set out on this alternative path. It is a valid path, but by getting greedy and trying to do too many non-alternative things along with it, I could land us in a place where we don't have any of the advantages of either path. It is very scary. I keep posting about balance, but I'm not sure people really understand where I am coming from. My homeschooling journey is finishing up now, as I am all too well aware of as my youngest is 16 and doing a few classes at CC this year (10th) and insisting on doing much of his work alone (a good idea but with great potential for not really working). Some of the decisions I kept asking about the last two years are getting made willy nilly now, and not by me. Not sure where I'm going with this post. Sigh. We're not really in the alternative camp, or in the conventional camp, but halfway in between and it is a scary place to be and I guess I'm having a fragile morning GRIN. O well. Like you, I feel that it is mostly a matter of finding the energy to do what I have laid out. Off to make hirigana flashcards now, and then read the next few lessons of Blitzer so I remember my precalc, and then reread the Jane Schaffer material so I sound more convincing when I try to coax my son into making a plan for his paper, and then look at the field ecology information that people here so kindly provided, and then try to get my son to sit down with me and do the stuff we have to do together, like sight sining in a new key and reading our Latin, which requires energy.

-Nan

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Hsing at the high school level is great. Awesome. Wonderful. Yes, it is. It surely is. But there are plenty of disadvantages. The coin has two sides. That's ok. I'm good with that.

 

It's a very real but very powerful see-saw.

 

And I'm smart enough to know that without these kinds of experiences, this process of homeschooling sinks to a place of par or sub-par to an alternative educational experience that could be had with MUCH less effort and expense on my part. That's just the way it works at our house. So I'll do it. I just needed a boost.

 

Peace,

Janice

 

I've only quoted parts of your post. Is it okay to do that? I hope so. Anyway, oh my, yes, I agree completely. I needed to hear this as this is what I've been thinking lately, too. So, thank you.

 

If my homeschool environment for high school becomes too much of a school at home experience, it really loses out on what makes it superior for high school in my mind. I then might as well send my dear child (she's in 8th now) to high school next year because we have a very lovely Catholic school within 10 minutes of home. She doesn't want to go, of course, because the thought of change is hard for her. And that brought us to a conversation about the pros and cons of each situation. We give up some things that would be nice but we gain others by homeschooling. If we try to duplicate regular school 100%, I feel like she'd really just better off IN school. Homeschooling (along with providing my child with an excellent overall education) should afford her more freedom to pursue her interests. Time to read whatever she wants. Time to work on her cake decorating or knitting. Time to passionately explore one subject. To still follow bunny trails. If we don't have that, our situation, too, likely becomes inferior to what she could have in regular school.

 

So, again, thanks, Janice. You've helped me to clarify my own thoughts regarding how we should be approaching our homeschooling now and in the future. :001_smile:

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We had a few experiences that give me no choice about homeschooling, so the why-am-I-doing-this is a little easier here, but the do-I-have-the-energy-to-do-this-well is still a very big question, a burning, daily, hourly question, and the how-do-I-balance-all-this-great-stuff-and-not-add-the-straw-that-breaks-the-camel's-back-and-sends-us-spiraling-into-botching-everything-by-not-going-far-enough-with-anything question haunts me constantly. I set out on this alternative path. It is a valid path, but by getting greedy and trying to do too many non-alternative things along with it, I could land us in a place where we don't have any of the advantages of either path. It is very scary. I keep posting about balance, but I'm not sure people really understand where I am coming from. My homeschooling journey is finishing up now, as I am all too well aware of as my youngest is 16 and doing a few classes at CC this year (10th) and insisting on doing much of his work alone (a good idea but with great potential for not really working). Some of the decisions I kept asking about the last two years are getting made willy nilly now, and not by me. Not sure where I'm going with this post. Sigh. We're not really in the alternative camp, or in the conventional camp, but halfway in between and it is a scary place to be and I guess I'm having a fragile morning GRIN. O well. Like you, I feel that it is mostly a matter of finding the energy to do what I have laid out. Off to make hirigana flashcards now, and then read the next few lessons of Blitzer so I remember my precalc, and then reread the Jane Schaffer material so I sound more convincing when I try to coax my son into making a plan for his paper, and then look at the field ecology information that people here so kindly provided, and then try to get my son to sit down with me and do the stuff we have to do together, like sight sining in a new key and reading our Latin, which requires energy.

-Nan

 

THANKS! I wish you lived next door. It would be so awesome to trot over, share a cup-a, and watch you craft-up a powerful morning! Keep on keepin' on, Momma! Awesome!:001_smile:

 

Peace,

Janice

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But it doesn't work if the kid's traveling buddy isn't psyched. I won't be leading. I'll walk along side and share in the fun. And it will be fun. I've just done this long enough to know that it adds to my plate. And I'm smart enough to know that without these kinds of experiences, this process of homeschooling sinks to a place of par or sub-par to an alternative educational experience that could be had with MUCH less effort and expense on my part. That's just the way it works at our house. So I'll do it. I just needed a boost.

 

 

A fine line between the 2 scenarios--I get your ditch analogy now. BUT.....I have had to accept that it isn't necessarily as clearly defined as you describe either. I am old. I am tired. I have a baby that doesn't sleep through the night. I am literally mental mush!! (though she is so darn cute, it really is hard to care!!)

 

My kids are busy. They are driven. And......they outnumber me! Yes, advantages and disadvantages......however,

We can't be all things to all people all the time. Cliche, but very true.

 

Sometimes the journey needs a different companion. Sometimes it is an opportunity for them to forge ahead alone. Sometimes compromise is the answer and the needs of both individuals are evaluated and met without the burden falling on just one. The paths are extremely numerous wandering through that forest and they don't all need bulldozers or even chainsaws or machetes. Sometimes, you just have to walk around the trees. ;)

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Sometimes, you just have to walk around the trees. ;)

 

Yes. Yes. Yes. LOVE IT! Learning to appreciate their in-the-wayness is truly part of the fun of this project too. It takes me to a place that I never would have gone on my own; but it really is a good, good place. Chuckle, chuckle! :001_smile:

 

But I don't have an adorable neck to nuzzle. I'm called to share this path this year. So rather than be jealous of your calling, I'm finding the joy in mine.

THANKS for that boost, my friend. It means a lot!

 

Peace,

Janice

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