Saturday, September 6, 2008

Back to School difficulties.

Each year, after a busy summer, running here and there, picking berries, camping, visiting with friends and perhaps an actual travelling vacation time, we get to start up our regular routines again. Some years we have started out with great difficulty and in examining why- I have come to some conclusions. I used to start "school" with a bang, a full schedule including new chores, and a full load of assignments and workbooks and great expectations (mine).

Thankfully, I do not do that to my poor children anymore. We saw too much flesh and resistance, both theirs and mine and I now have learned to have a more graceful approach to a new start up. After any change in routine, even after a vacation or a big move the first things to be re established are the regular routines of chores and household living.
Getting beds made in the morning, if good habits have slipped, and just generally getting adapted to long lonely days at home again. As the weather cools outside, it leads us to cuddle inside with blankets and a great read aloud. As we are established in spending enjoyable time together again we will start up with some more educational disciplines such as a math program or any other disciplined table time activity. If I have decided to make any particular changes to our educational approach this is when I will transfer my vision to my children and open discussion on how and why I want some changes to be made. Whether they embrace these changes right away is not as important as the ideas that I want them to contemplate. In any case as they get older, I want to capture their hearts in their educational plan so I am not dragging them along all year long. Next I want to draw them into an educational plan that both inspires them and disciplines their minds and character to embrace their own education. Usually in a couple of weeks we are into a full blown routines that is both compatible with everyday living and with good educational plans. Every year is different and each day is often different as well but I consider it a good day if we have pursued learning with a passion and grown in relationship as well.

Have a great start up again this year and remember to consider your children are trying to refocus as you are and give them some room to come down from a busy summer.

Living a lifestyle of Learning Daily.


Milehimama said...

We did that this year, and it is working well. We started with spelling and math. Added history. A few days later, added grammar. Next week we'll add science.

I think it made me a better teacher to start slowly too! Last year we started with a full schedule, but the children weren't used to it and we fell behind. I felt like we were playing catchup with history ALL year and I also felt like we never caught up (even though the children finished their math and spelling texts AHEAD of schedule!) Mainly it was my attitude - I felt the schedule controlled ME instead of the other way 'round!

Nice post, thanks!

Big Red Driver said...

Great post. Love the way you think.