For those that know me, you know I love planning. I spend weeks planning our school year over the summer. And that is exactly what I did this last summer. I had our year all planned out and then life happened. Over the summer Jack had tried out a few classes that he absolutely fell in love with and wanted to continue. We already had three days a week with group activities, I planned those before he signed up for any classes and I had also signed up to take a few courses. During the fall our plan quickly fell apart. I had to hand off or cancel some of my group responsibilities and we struggled to find a rhythm in our homeschool. We were out of the house every day but Thursday and that is the day we usually go skiing during the winter. I was stressed.
That is when I started practicing reframing, specifically I reframed our business and our lack of getting my plan done. I took a week or so and talked with some close friends who talked me down and helped me see things in a different light. A friend reminded that at this age children bloom socially and I needed to take that into account. I took a honest look at how much we enjoyed or how much we got out of each activity. A few truths made themselves known.
- Jack really did love his classes- karate, cello, and pottery. He wasn’t loving some of the homeschool group classes.
- He was finding mentors, people who inspired him and truly were interested in helping him be his best self.
- I have been in charge of our homeschool group and activities for 17 years. I was burned out on always being the one left to plan and get things done.
- He was learning a lot through the classes and that should count for something. In karate, he was learning how to speak and count in Japanese, he was learning about Japanese culture, and was also gaining confidence and discipline. In pottery, he was learning art. This is the only art class he has actually enjoyed. In cello, he was learning music theory, how to play an instrument and also learning music history as it peaked his interest.
Jack and I talked and looked at each of the classes in our homeschool group. We decided to keep nature study, food bank volunteering and book club. The rest we left during fall. And things started to work out. School started to not be stressful. We were enjoying ourselves and our time was not rushed. And he started to thrive.
What does that mean for the rest of our year? Jack will continue with some of his classes and we are adding a few more. He will be taking coding, karate, and cello in person. He has to take a break from pottery due to a conflict in scheduling with coding, but he has been begging to take a coding class and we were able to find him a good teacher. We will pick up with pottery again if he wants when the coding class ends in a few months. He is also taking a science class, Harry Potter Genetics and a couple of Bravewriter classes online. We tried a couple of different Bravewriter classes last year and he loved them. Writing is not a fun, easy subject for him and I think it helped to have someone else assigning the work and giving him feedback. And we will be skiing each week for a few months. We will keep book club, food bank volunteering and nature study.
I will chill out and give those classes the credit they deserve. At home we will focus on reading-history, literature, etc- and math. It has been an interesting, fun year with lots of growth.