Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I had the "revelation" (which is really dumb since I've been doing this long enough that it shouldn't be a revelation) that I shouldn't worry about James at all (at this point) because the compulsory school age in PA isn't until 8 anyways. So, I can unschool him and see how he learns and do different things with him until then, and then if I feel I need support and he needs more structure/support/etc. I can think about cyberschool. PHEW! lol So, I've got to find that flow again. I feel like I'm out of the unschooling vibe after this past year. I kind of feel like someone took our house (with all of us in it) in their arms and threw us all up into the air....and then we froze for a year (or more) and we're just settling back down on the ground. "Settling" sounds too nice....we actually came down with a THUD! and now we're settling. I can't remember how to find the vibe. I guess it's back to my unschooling books and websites for awhile to get back into the mindset. It's funny how you can lose the vibe. Strange, really. I laugh at how many times I've been right here where I am, now. Homeschooling my children for 11+ years, and I still find myself here at least once a year. For anyone who's new to homeschooling....don't worry about those moments of confusion, questioning, chaos, or imbalance. It'll keep happening for as long as you homeschool and sooner or later you'll embrace it as just part of the journey. :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Things are going pretty well in the Big Red House so far this year. Considering 2011 was so difficult, we can't help but be off to a better start this year. Nothing much has changed as far as our methods. Erin is looking forward to starting a new semester in cyberschool, complete with new classes. She'll be taking Spanish which she's looking forward to. She's turned out to be a really good writer, too. I think she maybe always felt Amber was the writer so she couldn't. She's proving that's wrong. Her writing is very good. I'm really enjoying reading her writings and watching her grow in confidence and intellect. Adam hates cyberschool. I hate that he hates it. I'm really struggling with this because my passion is unschooling and I want that for him. But, he has proven to be very difficult, disagreeable, and sometimes downright unkind so I'm having a hard time with knowing what to do. Cyberschool was invoked because he was fighting with me daily and I'm not interested in doing that with my child. It's very distressing to me because I'm finding that I can't do with him the same things I did with Amber and Erin. It's like he won't let me. I try to be the same easygoing, unschooly, loosely structured Mom that I really am but he shows me that that doesn't work for him by fighting with me on everything and treating people badly in the home. So, we went to the structure of Cyberschool because I thought maybe he needed that. And he's done very well....as far as getting in his classes and getting his work done. He's not happy though, which I hate. So....I've told him that what he does next year hinges on these next few months. He has to finish out the year, and then we can talk. I don't know. James is happy to be out of preschool and home full time. I'm happy too. We're working together on his learning the ABCs and some letter recognition. He wants to read so I'm working with him on that. I'm afraid he's going to have some real learning difficulties, but we'll take that as it comes. If I need more support then I'll enroll him in cyberschool. I just want him to feel successful and to learn in the best way for him. I'm afraid his might be a more difficult road. I know that things I've read have said that unschooling is even better for a child with special needs, but I just can't wrap my head around it. I mean, I didn't teach any of my children to read. They just naturally learned by the time they were about 8. I know that James will not naturally learn. He has blocks in his path....very real, neurological blocks. I think unschooling at some level could really be wonderful for him....it's the reading that I'm concerned about, I guess. And, right about now, my partner (who passed in October 2011) would be bringing me back to the present. "Stay in today, D....we'll deal with that when it happens," is what she'd say.