Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Homeschool re-examined: The Long Haul vs the Short Game

First, you must know I had never created a lesson plan before in my life. Ever. 

Beyond playing house as a child (which, since I was the oldest, consisted of me just ordering my little siblings around), I had never - ever - considered being a teacher. A trainer, yes. In my professional careers as computer programmer, project manager and Avon sales representation/manager, I've taught training course for years, but that was different. So different.

Today I sit down to plan my first six weeks of classes this year. We will start in three weeks and even I can't procrastinate anymore. Anxiety attacks are already starting, so I hope that getting things down in black and white will make things better in my brain.

I've had a full summer - two months so far - to relax and let last school year rattle around in my shell-shocked brain and settle into some kind of normalcy. And it actually did, to my relief and surprise. My biggest realization came last week when the question came up to Ben again about what grade he might want to go back to public school and his answer was...."never". 

Hmmmm....so it seems that instead of an emergency stopgap measure to help Danny with his learning issues, I've created a new reality for the whole family. We may be a serious homeschool family right up until high school - or beyond.

I never really considered this when I started. I figured I was just a band-aid on my boys' education until I could fix their damaged learning and send them back to public (or private) school at some future day. I didn't think this would be permanent. However, I may have created a monster - or a unicorn, depending on your definition of a brand new creature that never before existed - the Varga Homeschool Family.

I'm sure I'm not perfectly suited for this. However, I want the best for my boys and I want them to learn and love learning as much as I do. I want them to feel free to learn and study the way THEY do best, without condemnation about their uniqueness. I've seen immense changes in my boys since they've stopped attaching inadequacy and anxiety with learning and I can only hope that continues.  Just one example - Ben has NEVER wanted to go to school and started preschool and kindergarten with MUCH trepidation and never really got relaxed in a school setting. He was a great student, but very anxious all day in school. In second grade, he started and loved karate class, but quit after his first belt test after having a huge anxiety attack in front of the class. He just refused to set foot in the dojo again. Until this year. After being as relaxed as possible (I mean, how tense can you be bouncing around all day in your underwear?...), he asked to start karate again and I think he'll really do great this time. He's grounded in the love and support of his mom and family every day and that's what will help him fly and succeed.

Okay, I get it. We're in this for the long haul - and that's an amazing thing. 

But could someone else write these lesson plans for me??....:)

1 comment:

  1. Best thoughts coming your way as you continue on your homeschooling journey! I loved visiting your blog.