Is this what it is to be a “normal” homeschooler? We get up in the morning to recite poetry and character traits. Next we bust out the books. There’s workbook pages, copy work, variations, coloring, and reading. We explore history in something other than the haphazard, chaotic way we have before. One idea leads to another and we can see the progression of events leading up to their current outcome. It’s fascinating. At the same time it seems like some alien life force has taken over. This is not my family! This is not how we do things! This isn’t how we learn!
I have to admit, I feel a little guilty. We’re usschoolers. This isn’t the way preschoolers work. Workbooks are supposed to be evil or something. Copy work is the worst thing in the world. I must be torturing my children with making them do all this boring stuff. It’s very much in the style of school at home. I feel like I’m giving up something so very central to my life and to our family.
At the same time I can’t deny that the kids are having fun with it. Beekee likes his copy work and writing his letters. He likes to point out how all the words need their personal space. To him it’s all a game. They like memorizing their poems because it makes them feel good to have accomplished it. They’re also having fun with delivery techniques. Cords and I practice reciting like it’s a stage act, or like Anne does in Anne of Green Gables, which we will also be reading this year. It’s been a lot of fun.
I know unschooling is all about the kids and they’re having fun with it. I’m trying to focus on the fun that’s coming out of it. The kids are strengthening their memories and learning skills. For Beekee reading and writing may be the passport to everything he wants to learn. Corde is getting a chance to embrace some things she never tried before, like Latin. Sander is mostly just playing with other kids his age, but he is also learning his letters. His speech is improving. He’s getting confident with his counting. It’s been good for them.
And as radical of an unschooler as I see myself, I find myself debating the idea of keeping this up even if we move away from the co-op some day. Isn’t that shocking? I always rebelled against the traditional model because it wasn’t free enough. Now I’m embracing it. I like it so much I could keep up with it until all the kids are grown! What’s happening to me?!?
All joking aside, I’m glad this is fun. I could totally do this long term. I also won’t complain about going back to our crazy unschooling ways. We’ll be a little wiser after all of this. Corde’s math skills will be better. Beekee might just know how to read and write. Sander will see that more traditional school doesn’t have to be boring. Luca won’t see much difference at his age, but I’m sure it’ll filter down. It’s amazing how things get passed on from one kid to another. He’ll probably benefit from this some way or another.
This is an exciting new adventure. It’s about time to a new one.