I have a lot of ideals about homeschooling. But as it turns out, we don't live in an ideal world. We live in reality. So this year, I've made a few changes that while maybe not ideal in my own eyes, have made our homeschool a bit more realistic for where we are right now.
I'm still keeping those ideals tucked away in my heart-- they are not abandoned-- but I'm not letting them weigh me down and tell me our homeschool is a failure because we aren't living up to them.
I'll apply aspects of them to areas where I can, and I'll let them influence my decisions and function as more of a filter in my homeschool planning than a game plan.
What this looks like right now
As second semester began at the beginning of this month, Gigi began attending classes at a new charter school. There were a lot of reasons for this change, but the biggest result of this change is that now we are loosely following lesson plans that are given by the charter school for our at-home time.
I have balked at this type of system since we began homeschooling three and a half years ago, but the truth is, while it does not fall into the category of ideal for me, there are a lot of benefits to it, especially for Gigi.
For example, being more accountable to the school, and less to only me is something that relieves a little of the tension between the two of us. And we can still add in whatever extra stuff we want like memory work, nature study, cursive, etc. It still lets us function as an eclectic mostly-classical, Charlotte Mason-inspired homeschool.
And I do still have the ability to substitute my own curriculum where desired (we are doing most of our own math still for example), but as it turns out, I'm actually loving the school's literature unit that we are doing that's based around reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (and so are the kids, which is the best part).
Thinking ahead to next year, while I would ideally like my younger kids to stay where Brody is (the charter school where we've been since we started homeschooling), for at least the primary grades, reality tells me that having all my kids at the same school, would be better for my sanity and our family's functioning.
We'll see how it all shakes out, but for now I'm feeling at peace about recognizing our reality instead of being frustrated that we're not living up to my ideals.
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