Saturday, January 21, 2012

diving in

It's funny the things that can suddenly push you to make a decision you've been mulling over for a while. For us, on homeschooling, it was a pizza day sign-up form.

It came home from school on Wednesday and had to be sent back on the next day of school, Friday. I hadn't gotten a similar form completed and returned for the first part of the year, so my poor child had been having to bring his own lunch on pizza days and watch everyone else eat it while he ate leftovers or a sandwich. I didn't want to repeat my error.

When I first started considering homeschooling, I figured we'd keep him in school until the end of the year. He's on alternate days and home the other days, so I've been experimenting with homeschooling on his 'off' days. He's not exactly suffering or struggling, and I do like his teacher. She takes a more play-based approach and seems to appreciate his quirky aesthetic and sweet soul, and he hasn't been complaining about going to school the way he did last year.

Delaying was also a bit of a defence strategy, I think. Being an ENFP, I love generating ideas and starting projects, but not so much on following through or finishing. As a defence measure, I've become very wary about what I commit to, especially what I commit to in front of other people. I ponder and I think and mull and then I set it aside for a bit, then I ponder and think and mull. With homeschooling, I thought I needed to have all the answers figured out and everything planned and all the plan B's in place.

But then I started to feel myself losing fire and momentum. And it occurred to me that some of the best stuff I do in photography is when I have an idea and just jump in and shoot. I do lots of thinking and pondering and mulling too, then shoot some more and ponder some more and each phase of shooting and pondering moves my ideas forward.

Maybe homeschooling, especially the more child-led approach we're going to undertake, is like that too. And maybe we just need to dive in and see what unfolds. Maybe waiting until the end of the school year would only cause us to lose commitment.

So back to the pizza sheet. It came and the form was for the rest of the school year. And it sounds silly but those pizza slices add up. So I talked to my husband and then to Eldest and we all agreed that we'll start homeschooling in March, at which point we will have our own pizza days, complete with homemade dough.

I had planned to work through my thought process on homeschooling in this space, but instead I did it in conversation with my husband. What a concept! And I'm wary about sharing all the many reasons for homeschooling on the Internet (again, what a concept!). But I will say that the reasons reflect all aspects of our lives -- not just academic learning, but our values, our lifestyle, our family relationships.

Anyways, we're going to just dive in, in March. We won't know for sure if it's a good thing for us until we try.

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