Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Salon: Life - no matter where you go there you are!

Road by Etrusia UK
Happy Sunday!  I'm still here.  Just been contemplating several directions life could take us right now and as with all things, change can be stressful.  We've never been ones to take the straight road or the road most taken.  We pretty much follow our own path.  Some folks don't like or agree with our choices and you know what. That's just too damn bad.  It isn't their life is it.  We've been homeschooling James all the way through Elementary school.  We took it one year at a time to start with and considered that by the time he reached 7th grade, he'd be ready to go to middle school.

Hubby and I have been stressing over it for the past few weeks and finally realized it all comes down to James and what he needs.  He wants to continue to home school and frankly I'd prefer it that way.  He thrives learning one on one and we can follow his interests and make adjustments when he's not getting something or take a break when we need too.  He is super bright and then you have those 'duh' days. Aspergers shares a lot of commonalities with attention deficient syndrome so he has good days and bad days and you can forget about getting him to focus on anything.  I also have control over what he is learning and who he is hanging out with.

So, now that we've decided to continue for the time being, a new stress has set in.  James does enough to get by which drives me crazy.  But after giving it some thought, I realized I used to be the same way.  There has to be some incentive, a reason.  He's the type of kid who want to know the why and the what and the how.  I also discovered over the years that homeschooling is just as much me learning and discovering new things as well as him.  I have to lead the way.   In the past couple years I' realize I've gotten lazy and lowered my expectations. I've let doubts interfere. And usually when those doubts surface I go toMelissa of Mental Multivitamin's site and read It All Begins with Me.   When everything starts breaking down, the person I need to look at is myself.  Talk about a kick in the pants. 

Melissa on Well Trained Mind recently said:

"We have an obligation -- in fact, a legal responsibility -- to educate our children. While homeschooling certainly gives us some flexibility in terms of coping with life's challenges, it does not give us a "pass" on getting the job done. Teachers in traditional classrooms also experience life's upsets, great and small, but if our children were their students, we'd have every expectation that despite the other demands, those teachers would teach our children.

And so we must have the same expectation of ourselves.


Here's a challenge: This year, refuse to lower your expectations. Instead, raise them. And then exceed them. Enough of the whining and complaining and self-indulgence. Teach, **** it. Lead. Coach. Motivate. Inspire. Give your students the best that you have to offer every. single. day. Remember: The goal is a lifetime of excellence, not a day or two here and there. A lifetime. Begin, then, with raised expectations -- of yourself and of your students."

I'm accepting the challenge.  Going to Reread "A Thomas Jefferson Education" and just add "The Student Whisperer" by Oliver DeMille as well to my TBR pile.   Remind myself what it means to be a mentor.  

So, where do we go from here? Fortunately our school district has a charter school Vision in Education providing public support to home schoolers and they have teachers who will come out to your home and help you personalize your educational plan, provide feedback and help. One less stress to worry about.  We CAN do this.