Nearly all of my free time this week was spent in pre-planning. I have a freewrite list of ideas for this summer and our upcoming year. A hopeful list of wishes full of mommy-school pipe dreams. Every year I have written this list of radical desires and every year I have tossed it into the garbage bin. I pour my heart into a list of dreams and then shred my desires blood-red into oblivion and accept the conventional path of education.
I’ve got an opinion on conventional and it begins with “F” and ends with “it!” Sorry…well not really. Conventional gets you Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton as presidential candidates…what happened to my country?!
I’ve spent some time pondering and remembering what I wanted these years to be. What sort of memories do I want my children to have when I am nothing but dust in the ground? This time I tossed the conventional and kept the dreams. I am not tackling every idea this year…just two…maybe three.
First we will learn nearly every subject together. I’ve dropped every curriculum we have used except Beautiful Feet Books and Brave Writer. I really cannot express how huge and scary that feels. Our read aloud time will move up to three hours per day. I’ve had to take some criticism for that choice from other homechoolers but after listening to Rea Berg, Andrew Pudewa and hours of personal research I stand by my decision.
This year we are going to study the poetry of mathematics. I haven’t found much to help me with this desire. I admire mathematicians. They see beauty and the Creator’s artistic expression like I try to grasp a fading dream upon wakefulness. I see the beauty of mathematical language but cannot articulate with any clarity. About three months ago I found this article by Paul Lockhart. I spent a month really trying to digest its meaning. Lockhart is like the stentorian Old Testament prophets of ancient
times. Seriously raging! Beautiful and confusing. I think Lockhart makes some very interesting points but he is both overly idealistic and pessimistic. Math isn’t the only subject screwed up by the educational system in America. Even I found a way to learn and love math (just algebra mostly), despite the way its taught. Applied math in the everyday mundane in not only relevant but also useful, beautiful, and kinda fun. Most importantly people have different learning preferences and some of them do prefer structured traditional curriculum with lots of repetition. Lockhart’s article is fascinating (and really long) and I’d love to hear any thoughts or opinions on the matter.
Anyway, we started out literature based study of mathematics with a lovely book called “Chasing Vermeer” by Blue Balliett. Amazing book!!!
I’ve poured so much of myself onto preparing and planning that I’ve suffered with low energy. I slept in every day this week and barely prepared any meals (my poor family!) I plan to be a much better mother and wife this week and get my head out of the planning cloud…
This week Littlest officially joined us for read aloud time and started his learning to read studies. We only did school twice with him this week and I am happy with that. By mid July he will be working and learning in a full-time schedule. I’m not in as big a hurry as he seems to be.
The older three traveled to western Kentucky this weekend to play piano before judges. I did not get to go because Littlest had a fever and needed to stay home. The older three did okay but not great. I constantly struggled with them to put in the proper amount of time to truly learn their Sonatinas by heart…and was met with constant opposition. I have to confess that I let them fail. Tomorrow I will discuss their results and judges comments. They will feel sad and the sting of disappointment. Sometimes failure is the only way to grow. Now, they will listen when I explain to them why they must practice for an extended time each day. I have several quotes from Mr. Suzuki prepared for them to copy in their notebooks this week. I felt terribly guilty that I had to stay home with Littlest and leave my husband to prepare them for their concert. They all had a tough weekend…
My mother arrives on Friday…my long time readers know how hard this will be for me. She never has a kind word for me and seems to enjoy telling me just what an awful and wretched human being I have turned out to be. I am a disappointment to her. I took a path in life for which she has no respect…and I refuse to offer apologies. If you pray (and I honestly do not care to which God you offer supplications) please ask that I humbly keep my tongue and temper…
Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers