It's almost the end of our first week of school, all is mostly well so far. It's been a funny start to the year - not much in place organization-wise but we gathered the texts from our springtime curriculum shopping and just sat down and got started.
It turns out that it actually can work that way! Imagine, just opening a book and starting to read without any pre-reading or lessons planned. Amazing... the world still turns.
We've had one wrench in the works this week. Some of you may remember the struggles I shared last Spring with regards to "doing it all" - meaning I homeschool my daughter and I work from home. Add to that the element of homeschooling an only child (something I don't usually discuss specifically, but it has its very unique considerations), and I find it a constant challenge to make it all happen. I suppose it's good to stay on my toes!
I love homeschooling. I love my work (and we need my work). Because my work is home based, it makes sense that I'm the parent that does both. It's one of those things that should work in theory, but in reality it's exhausting. Partly because a lot of what I do is creative and requires me to be one of those slightly crazed artist types who spends too much time in their head, working through the process.
This year we decided to arrange Adam's schedule so he would work from home one day a week. On that day I would leave the house to work elsewhere. Well, day one of trying this much needed routine, he was called out two separate times to emergency meetings/appointments. Sad mama.
A few of the over twenty texts I get to devour over the next two years.
My sense is the biggest challenge of homeschooling this year will be to balance the work/school piece (this tune sounds familiar...). Speaking of school, I'm back in school too! I know, it makes no sense - or maybe it makes perfect sense! (Let's go with the latter.)
This program is more rigorous than the last that I did, though the two seem to compliment each other beautifully so I'm very happy to be pursuing this. I do find it pretty doable to study right along Emily as she studies, it's my 'work' that seems to require a lot more introspection and, um... solitude, at times.
It'll figure itself out, I'm sure of it. Doesn't it always? I'm just doing a little processing out loud here (thank you for listening).
Each day this year I'd like to make it a point to share with Emily an article, short video, or perhaps a website from the news and/or art scene.
Something that takes only about 10 minutes to view/read, but is the sort of thing that might inspire bigger projects, or reveal unknown interests and passions.
Given that the news is mostly upsetting and sensationalized, this makes for selecting relevant pieces a tough job. I'm on the lookout for global and local information (hint hint, please recommend!), that reports real issues but with an emphasis on the 'silver lining'.
Isn't it best to be lifted up and inspired to action rather than feeling knocked down and hopeless?
A resource we use regularly is The New York Times Learning Network. In addition, I've actually found Facebook to be a great place for this sort of content (imagine that). My Facebook friends have really interesting things to share!
These week we've enjoyed:
- BOATLIFT - An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience
- New York Times - Vermont Students Travel Across A Mountain To Get To School
- Perception - Something To Think About
- Paul Simon performs "The Sounds Of Silence" at Ground Zero, 9/11 Anniversary
- Colleen Waingright shares passionate project idea in honor of her 50th birthday, and the outcome. And yes, she shaved her head!!
Next week I'll share specific details on the curriculum we are using, some people (myself included) like to check out that sort of thing.
I hope your first weeks of September are feeling like the new beginning that most of us know them to be... oh, the beauty of a blank canvas.