Monday, September 14, 2009

Eclectic and relaxed...

...with an unschoolish bent. Huh? I have read back through my last few posts and think I have moved slightly away from that. Still relaxed - mostly. I have my days, like everyone else. Eclectic, for sure. I like to mix things up and enjoy reading and incorporating different styles and techniques. Unschoolish? Less so each day.

I don't think unschooling works for Alex right now. I wanted to have the work boxes there for him to pick and choose his activities but I realize that certain activities need to be done first thing in the morning. Take today, for example, which was our first day of using the work boxes and was technically a disaster but we had little control over it.

To start, my nephew was with us today. An out of town doctor's appointment for my niece meant a day off school for L. L and Alex are the same age. He is a sweet boy but he and Alex tend to get each other all riled up. Not in a bad way. They just get so excited they become oblivious to the world around them. Then Alex takes a while to settle his brain back down. Plus L is a gaming addict. I banned Wii play today until after Alex had his piano lesson (first one since June) but let the boys play after lunch. By the time everyone left it was late afternoon and Alex was not in a frame of mind to get much done. He gets whinier, and works as slow as molasses. It is hard for him to focus. Izzy starts to get in the way by bugging him or getting in his way. It isn't pretty and eventually devolves into a sulky kid and aggravated mother.

So I know math, piano and reading together will have to come first thing. There will need to be more repetition and better scheduling for his school work. These next few weeks are going to be rough as it is with the extra fatigue from starting activities all over again and this new business of getting Izzy off to school each day.

I wish I could unschool. Between dealing with school (which I am sure is influencing my sudden need to make sure Alex is "covered" in all areas, academically) and dealing with a kid who wakes up each morning with a finite amount of patience and productivity that depletes with each passing hour, I feel forced to come up with a more rigid plan of attack. Mind you, with only two work boxes completed today I can say the relaxed aspect of my homeschooling personality has kicked right in. We'll just finish them tomorrow. I am, after all, not truly on a deadline. And the whole point of this form of education was to keep Alex happy and engaged.

It is hard finding balance some days. As a mom and as a teacher/facilitator.

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