Living the Extremes, Finding the Balance

My homeschool journey has been just that, a journey.  It will take some time to tell the story of our journey thus far, but we’ll take it much like we take our homeschooling – a day at a time.

I have found that in our family, homeschooling morphs and changes as we seek out what works best for each child, each season of life, each home we live in, the mental state of the teacher (me!) and many other factors. As an overall theme though, our approach has seemed to swing from one extreme to the other. With my first 2 children, I sat them down and we learned. If they were ready to learn, if they were not ready to learn, WE LEARNED!

With my next two, I took a much more relaxed approach. So relaxed an approach that it caused panic among the relatives and friends: “He doesn’t know how to read yet?!” In time, he learned and with joy and happiness, in stark contrast to the tears and frustration experienced by his older brother. He learned quickly too, catching up to the same level as his tortured alumni with speed.

This year seems to be the leveling out and balancing of both extremes. The younger kids are being challenged and taught, but not pushed. The older kids are being pushed and challenged a bit more, but not enough to send them over the edge. I think if I had to label all of our methods I would label them thus: Textbook, Charlotte Mason, Well Trained Mind.

It feels a bit odd to be at this stage of my homeschooling and feel again like I am just starting out, just learning how to homeschool, just discovering my philosophy of education. It’s early in the year and I wonder where we will fall once the year ends, but for now I feel balanced and happy. The kids are learning, we’re doing fun things like launching hydro rockets and making rifle cartridges out of toilet paper rolls and flour. Our notebooks are not perfect, our science hypothesis sometimes read like this: “I think it will work.” There is room for improvement, but we just keep walking down this road trying to do our best.

Excited to share the journey with you.

~ Julee Huy