First off, this is not a blog that is anti-public school, anti-charter school, or anti-private school. This blog is not really anti-anything (except hardboiled eggs, which I can’t stand!) Instead, this blog is pro-J-man and pro-my family. It supports listening to your gut, but doing your due diligence. All of the opinions expressed in this blog make sense for my family based on our particular set of circumstances and values. We hope that by sharing our journey, we can inspire or help others to make decisions that work for them, and maybe open up possibilities for others that may have, before, seemed like long shots.
This blog chronicles our journey to make a new way of life. Our goals for this year are few, but significant.
Goal 1: We want to take back control of our time.
I have always said that there is nothing in this world so precious as time as it is the one commodity in life that you can never get more of and assuredly will run out of too soon. Yet, even knowing this, I have allowed my time to be controlled by a series of choices that piled on top of each other resulted in our family feeling harried and frazzled much of the time. We were always “going” and rest time was never really resting. I may have looked like I was home for the weekend, but my mind could not stop spinning about the fifteen projects I was working on from work. Consequently, I started to realize that I was never fully present any where. This year, I will be consciously reducing my obligations and working to eliminate multi-tasking. When I am with J-man, I will not begrudge him time I could be spending on other things. He will be the thing. A colleague said to me recently, that teachers’ kids often get shafted for attention because we are spending all of our time trying to help everybody else’s kids. I don’t want this anymore.
Traditional school is all about time. We do this at 8:00 and something else at 9:00, and that worked for me. I was great at school. J-man is doing fine too, but he has to wait all day to really dive into topics and books that interest him. Add homework to the mix and he often does not have any time to pursue his own interests. By homeschooling, he will be learning through those interests. He will own his own learning time. The fact that nobody in this house will have to get up before 6:00 AM is an added bonus.
Goal 2: Live simply and appreciate our blessings.
To make this change happen, we will use my retirement to transition to a new and probably less reliable sources of income (more on this later). We will have a year’s worth to live on to get set up, which will give us time to make the shift smoothly, if we simplify our life. Right now we live like we have more money than we know what to do with, which is definitely not the case. We eat out or bring home take out, regularly. We have Direct TV and Netflix. We have expensive cell phone data plans, and I have an expensive Michael’s crafting habit (which would be fine if I actually focused on just selling). In short, there are places where we can cut our spending to make it possible for us to focus on what is important and live a life that is peaceful. No one will be happy all the time, but I think a feeling of overall peace is certainly attainable.
Goal 3: Lastly, but most importantly, allow J-man to learn and grow at his own pace with a curriculum designed specifically for him.
J-man is nearly obsessed with robotics. On the weekends he writes comic books about robots, draws blueprints of potential robots he would like to make, and watches documentaries about robots. He already has the potential with just this topic to cover science, reading and writing, art, and engineering. We could add in math with the materials lists. The bonus: he would be so excited to do this that he would barely be able to stop to eat. Right now, he fits this in as a robotics club one day a week and what we can do on the weekend. I can’t wait to see how far he can go when he has the time to really focus and someone to guide him on the way.
Have you ever made a DECISION that felt like it needed all caps to express its bigness? How did you decide to take action? Are you, too, choosing to take control of your child’s education? Let’s have some tea and share our stories!