I've said before that I think one of the downfalls of blogging is that it's so easy to give people a false impression of yourself by focusing on your brilliant moments and talents and downplaying or entirely ignoring your weaknesses. I try to offer a balance of both on this blog. If you've read my blog for very long at all, you probably know that I have some strong opinions and beliefs about certain things, but that I also tend to doubt myself, hold myself to impossibly high standards, and fear failure.
It will come as no surprise to you, then, that all of these factors are at work right now regarding my decision to homeschool. I believe in homeschooling and that it's going to be a better fit for my son; if I didn't, I wouldn't have made the choice to do it next year.
But alongside my confidence is sheer terror. Can I really do this? Will Elijah learn anything? Can I provide the education he needs? Are we going to fight with each other every day? What if I utterly screw this up? These feelings of fear were exacerbated by the beginning of summer break. Elijah finished up his last day of public school first grade a couple weeks ago, and we're all adjusting to him being home again. I know that may sound odd, but think about it-- he's used to getting up early, being away from home for seven hours a day, and the structure of a school day. He's not used to being home this much, and he's been a bit disappointed by the reality that he's not going to get to do everything he wants to do all of a sudden; he's not allowed to watch TV and play video games all day long, we can't go out for lunch every day like he wishes we could, and so on. It's an adjustment for me and Isaac too as we get used to having Elijah home with us all day again.
I knew not to expect everything to go beautifully during the initial adjustment period; we were all getting used to a different schedule and a different structure to our day. Even so, the first week was especially turbulent, and I found myself wondering many times, "Can I really do this? Can I really homeschool? This is not going all that well, and we're not even homeschooling yet!"
I'm happy to report that things are getting easier now. We're a bit more adjusted, and Elijah's natural inquisitiveness and love for learning are shining through. The other day, as we were running errands in the van, he started asking questions about multiplication, and once he understood the gist of it, he was figuring out simple multiplication problems on his own. He even sat in his room and made himself a "worksheet" of multiplication problems later. Elijah has this love for knowledge that just makes me so proud I could burst. He truly enjoys math and science (just like his dad!), and he's also quite a talented reader with a large vocabulary.
While it's natural to doubt myself sometimes, I'm starting to realize that I don't need to worry so much. Elijah is inquisitive all on his own, and his thirst for more knowledge and understanding will demand that I teach him (and teach him well). Interestingly, most of our educational discussions seem to happen in the van. Perhaps we are van-schoolers rather than homeschoolers. ;-)
Playing while we waited for Clark to get some stuff from the store. Clearly I do not allow my seven year old to drive. ;-)