I have seven days till we start school. This is my 13th year homeschooling, and my last year homeschooling my oldest. Granted, things may change, but at this time it’s looking like I have a few years more to go. No matter how many years I’ve been doing this, every year feels like a new, distinct challenge. Here’s how I’m talking myself back from a precipice of anxiety.
We don’t have to start everything all at once. When my kids were littler (and for the one who’s still little) I don’t start everything all at once. I begin with a favorite subject (or two), and one that is new to us, sandwiching the new between the old. Then when those are rolling well (which might be a few days, or in a harder year, a few weeks), I add the next.
We’ve got good books. Much of our schooling is based on books, and if all else fails, we can retreat into our living room and read books for a week or two until I figure out where to go from here.
We take advantage of early-fall weather. I love the fall as a time for hikes and nature walks and family bike rides. There will be plenty of time come winter to hunker down at home for longer lessons.
“Important things will be repeated.” I stole that quote from my favorite medical school professor (Dr. Wood), and it’s true. We can repeat and refine as much as we want, so why am I so worked up about every moment being critical?
“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” I take this quote to mean that we are learning together all the time, in the attitude (atmosphere) of our home: we ask questions, we pay attention, and we are curious; in the habits (discipline) we practice, and in all aspects of life. Thank you, Charlotte Mason.
Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking – the strain would be too great – but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest. –Charlotte Mason