Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 School Year Prep

We’re gearing up for a fresh new school year. It’s always exciting & intimidating as we get ready to embark on our journey. The excitement over new topics to learn, new books to be read, & a the fresh new start.. but there’s always a little intimidation lurking in the back corners. Are we prepared? Do we have everything? How will this year pan out for us?

You’d think embarking upon our 11th year of Home Education we’d be old pros who don’t get butterflies, but that’s not true. I think the #1 thing we know, like most veterans in anything, is that everything will not always go as planned. You have to be ready for the change, the bunny trails, & the hiccups that you are going to face.
There was a time moments like that sent me into a panic, convinced I’d messed up somewhere along the way. Now I see that those bunny trails & side roads, the hiccups & speed bumps weren’t mistakes or mess-ups, but moments of growth. A child investigating on his own, a relative sharing a new concept, a challenge we all needed to face & overcome.

True education isn’t about sitting around the table with workbooks open, but the imparting of knowledge to another person. In our home we have the oddest conversations that are quite normal to us. A place where knowledge, regardless of topic, is passed on to one another. Where the youngest teach the oldest.. where one imparts odd news stories, or shares latest research, updates on projects, discussions of oddities, book discussions, & random thoughts burst forth.

Recently we had a visitor over & invited our visitor to stay for lunch. Over steaming bowls of pasta & discussions of the impossibility of too much cheese many other conversations unfolded. They came fast & furious flying one right on the coat tails of another. One child threw out the idea of varying ways cheese could be made, & no sooner had that conversation been started when another pointed out the current struggle with some programming he was working on. It jumped from cheese & programming to the upcoming holidays, traditions, before landing back on cheese again. The conversation was, to us, normal & you had to move fast to keep up.

Our poor visitor sat there for a moment before saying, “You’ve lost me. I mean really lost me. The conversations here are insane, & fast. Completely weird, but totally you.” This resulted in a conversation about tenses in the English language & debating how efficient it was to use pronouns &, if one could possibly over or underuse them.

There are moments like this in which my own head swirls & spins.. but I also chuckle at the informational well spring that comes forth from our children. The lessons we thought skimmed the tops of their heads, just above those hairs that stick-up & children always try to use to gain a few millimetres over each other on the growth scale… Yet, somehow the knowledge must have gotten stuck on those hairs & slowly seeped down as the lessons were pondered & chewed up until each person, in his own turn, was ready to use them.

As I embark upon next week & start getting the books & pencils lined up, the schedules in place, & discuss the extras we’ll bite off this year I look forward to the unknown in a new way this year.. to see what new conversations will unfold around the table, what new designs will end up pinned to a bedroom wall for safe keeping, & watching as each child, in turn, embraces the challenges set before them.


Valerie Fletcher said...

What planner do u use? :)

Kendra said...

Valerie, that's the Plum Paper Large Teacher Planner. :)

Melissa said...

It's comforting to know that even a veteran home educator still gets a little nervous. I completely agree with you about altered plans and dealing with life's unexpected events. That is what makes it all come together. :)