Open thread

Published by Lori Pickert on July 23, 2010 at 12:57 PM

One of life’s quiet excitements is to stand somewhat apart from yourself and watch yourself softly become the author of something beautiful. — Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It


Comment by Stacey on July 23, 2010 at 06:36 PM

So I've hit on this idea this past week, one that is probably not unique but I think it pretty important. It seems to me that when we talk about homeschooling, no matter what approach we are thinking about, we focus on the learning activities, the socialization aspect for the kids and such. But there is another part to this "journey" that of the parents, no one talks about what it means to our own lives, minds, and beings to decide to take on the "education" of our children. What does this mean for us as people, where do we find our strengths and calmness (or on other days our insanity)?

Because, really this path we are choosing to do affects us as well.

Comment by Lori Pickert on July 23, 2010 at 07:43 PM

stacey, absolutely .. it's a lifestyle choice. one of the reasons i rattle on about family culture is that i think hs'ing is not this separate thing, something we do like piano lessons that is on the outside of our normal life. it IS our normal life.

so where do you find your strength and calmness?

Comment by Kelly on July 23, 2010 at 10:21 PM

This past year I definitely felt the effects of homeschooling on my life as an individual. I have been stressed, grumpy, snappy at the girls...all things that I don't want to be. Finding the right way to nurture myself is something that I have been thinking alot about...

Comment by Stacey on July 24, 2010 at 04:56 AM

....not enough. I am not doing enough to create balance as a person. I try, I'm writing as often as I can and I just started an art journal, but I'm missing the calm and balance part to life right now, being with A and being creative are both external. Now I need to go inside a little, slow down, find my center....of course it would be easier if the days had 36 hours in them.

Comment by Amy on July 24, 2010 at 02:34 PM

The biggest effect I see in me is my own learning. Right now we are romping through Africa on a geo kick. What have I found? My own natural project work. Going through old National Geographics (need to pair them down so the kids stop leaving them around the house to get ruined) and taking out articles and photos I want to save for the kids someday, I've found several articles on Africa...on the food crisis, the water crisis and so on. They have sparked an interest that might not otherwise have been there if we hadn't been on this path. Then there is the for-fun fiction book I'm reading "Fever Dream" - a mystery about a wife who gets killed in Africa with this whole other tie in to John James Audubon (someone else we studied this year when the kids were interested in birds) that now I find myself immersed in.

The learning curve for me with their learning is tremendous. This is where I have to not put my learning on par with their's. There ARE certain things I want them to know...and that their father does...hence the trek through geography. But I am trying to find the balance at introducing a topic to them and then letting them be the owner of their own information. Have not done well with this in the past but rereading your project work posts, Lori, has re-inspired me to make a go at this style again. (Usually give up too early mainly because I have 5 kids all under 8yo with one more on the way and our life is so hectic it is hard to keep track of projects and really delve into everyone's stuff...but I am learning and I will keep plugging away at this lifestyle.)

Comment by Lori Pickert on July 24, 2010 at 02:38 PM

kelly, that makes me think of the instructions on the airplane .. give yourself oxygen first, so you can then give it to your child.

it's hard to find quiet time, work time, when your children are small. it definitely goes a long way toward making the time together better, though.

my children are older, so i can tell you that it gets much better and much easier! :^)

stacey, balance has been a theme in my journal for years .. striving to achieving it, always noticing when it's missing.

as i said to kelly, it has become much, much easier as the children have gotten older. they are so self-sufficient .. in their work, in daily tasks like cooking and cleaning. it frees up that time i was looking for and never finding.

one nice thing is that project learning creates time when your children are deeply engaged, and that gives you time to think and write and make. if you work toward a goal of helping children work independently, they can get materials on their own, work, clean up, all without breaking the spell of their engagement.

there are parents who are managing their children's learning all day long, and when they aren't doing that, they are in the car driving them from lesson to class to meet. that level of activity would be exhausting for me!

Comment by Lori Pickert on July 24, 2010 at 03:40 PM

amy, i find the same thing -- that working alongside the boys on their projects sparks interests in new things or reminds me of old, abandoned interests. it jumpstarts intellectual and creative energy for me.

i'm glad you're returning to these ideas .. with that many children that young, it must be very challenging for you. :^) keep plugging away! for years i kept a sign on my desk that said "forge ahead" .. reminding me not to give up when the going got tough.

i really feel that implementing even one good strategy can cause everything to turn in a good direction .. and possibly make it easier to make an attempt at the next thing.

keep me up to date!

Comment by Stacey on July 25, 2010 at 05:26 AM


Have I forgotten to mention that it's nice to have you back in this spot, reminding me the hows and the whys.

Comment by Lori Pickert on July 25, 2010 at 11:49 AM

aw, thank you, stacey. :^)

Comment by kellyi on July 26, 2010 at 09:32 PM

My husband works long, hard hours but when he is at home, he is completely at home and involved with the kids, their lives and their projects. Today he asked me how I do it. He can't see how I find time to home educate as well as all the other stuff that a family of six need.

OK, so let's be honest, the house comes way down the list of priorities (my Mother tells me that the day your house is pristine, is the day that you dearly wish for your babies to be back home again!) Today it was more important to find out about Bumble Bees and how they use their knees, because DD had a burning question that needed an answer right then and there, which evolved into another question about butterflies and moths, and so on and so on.

Home schooling has made me realise how little I know, how unaware I am of the world around me I am, and how fantastic my children are. On a bad day, it seems like the craziest decision we ever made! Even then, I know I wouldn't choose the other path.

Comment by Lori Pickert on July 27, 2010 at 02:04 PM

kelly, beautifully said. you are lucky to have complete support from your husband!

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