This week has been an off week for me. I, may have, pulled our lesson plan out on Monday, and haven't looked at it since.
This week I was reminded, this is ok. As I let the boys lead, this week, I realized how little credit I've given to the things they learn, without a plan.
I'm not saying having a plan is a bad idea. I like it, and it certainly has helped us this year. However, flexibility is truly a gift that homeschooling offers us.
This week, we didn't get around to our math paperwork, or our writing paperwork. We only read some of our science and history. We didn't really do anything else that was on the schedule. Instead, we played. A LOT.
Through their play, I saw them practicing so much. As they built towers and cities out of plastic cups, I saw the implementation of math, science, physics, engineering. They may not be able to explain what they were doing or why they did it, in technical terms, but what they did surprised me.
I also saw them budding as artists and learning about the color wheel, mediums, lines, etc... all just by doing those things and by watching me do those things.
They built character, story telling skills, etc... as they implemented working together to make games and story lines, in those games, function.
They strengthened their minds, their bodies, their knowledge of the world around them and the impact they can have on it and others, as they played outside and helped their dad with outdoor projects.
We did math as we talked about how many pennies a box of cereal and other items cost.
Spelling came naturally as we discussed how to spell different things. My oldest son, has been learning to write Batman and Star Wars, to search for them, by reading video game boxes or books that have the names on them. Spelling and reading, on his own.
All day long, each day this week, I've seen my sons grow, when I've stopped to just, truly, observe them and what they are doing. And I see that, it isn't about pushing them to meet the expectations of others, but to know them as individuals and encourage them when they are ready and interested. To know they may not be learning what *I* think they should be learning, but they are often learning what they should be learning, for them. After all, we all have different callings, gifts, talents, and natural abilities.
Too often, I've missed these cues, being so busy about trying to prove that *I* can teach my kids. I've forgotten that my job is not to make them, but to facilitate for them. Just like with potty training and learning to walk. Watching for cues that say "I'm ready and I want this info."
When I wait, it comes quickly and flows more naturally, than when I try to force it. There isn't a battle, or a fight. When I wait, I see their confidence grow as they see that they CAN do this or that and it isn't that hard.
I love that, through homeschooling, I can take the time to get to know my children and to trust them and teach them to trust themselves. To trust their ability to learn and to grow. To trust that, they are who they are meant to be and that isn't going to be exactly like everyone else, doing everything at the same time in the same way as everyone else.
My boys may be "behind" in one subject, on par with another, and ahead with a third. The nice thing is, there is no deadline for them to know this or that. There is no looking at someone else who this comes easier to, and thinking they must not be very good at it themselves. They will grow in all those areas and they will do well. They will be successful in life, not by the standards of others, but by the standards they have for what it means to be successful.