This year was our first attempt at homeschool. We ended up doing Oak Meadow through an online charter school. I had read in various places that other homeschoolers do not feel that charter schools online are “real” homeschool. I didn’t understand at the time, but I do now. Being tied to the state, having to deal with the stress of testing and the results, and being given extra work on top of what we are already doing is stressful. And it’s not particularly productive. These tests are not an accurate assessment of what my daughter knows. She completely freezes during the tests and loses all ability to comprehend. Her posture changes drastically and she looks so dejected, just from having to answer questions. It doesn’t help that it’s also timed. How ridiculous! Next year we will not be doing the charter school thing-even if it does have perks (like free curriculum and a learning fund to pay for horseback riding lessons). I would rather find a way to come up with the money myself to pay for all of these things than to subject her to this inefficient and inaccurate system of testing. No wonder people get up in arms over education. Thank God we are able to homeschool and she doesn’t have to go to a public school that would focus on testing and where she fits in that system. She doesn’t fit in their system.
This would have never have been a problem if we hadn’t been forced to test out of first grade into second grade simply to get the curriculum that best suited her learning. The first grade testing she flew through and did very well. She felt proud of herself. Now with the second grade testing (which is a very different test than first grade) she acts as though she has somehow failed. I know I am part of that problem as well because I am putting pressure on her to pay attention, click on the right answer and do well. We are now doing practice work that is formatted like the state tests everyday until the next round of testing in April. Oh joy. At least maybe it will help ease the unfamiliarity she faces every time we do a test. Ugh.
I am so over it. It looks like I will be heading down the unschool path. Because I would much rather have her discover which work is meaningful to her and do that. I want her to be free to pursue what she is actually interested in, rather than what a curriculum or state standard tells her is important. That to me is the inefficiency of the educational system in general. A bunch of students learning a lot of things that don’t appear to be relevant. Even in college-how much time/money did I waste taking a bunch of general education classes that had nothing at all to do with my major or my interests. I didn’t discover my true passions until I was nearly 30. I have a business degree, but I could care less about business-in fact, I hate it. It’s mind-numbing to me. But I love nutrition, love health and wellness, love learning about the way the body works together, love discovering natural remedies that strengthen the body and help it to heal. It’s fascinating. The body is so intricate and complex, this whole system working together to keep you alive. I could literally go on and on. That’s what I want for my children-to find what it is that makes them come alive, that captures their personal interest and then to find a way to do it, be it, etc. That is success, that is living life with purpose.
Lovely morning…..sunlight peering through rainclouds, dandelion tea in my favorite Van Gogh mug, Beatles playing in the background and a plate of coconut flour pancakes with strawberries and yogurt.
My family has started calling me “Farmer Sara”. I am not much of one, but it’s a cute name. Watching things grow and develop this spring into summer is so fascinating. The tiny peach buds I posted a month ago are huge now. My tiny baby chicks (which have a monstrous learning curve) are getting quite large and live in their coop now. And my children-they are growing and changing so fast it can make my head spin at times. My oldest has learned to swim with the help of a friend. And then conquered her fear and went under water yesterday. My baby is now speaking with intelligible words and is very independent. It’s beautiful to see this much growth so closely.
Last week I went to visit my family “back home”. It had been 3 years since my last visit and I was long overdue. Bittersweet. Beautiful. Warming right down to my toes. There’s something about connecting with the people who have known you the longest that makes me feel right at home. I think even my soul took a deep breath and let out a long-held sigh. I learned a little more family history and story, with the pictures to go along. There is something about knowing where you come from-the good and the bad. My sweet aunt took me to the family cemetery. My family lost a baby sister at birth. I was so little, just 3, and was not at the funeral, nor had I ever been to the site. I did not expect the tears. There really aren’t the right words to do justice to that moment for me, but it was profound and healing.
I have this feeling that life will move so quickly this summer, but my intention is to slow down, enjoy the moments, soak it in, and refuse to over schedule. Life is too important to speed through it. The secret lies in the everyday. In the ordinary and routine, we become who we are as all the little things add up. I am here to love well.
These are the new green grapes I bought this past weekend. Aren’t they lovely? And so full of promise? I am a big novice when it comes to gardening. I hate dirt. I hate bugs. I don’t even like to be outside that much. But I am learning to get over it. Learning to enjoy nature, dirt, life cycles and especially the way life is intertwined. So, I put on my gardening gloves, grabbed the shovel and dug a big hole for my new vines. Then I did it again for my new fig tree (which I do not have a picture of) and was sweaty and a little tired. But tired in a very satisfying way. Here’s to hoping they flourish in my yard.
This other picture is one of 3 peach trees that came with the house. They are full of tiny little peach buds. And it smells heavenly. I love peaches. How much better to love my own peaches?! I might even share 🙂
This is my version of Five Minute Friday.
On a whim, or rather….because I want to be known and in a community of close friends, I decided to join the inRL in(courage) un-conference.
What is it? Women sharing their stories, their heart and then spending time with other women they may not know in real life to form a community.
The in person part is tomorrow. I’m pretty excited about it. It feel like a relief. I’ve been living on the surface for awhile and it’s tiring. So here goes.
I’ll let ya know how it turns out. The webcast today was so good, so refreshing. I identified, smiled, cried…all of it.
I’m really grateful right now.