Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Things that aren't meant to be...

won't last. ;)

I had the schedule yesterday. It went okay. We started off today with French--an activity that the 16yo and dd were totally enthused to do. [What was it? They wrote French weather forecasts, then did family trees with actual trees and leaves for the names of the people. While Charlotte Mason would have said to end the activity and move onto something else, I disagree! The 'flow' that Csíkszentmihályi proposed, which is the same as the joyful attention that Montessori noticed, was there and not to be tampered with.] The rest of the schedule fell apart. But what was going on was the *fire* I had been looking to find come back.

Prayer yesterday morning and this morning, reflecting on The Secret and more caused a subtle mind shift this morning. It was almost visible, but not expressible (sp?) in words.

What worked? Shaking things up. Finding something 'alive' to do as part of our school work instead of sticking with x amount having to be finished in a textbook. Talking more. Even watched a video with the 16yo on the French and Industrial Revolutions and I was able to add details here and there. What happened? "Where's my social text? I feel like reading it." The *fire* was back.

Was it back for the 13yo? No. However, we did get to tackle some of his misconceptions--like "I don't understand" means there's no need to continue working on that thing. I gave him a math sheet on multiplication using dots and parentheses instead of what he's normally used to. He tried the "I don't understand." I replied with something and then got him started on the first one. He did the rest, VERY focused, by himself. :D I guess, for him, that was still flow to a certain degree. Joy at doing the work may not have been there, but the focus was.

It FELT great today. Was a whole lot of work done? Probably not. My attitude today: so what? If we can't take care of the joy and motivation, it'll take 100 times longer to get the needed work done. A whole different vision of how our homeschool will work out is forming in my mind--and it's turning into what it used to be. Instead of simply expecting the 16yo to work independently right off the bat, incorporating more of how we used to go about things will keep her happy and motivated. Her telling me that she felt abandoned was probably right on the mark. (Did I share that she had said that?)

A shift in me is creating a shift in our homeschool. And it's wonderful. :)


Daisy said...

I just had the thought to add:

A schedule is not necessarily a bad thing. For some families, it's THE way to go. For us, it isn't. And for whatever reason, whatever I was doing before wasn't coming through--starting the schedule was a necessity *for me* to have the feeling of something being accomplished rather than just crazy play or total indolence. Ymmv!

kate said...

Create the 3 hour work period- in my mind this is a 3 hour time free of other intrusions (phone, email, visitors, errands, etc) but without a schedule for it. With a list of work to be accomplished there are always options clear for a child or a place to start the day (especially for us nonmorning people) but this should, like you describe in your post, lead to that joyful place of work. I would disagree with you that maybe not much was accomplished- what gets accomplished when in that state is deep, true learning that lasts, so, conversely A LOT was accomplished.

Another thougt- being a night time person myself, and I was even in high school, I have always loved that quiet of late night, uninterrupted time and that is when my real creative flow time comes. So, also knowing that teenagers are by nature more nocturnal- perhaps evening is really the time to expect a 3 hour work period from a teen? Something to ponder.


Daisy said...

We do have a 3-hour work period: 8am - 11am. This is how we've always run. Somehow, last year, the 3-hour work period fell apart. Part of it I really do feel was the one girl no longer with us; the other was that the oldest could no longer really choose her work as freely--for her to get the Alberta High School diploma, she MUST cover certain stuff. And get marked. And do a final exam from the school for each subject, worth 50% of the final mark. It changed the whole feel. I think I also changed it in terms of focusing too much on the details that needed to be accomplished, the work that had to be done, instead of the understanding that needed to be gained.

As for evenings... that would be wonderful, but the two oldest aren't mine, so they're not with me in the evenings. Their parents split up a couple of years ago, so they have to juggle between houses, in addition to having diving 2 evenings a week (takes up the entire evening), AND their dad fell at the end of August and broke vertebrae in his back, as well as his pelvis, and needs extra help around the house. Let's just say that evening work time ins't a possibility right now. ;) The oldest has been bringing stuff home with her to try to do some, but she maybe gets in 30 minutes of textbook reading when she can.