Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Thoughts on my 3-hour work period

Kate's comment to my previous post has me really thinking, especially after today. We had a weird day today, but a couple of the kids are getting sicker and weather changes are causing some sleeping issues, too. I also didn't have a clear focus of what I wanted to do today which is probably part of the problem. I still felt so much better about today than I have about our schooling in general this year and last.

So, our 3-hour work period... How did it used to really work? I think I might have placed some requirements, especially if something hadn't been worked on for a while. Dd and the other girl were so self-directed, I guess I was somewhat spoiled. ;) We'd sit down, look at their work charts, see what kinds of things had and hadn't been done and talk about stuff they could do if they didn't already have ideas of their own (which they usually already did). With the 13yo, he had his checklist of stuff to get done in a day and could choose the order he did it in. (This doesn't seem to work now as he seems to be losing himself as much as he can in play or other activities--avoidance tactic. Got to think about what will connect with him so he has no desire to go off.) The oldest would consult with me about stuff that really should be done and would kind of plan out her day based on that and what she'd like to do. We had a lot of group lessons or activities (always voluntary!) because nobody was on semesters (as the 16yo now is--3 subjects this semester, 3 subjects next, 1 subject all year) and nobody had stuff that ABSOLUTELY had to be done or we were risking negatively affecting GPAs--or even passing. (Those darn grades!!!!!)

I think this points to something I've glimpsed before: there's a loss of sense of community. It's all divided. The 13yo needs his remedial work (which he doesn't get nearly enough of), and the 16yo has her work which is totally different from everybody else's, ds is off with my niece all the time... It's all disjointed. For the 16yo, there's the added aspect of doing all kinds of stuff she feels she *has* to do with no room for her own personal interests.

I feel some idea growing in me. It's filled with an exciting energy. I'm not sure what the idea is, but it's coming. :)

Oh, trouble with my tired niece... Gotta go.

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