Today I reflect on the benefits of changing up life, and setting new records. Now that Jessie is back in the formal school system some might wonder if the past year and a half of homeschooling was a failure. Today I say with confidence that it was not only a success, but it had positive implications for areas of life not even associated with education. I find myself setting a record today of three days of blogging in a row. I think I would have to look back far into the stacks to find the last time I managed that feat. Jessie has also risen, gotten ready for school, done all her chores (letting out the chickens and feeding the bunnies and chickens and feeding and watering the dogs), made and ate her breakfast, made and packed her lunch, and been ready by the door ON TIME for the past three days--with NO yelling from me. She has also completed two nights straight of homework, we have watched no tv at all, and she is getting to bed early every night. I have completed the tasks on my daily to do list for three straight days--including packing up the crate of work to be shipped to DC today. Now I have a few minutes to post while I wait for Becky Hinton to arrive for a handwork morning. This afternoon, piano lessons for J and me, and tonight the Reno girls are coming for dinner.
What does this have to do with homeschooling? I'll tell you. Though there were aspects of it J liked, she really missed the daily interactions with all of her friends. And because she had the break from school, she appreciates the parts she likes enough that she is willing to maintain her performance on other aspects, e.g., the education and learning part, up to and including paying attention in class, trying not to get frustrated when parents and others work with her and explain things she doesn't get, doing her homework before it's due, and getting up in the morning without fussing.
For me, though I knew I was spending a lot of time planning curriculum, teaching, assignments, and driving to all kinds of extra activities, I hadn't realized just how much time until I got it all back. Even with being on point every morning at 6:45 (6:45!!!!) and driving her to and from school, I have time to burn. And I have a renewed appreciation for the other things I do with my life. I am enthused about being back in the studio making glass, I have been cleaning my house, spinning, throwing out/giving away clutter, and ticking thing after thing off my list. And everything feels great.
Had we not taken a break to homeschool , I think we would both be stuck in an ever-deepening rut of dislike of school for her, and dissatisfaction with life for me. So Huzzah for Waldorf and Tim Smith--the best teacher in the world.