I am participating in Rebel Homeschool's December blogging prompts, called "Reverb". Theresa of Rebel Homeschool took it upon herself this year to invent her own blogging prompts for each day of December. I'll try to use the daily prompts for blogging as many days as possible this month, beginning with this first prompt:
Day One: Turning Point
Did you have a turning point in 2011? A point where homeschooling became easier, or conversely, more difficult?
2011 has definitely been a pivotal year in our homeschooling and overall lifestyle. We are all experiencing growing "pains" and "joys" and "anxieties" this year.
As a mother, I sensed the turning point in my children's growing older, accepting more responsibility, and changing relationships with the outer world. It's felt equal parts excitement, pride, and, (honestly,) dread to me. Hoping that I guide them and handle this period ok is not a new concern, but now our lifestyle seems to have more real and outer world outcomes than when they were younger. The kids seem perched on the nest now, and I feel I must scramble to get ready for their adventures into the world without me. I can't tell you how much I look forward to seeing them becoming more of themselves, yet how I also feel compelled to taking up an addictive coping habit at the same time! Here are the specifics of what has been going on this year:
Son went from assistant coaching on a limited, volunteer basis to having a real job of coaching his own gymnastics classes. He is also preparing to get his driver's license, and gearing up to take his first college course in January. As his mother, I hope and wonder if we have prepared him enough for thriving in this outer world. Does he have the basic academics he needs for his new outer world? Does he have enough self-confidence and communication skills to continue learning and growing effectively outside of my immediate supervision? Will he be safe? Will he be harmed? Will he enjoy life? Will he handle problems and overwhelm in a healthy way? How much will I continue to need to help him with that, and in what ways?
Then, Daughter began training with the team in gymnastics this year, requiring much more time, physical and mental effort, and dedication. She is also being exposed to more complicated friend and classmate dynamics issues, and the wider world of girl issues- cultural standards- especially lookism, popularity, body image, and where that fits into her life. She is gaining more skills in gymnastics, crafting, and communication, which requires her to brush up on other skills to help her. Her self-confidence and determination are developing. She has entered puberty this year, and is grappling with the normal issues surrounding it. As her mother, I wonder how well she is handling the wider world in her inner life, and is she doing so in a healthy way. Will she maintain her sense of self through adolescence, without succumbing too much to cultural standards? Is she being pushed/pushing herself too hard? Will she become perfectionistic, and miserable because of it? How do I best support her dreams, while helping her maintain an healthy outlook?
The kids also have these mixed feelings in their own way, and are excited and sometimes overwhelmed by the changes in their lives. They are also foreseeing what academic preparation they are still needing to meet their goals. This is generally so, for sometimes they also do not see the point of our studying certain subjects. Through a teen and pre-teen lens, this can be frustrating for them.
So is homeschooling harder this year? Yes, in that there is more structure to our studies, and more complicated schedules to work around. The turning point seems to do more in our family's life stage, rather than with the homeschooling itself. In a way, this stage makes homeschooling easier as well, in that it is much clearer to see what we need to work on, and when, in order for the kids to continue their pursuits of their chosen interests and ever-expanding goals.
Thank you, Theresa, for orchestrating the Reverb 2011! Having a prompt really helps get me blogging - especially when I don't think I have something to say!
You can participate in Reverb 2011 too- click on this button to participate, or read the other responses to the daily prompt: