About half the time my youngest daughter goes to school she tells me she is sick and can’t go. I struggle to push her out the door. I believe in homeschooling, more importantly I don’t believe in our current public school philosophy, and feel Teela needs a different way to learn. My husband does not believe in homeschooling and because of this we scoot her onto the school bus with much manipulation.
Teela and I have a unique relationship. We are very intertwined emotionally and biologically. We even have our bowl movements at the same time every day. This has its good and bad points. It makes it hard for us to seperate and I am definately someone who needs time to herself to settle and be grounded. If I am a parent all day without even an hour to reflect on life or sit and meditate I get very irritable and can fall into a depression.
Teela is a very demanding child for me. She needs me to do everything with her. I thought part of this was due to her being here, on this farm in rural Saskatchewan, basically in isolation. I assumed Teela was bored and looking for some companionship. Putting her in the pre-K program would help her be less dependant on me and I would find time to do the researching and writing that I want to do. So at the age of 2 (almost 3) years of age we popped her on the school bus with her two older sisters and sent her off to pre-Kindergarden this year. While I had a hard time with it the self part of me was looking forward to a few hours to work in the morning.
Teela is very bright and it turned out to be a good thing. Every day I pick her up she says, “It was the best day ever!” Well every day until recently. It has kind of simmered down recently but she does still say it. She seems to enjoy going but there is part of me that feels she would be happy to be home with me yet.
If she is home with me all day I worry that I will fall into a mental state not conducive to her yet I feel that there has to be a balance. She is a very dependant child and I struggle with that. But I love her so awfully much. Being home every day together should not limit us from finding time alone to do what exploring we need to do for ourselves, right? Nothing is every black or white; right or wrong; all or nothing? She shouldn’t have to go to school just because I struggle to find time to myself when she is home with me all day. Surely we should be able to find a balance.
I am the type of person that needs a plan. I can deviate from the plan but I need one to refer back to. I really believe in unschooling but I need some structure to the day. I have occasionally made a list of things Teela and I could do during the day and it helped, but I am not consistent with it.
I recently discovered the Oak Meadows curriculum for homeschooling. I think I am going to purchase their two manuals The Heart of Learning and Learning Processes as a guide to developing a routine for Teela and I. We will practice homeschooling/unschooling this summer. See if we can prevent ourselves from driving each other crazy. Her always needing me and me trying to find time alone. Maybe we can find our happy medium. My hope is that I can give her some of me and she will feel satisfied resulting in me finding moments for myself throughout the day. Maybe it is lofty but it is worth a shot. Perhaps we will find another path once we step onto this one.
If we can find a rhythm and daddy can see that she is learning and I am not going crazy, then maybe she can stay home with me. Just maybe.