Saturday, July 15, 2017

Child Study

I've told myself that the rest of July is for school planning, in addition to all the other things that life has for me to do. I saw this lengthy cartoon, and it has alarming accuracy at numerous points.  There's a book called The Hidden Feelings of Motherhood that confirms much of what is said.  My mind is swirling with so many things--garden work, food preservation, laundry, school planning, Willow's year-end testing, bees, upcoming visits and appointments, etc.

This is how time gets away from us and we wonder what we did all day.  All that mess aside, I am finding little bits of clarity in each day.  Just as we have all inched our way better, our routines and moods have slowly improved.  The weeds have been pulled, the laundry has returned to the line, and we've done some of our usual Summer activities.  We are no longer holding our breath and waiting.

As for school, I'm feeling fairly certain that Roan will begin grade one in September.  I've mulled over thoughts of another year of Enki kindergarten with more challenging stories, but I feel real joy and excitement over moving on to first grade.  His drawings show first grade readiness (houses, chimneys, skies above, earth below), as do his general day-to-day abilities and activities. I'm leaning toward Lavender's Blue Homeschool instead of Enki, because it is less teacher-intensive.  Having to adjust to Christopherus for Willow leaves me feeling like I'd rather use something that's a little more ready-to-use.   I'll fill in some details from Enki, like recorder, copper rods, and nature stories.

I've been doing a lot of thinking and reading, wanting to make certain that grade one is the right choice right now.  It will certainly be different to work with a child for whom all the letters and their sounds will be entirely new.  He does not count to great heights, and isn't really interested in it the way Willow was.  She was practically insatiable in her quest for knowledge, but that was Willow from the moment she was born.  Hungry.  He is very much his person, comfortable with who he is.  Roan has been more of a slow-and-steady kind of fellow.  He would take up new skills, often earlier than Willow (like sewing), but his path was riddled with two steps forward and one step back. 

Roan asked to walk home from the store yesterday, after we got our groceries.  I told him I'd get him past the parking lot, and then I'd let him out.  It's only a block, after all.  So, we followed along in the car as he galloped his way home.  He wasn't one bit afraid.  He's learned to tie his shoes, and is generally more independent.  He seems to have lots patience for copying letters, and he would often put a single word in his practice book that described his drawings.  He's also happy to retell stories, too, so I'm feeling like he could be up to the task of first grade work.

When people ask about homeschooling, I make mention of the freedom that we have to tailor our lessons to the needs of our children.  If Roan truly isn't ready for first grade, I can fall back on the materials from kindergarten.  Enki provided more than two years' worth of stories, handwork, and movement.  In the meantime, I'll keep reading as much as I can of the new materials and trusting my intuition.

Well, time to get moving around here!  Happy Saturday!


  1. I am intrigued by the Lavender's Blue curriculum! The only downside that I can see is that it is only offered in digital format, and I don't have a super reliable computer right now. I will have to mull this over...

    1. I got it several years ago when Willow was beginning first grade, but I used Enki instead. It stayed in my mind all that time, as the materials are very thoughtfully laid out. Songs are provided, too, which is a big help. I had Mike print it all out for me, since I do better with things on paper. I'd be happy to send you a sample. :-)

  2. Wow, that cartoon says it all, doesn't it! I wish I was the type of person who could live with leaving things left undone, but I can't. So I do it. The end. :)

    I'm just beginning to think about planning (and writing up my reports for the district). The thing is I LOVE planning. Planning is fun and feels productive for me, but then usually in the first week back to lessons, the plans go awry--and this after 19 years of homeschooling!!! I'm still trying to figure things out. : )

    1. It does, with depressing precision. I can't leave things undone, either. It eats at me and steals my sanity. Planning does feel productive and so idealistic. I am hopeful this year, as always. Time will tell. ;-) Willow's performance on her test (I ordered one that was a little ahead by accident) was really encouraging!