I think as we move forward in our homeschooling journey, we have begun to discover more and more how much learning takes place outside of the daily "school hours" of 8 to 3. However as I am looking ahead I have been struggling with the combination of what to sign KM up for and what to pass on and hope to do next year. I think that it can be VERY enticing to sign up for great classes that are being offered during the day that are geared to Homeschoolers and also to feel very thankful that these classes are available, but at the same time it can be good to step back and think about what our priorities are for our children and how we can best accomplish our learning goals.
I have made a commitment to work on our local coop program and I really feel like this is something that I need to stick to for the coming year. I have also been looking at one or two other things that I would like KM to participate in, but I need her to make the decision and the commitment for herself. She also needs to understand that some things may have to be sacrificed for others to happen. I think she is old enough to make the decision of where her priorities need to fall. She needs to understand that the commitment has to come from her and she must do the work in order for it to be a successful and worthwhile endeavor.
We had a very long discussion about what she wants to accomplish and what her goals are going to be for the coming year and I think that she really is starting to understand that her education is based on what she wants to make of it. We have both come to realize that in order for something to be truly learned, it needs to be much more ingrained into your being - to have content and connection to the things around you, rather than just random facts memorized in order to fill in the correct bubbles.
As we get farther and farther away from our old ways of thinking and that tape that constantly plays inside my head seems to get quieter and quieter - she seems to be learning more and MORE. Of course not just learning it for the moment, but really retaining and recalling the information in situations that relate to it. The transformation has been so amazing to me!
Over this summer we will be working on a more independent study approach to things. I will not be reading right along with her or standing over her shoulder until it is done. I need to know that I can give her an assignment and she will complete it. If this can be done, then I am more than willing to allow her to commit herself to more classes and outside activities in the fall. If not than we really will need to look at what sacrifices she is willing to make in order to obtain the goals that she has set for herself...not sure how this one will turn out, but I am truly keeping my fingers crossed for it!