Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Shifting sands

Since the end of the school year I have been wondering how to get back here or whether to come back at all. The thought of starting fresh with another bright, shiny blog crossed my mind several times. In all honesty the only reason I'm not typing over there is due to the lack of inspiration for a new, bright, shiny blog name. Then I decided my fickle blogging intentions were rather comfortable right here at HomM HQ, plus we have history. Forty two months of history to be precise. Those months have carried our story, reminding me of all the blurry days between the years.

Those blurry days have revealed a teenager in the house, a pre-teen on the cusp of adolescence, a young baby grown into a pre-schooler & the whispering thoughts of another child into an almost toddling toddler. Plus a dog, a cat & a partridge in a pear tree...or four budgies in a cage, whatever.

The last update was all about Jack, how far he has come within himself since we pulled him from mainstream school & began our homeschooling journey.

Journey noun
Passage or progress from one stage to another:
the journey to success
We have very much undergone a journey, not only with Jack, but also within ourselves & our beliefs pertaining to education. Our generic acceptance was challenged. The further we wandered down the beaten track the more we questioned, with each fork in the road our status quo shifted a little each time. School is not a one size fits all. It's rarely a one size fits most. I'll get into that another night.
Going back over the last post & reading how the other (school aged) minions all happily went off to their first day back to school come February, or first day at school as was the case for Will, amazes me in how much our point of view has altered. A narrow perspective has been upgraded to a wide angle lens with a birds eye view.
Mid year we decided that instead of sending Clay off to kindergarten in 2018, he would never see the inside of a conventional classroom. Instead he would keep doing what he's always known & that is homeschooling with Jack.
As we made this decision the other kids, particularly Ben & Blake, continued to frequently ask to homeschool. The blanket response initially was "no" for a variety of reasons, including the (misconception) that I personally wouldn't be able to do it, as well as the perception that they had no 'reason' to homeschool & hence were better off at mainstream school. Oh how I was still so blinkered.
You know when you're meant to be on another path, but you stubbornly continue to take step after step along the well worn tracks you're eminently familiar with, so the universe decides to throw a little wild weather your way. Whether it be in the form of an earthquake, a mudslide or a tsunami.
In our case it was a six week meet & greet with Influenza B & Norovirus - a nasty & hideously contagious gastro virus that loves nothing better than to take out nursing homes & cruise ships in one fell swoop. Or put a household under quarantine. 
Once we knew what we were battling & the kids were looking at a minimum one to two week absence from school, we offered them the choice to 'mock homeschool' or have their school work sent home from their teachers to complete. With a unanimous vote to (trail) homeschool, off we went.

Life. Changing.
For all of us.
Five weeks later & in the final week of term three, following several (hundred) discussions as a family, with the children separately & between Doug & I, we made the leap & put in our application to homeschool all the remaining school aged children.
It's now been three (or four?) months, though it feels so much longer than that - in a good way. It feels like life as we've always known it. The kids are even happier, which I didn't think was possible given they were all pretty happy kiddo's before. The cooperation & teamwork between them is heart bursting to quietly watch. Hearing them discuss or explain whatever they are currently reading, watching, writing, working on, thinking through, gives me more proof, if it was ever needed, that for our family homeschooling is the absolute freaking bees knees.
The world is their oyster school & I can't wait to travel it with them.

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