Thursday, March 25, 2010

Remembering to Breathe

I posted a couple of weeks ago about some homeschooling woes in which I was wallowing (lots of comments -- thanks!), and I've still got one toe in that cesspool.

It so happened that, while looking over the Ambleside Online schedule for Year 3, I saw that we had missed some books we were supposed to have already covered.  I know how it happened; I'd made a few substitutions, and then forgot about the others.  Of course, panic set in.  What would we do now?  How could I fit all that in without backpedaling?  Was it possible?  It seems we are always treading water.  Are we ever going to move forward?

Then a dear friend told me that, at this point, she's picking and choosing items to cover because covering everything simply isn't an option.  I blinked.  She was so right.  And anyway, when is covering everything ever an option?

So today I took a deep breath, exhaled (very important to remember!), and thought things through.  I also had a cup of Lady Grey tea, which was very helpful.  Here's what I came up with:

It's mid-March, not the best time to reinvent the wheel.  Instead of trying to cram more things in, I'm going to either cover some things this summer (perhaps in a more streamlined form), or look ahead to see when we'll cover this material again in later years and leave it until then.  I also need to remind myself that whatever we're doing is still more than what they would be doing in school.  So basically, we're just going with my plans for the rest of this year.

I feel better already.  More tea?


  1. Ellen, keep having nice tea ;-)
    Learning and hs'ing is not about COVERING. Reading one of the books by Levison you recommended, A CM education, CM herself thought it was more important to have covered a few things in depth and detail (she was talking about history), than to know a brief meaningless recollection of the whole history.
    Remember the value of education is in the PROCESS, not the 'stuff' you go through and that fills that skeleton or corpus of knowledge. Yes, to know and cover things is important, but secondary to education. Do not feel guilty or that you are loosing ground if your girls are engaged in what they are doing, and they are learning to be learners. They will 'cover the gaps'. I have black holes and I 'love' myself (in a non narcissistic sense, in the sense that God loves me with my imperfections, my gaps, my frazzled moods...)
    BTW, we don't have say 'school months', we are always learning and always taking breaks as needed. And yes, whatever you are doing will always be better than anything else, because you LOVE your girls, and because you are all super smart ladies.

  2. more thing....did you do substitutions or additions? LOL

  3. Totally agree. AO is a pattern. It doesn't need to be followed slavishly, and nobody will pat you on the back if you do. Similarly nobody but you will beat you up if you don't.

    Relax kiddo, and drink that tea!

    PS I don't think I realised how much we have in common - AO3, reading, chocolate, tea, travel, being Anglophiles, our wonder I fret if I don't hear from you for a while!!

  4. Sounds like you did the right thing. Drink that tea lady. And remember, this is YOUR Homeschool.

  5. what did you miss, and importantly, what did you substitute in?
    it may not make much difference in the end.
    if it's something old and british, you could just come visit me and cover it all with a field trip?

  6. Wow! Thanks for all the encouraging comments! To answer a few questions: I substituted _Pilgrim Stories: From Old Homes to New_ and then completely forgot about some other history selections (other than OIS). Silvia: only substitutions, no additions! Jackie: I'm beginning to think it might not make much difference at this juncture. And a field trip to visit you is in my plans anyway!

  7. What about a trip to the Antipodes?


I love reading comments! And I appreciate the time you take to leave them. Thanks!