We started school a few weeks ago and it's been rough. I'm not going to sugar coat any parts of it... my kids do not sit for anything, they don't listen for anything and momma can't hang. That's just the truth.
I sat down to evaluate what I was doing last year that made school less awful and came to a conclusion. The only difference between last year and this year is that now we use a curriculum. You would think that curriculum would help structure our learning, push us in the right direction, but honestly my kids are losing it before we even start the hands on portion of school these days.
The self evaluation was rough. Rough like... I failed. That's the only thing I could come up with. I'm clearly not organized enough, aware enough, I'm not enough! I frequently fall into this cycle of self negativity when something goes wrong. Until recently I couldn't pull out of it without some help. Between Jesus and my therapist, we've got a good thing going with pulling myself out of self doubt and encouraging myself to pick it up and keep trucking. This particular cycle was easier to break than previous ones because of a video I did before this school year started about expectations.
I watched that video three or four times this week to remind me to take a step back and fix my view of how school happens in our home. Do my kids absolutely need to sit down and do book work at ages 4 and 5? Nope, they absolutely don't. Prior to this realization, I was waiting until after everyone was frustrated to start trying games and activities until after we were all frustrated. You can imagine the absolute disaster. Actually you don't even have to imagine it, I posted a video.
Okay, so I know the problem now I have to fix it! The plan going forward is to chill out. We're taking a few days off to reset and get back into the swing of things with games and activities at the forefront, not as an afterthought. I know my intention to strictly follow the curriculum wasn't bad, but it's just not well suited to my kids. Our family hasn't ever been the structured, well organized, well oiled machine some people's families are. And that's completely okay! We're allowed to be messy, it's part of what makes us who we are. But trying to force a bull through a china shop without breaking any dishes is silly. Silly and impossible.
Basically this whole long post is a reminder to take a deep breath. If something isn't working for your family, change it. Change it!! Who's in charge here? You. Change the rules if the rules need changing. We see these mom's on the internet just killing it... I specifically watch Jordan Page and think about all the things I'm not doing as well as she is. That just isn't a fair comparison. Honestly, JP seems like a super organized working machine. I, however, am not organized or a working machine. I've got to compare Cassie to Cassie, not Cassie to Jordan.
I've spent enough time comparing myself to other mom's on the internet. Picking apart my own real life self to compare to their internet selves. We're just going to rock school the Lewis way. A little disorganized, super quirky... and if we use the curriculum next year or never, that's okay. The point is to educate my kids the way they learn, so I'm gonna do just that!