1. Put on your socks, shoes and a coat. Choose a warm one because you will be outside for 30 minutes.
2. Go outside and choose a tree.
3. Study this tree thoroughly (Were does it grow? How big is it? Do animals live in it? Are there leaves? How many branches? What color bark? Does it have sap? What shape are its leaves? etc.)
4. When I call you, come in and give me a thorough report about your tree. I will write down your statement, recording it in the family nature journal.
Here's what happened:
Minute 1- Child 1 and 3 fighting over the favored tree. I make child 3 choose another tree.
Minute 3- Pounding on the door and shouts of "We already know everything!" To which I reply "I don't think so, keep looking."
Minute 4- Youngest two "We're cold" they yell through the door. Yup, you guessed it. No coats. I instruct them to come in and get on a warm coat.
Minute 5- Insanely loud pounding on the door and shouts of "We're freezing!" to which I reply "It is January 24th and 60 degrees outside. I am sure you will live fifteen more minutes."
Minute 10- Second child has to pee. Doesn't return from the bathroom until minute 16.
Minute 15- Screaming noted in the side yard directed to a neighbor who is watching my house like the crazies live in it and wondering what kind of torture I'm performing on my pour innocent children. I hear "Mom is freezing us and won't let us inside."
Minute 16- Neighbor in my yard coaxing my distraught children. REALLY?
Minute 16!- I'm on porch calling children into the house and sending them to their beds. Mommy needs to cool down.
Minute 31- Lesson a complete disaster! Son tore up bedroom, bullied and injured the youngest and threatened the frog all while in time out. I am in tears.
This, my friends, is supposed to be RELAXED homeschooling. Please, tell me what I'm doing wrong.
What would Charlotte say if she were here to coach me through my sudden desire to throw my little ingrates onto the yellow Shark (we call buses sharks) and whisk them off to Public School?
I believe in Charlotte's methods, study them. I believe that homeschool is the best choice for my family. I live by these values.
However, it just isn't as easy as following a curriculum, system, idea, or method. Children are human, free thinking individuals with minds of their own and plans that often differ (greatly) from ours. We, as homeschooling parents, are working with uncontrolled variables that can alter the outcome of our perfect lesson plans dramatically. Education (or the process of obtaining it) are not concrete. This is my dilemma. What would Charlotte say?