Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Easing into the Little Way of Unschooling

I am currently reading Homeschooling with Gentleness: A Catholic Discovers Unschooling by Suzie Andres. I am mostly convinced that Catholics can, in good conscience, unschool. But doing this is harder said than done. Our lesson time started out well today. Beezy finished a chapter in her Ginn reader and enjoyed the story. Then she completed her Hail Mary copy work just fine. I read the end of a novel to her, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, which by the way was quite good. I took a shower and got myself together while Beezy worked on her room, straightening up her things throughout the house, and putting stuff where it belongs.

Beezy did a math workbook page. Then came her piano theory homework, and I started to get impatient trying to keep her on task. Her teacher recommends only 15 minutes of practice a day, and I didn't want to run over, so I felt pressured (by myself, really) to hurry her along. We ended up spending 20 minutes on it. Is this really an issue? Why not just do the work until it seems that she is ready to be done, whether that takes 10 minutes or half an hour? I forgot to follow the child. Sorry, Maria Montessori!

While we were doing the piano homework, my husband came along and said a library book could not be renewed, so then I felt pressured to get the book read and narrated, even though what I said to him is that we did not have to rush to get it back. We have teacher library cards, which means that we don't accumulate fines on overdue books. Surely the person requesting, Don't Ride the Bus on Monday could wait a day or two? But against my own wisdom, I read this wonderful Rosa Parks story and enjoyed it less than I might have if I had picked it up when I felt more relaxed. Beezy would most likely have enjoyed it better too. She was noticeably fidgety at this time, so I sent her out to walk the dog in the middle of the book. When it was finished, she gave a creative narration that reminded me of a "spoken word" poem. She got a little carried away at the end, but I resisted my urge to tell her not to be so silly during her narration. I also did not use my plan book or check anything off. So plus points given for Mommio, and other points taken away! I know, progress, not perfection.

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