As homeschoolers, it's natural for us to occasionally question how we are doing what we are doing...and why we're even doing it in the first place. These are the big questions. The ones that set you back. Disrupt the rhythm of how you do what you do. Suck the meaning out of why you're doing it all.
It all started with our annual Peabody test. (We're in a state that requires annual testing for homeschoolers.) I was interested to see how we'd done and if we'd progressed in our learning from the previous test, seeing as how most of this school year saw our family focused on finding the farm, buying the farm, and moving into the farm.
When the testing was done, it was revealed that not only were the Hmmmschoolers doing perfectly well in their math and reading, they were actually far above grade level in "general studies" subjects such as history, science, art knowledge, etc.
Now, like any homeschooling mama, I was proud of my hmmmschoolers for their hard work. Proud in a (purely selfish) way that said Good. Now grandma/grandpa/aunt/uncle/friend from high school can't tell me that my kids aren't learning anything. This test proves it! See?? They know so much!
But wait. There was an issue. Because when I found out what the "above and beyond" concepts were that they'd been tested on and done so well with...I had to admit they were not things we'd ever touched on in our school time.
The boys had picked those up all on their own.
Apart from the structured school time. Apart from the books and planned out experiments and worksheets.
Apart from me.
Now...that's a good thing. Right? I should be glad I've lit a fire within the boys that encourages them to learn and learn and learn some more. To seek out information. To dig deeper. To figure things out on their own.
No one told me, however, that when you're sitting in that place of being constantly told by your kids Mom, I already know that. I read it in a book from the library or Mom, we already watched a show about that on the History Channel with Grandpa or Mom, we already figured that out when we were building those contraptions in the garage with Dad...you will wonder what the heck your place really even is as a homeschooling Mom.
You can't shut off the learning. And you can't slow it down...or speed it up. It is what it is.
So now we've arrived at this new place. A place where I learn that learning changes. That what my kids need changes. And how we homeschool, in order to compliment those changes, needs to change as well.
And this is the place where I learn that all of that is perfectly ok.