It is probably pretty evident at this point that Miles hasn’t attended preschool.  I have been hesitant to provide details in this space, (as I still am), because of the nature of such a decision.  It is very personal, and yet very much a choice that hits home for most parents.  We have fallen into a rhythm of self-directed learning, mama assisted project based learning, and of course lots and lots of play.  This looks chaotic most days.  It looks messy all days.  It feels good, and is starting to feel better as I see some “real” learning.

So, we are homeschooling.  There I said it.

I find myself often side skirting the subject when asked, mumbling something about missing the cut off date, or forming phrases such as, “we intend to home school…” with so little confidence in my voice even I find the words unconvincing.  But, the truth is, boldly typed here where it has never been typed before: We are excited.  We are homeschooling.  And it feels good to all of us.

This isn’t to say we won’t change our minds later on down the road.  We just may.  We reserve that right.  And that knowledge gives me the freedom to go forth with this decision; Knowing it doesn’t have to be permanent and that if it is working we can continue and if it is not we can reassess.  That gives Lee and I both a lot of comfort.

If you are curious as to what this style of learning looks like, I will show you:

IMG_0118 IMG_0124 IMG_0128 IMG_0129 IMG_0130 IMG_0131 IMG_0132 IMG_0098

(A fascination with flags and states led to a detailed study of the flags throughout the history of Vermont… Anticipation of spring lead to a need to learn the months and we created a wheel calendar…  an interest in learning to read sparked the little man to pick up a set of BOB books intended to help him on his mission… an obsession with weapons (much to his my dismay) leads this little one to Fantastic Mr. Fox time and time again to catch a glimpse of Quentin Blake’s sketches…. Strawberry picking last spring STILL leading to lots of baked goods with strawberries involved….

It probably looks a lot like what you do in your own house.  It looks like boys playing together.  It looks like baking cooperatively, with a mama who is oh so desperately trying to be patient with yet another powder puff of flour exploding everywhere due to all the lovely help she is getting.  It looks like a lot of library books to keep track of.  It looks like a lot of reading about homeschooling life.  (This, this, this, and this are my favorite so far…  I have this on its way to my front doorstep which I am particularly excited about)  It looks like a lot of playdates and a few classes thrown in there.  It looks like reading and reading and playing and reading and reading and playing and well.. you get the point.  See?  Like your house.

I hope that this decision continues to feel right for us down the road, but honestly, I am not all that concerned.  When I first found I was pregnant with my sweet Miles, I thought I knew just what it would be like.  I was sure of how to mother a little boy with compassion and honesty and patience and love.  I thought I knew all the answers.  And I can tell you, not once since the moment I first held him in my arms has it come as easily as it did when he was just a twinkle in my unrealistic eye.  Parenting is a struggle of the heart.  It is an ever-changing landscape and this is something I accept whole heartedly now that I have my feet firmly planted in the lands of raising children.  I give myself full permission to see what is working and change what isn’t.  And I really like it that way.

7 thoughts on “choices

  1. Good for you Mariah! We still contemplate the idea of home schooling, and it is comforting to know that you can choose to change to or from if it isn’t working out.
    Looks like you are all doing really well either way!

  2. Sounds like a good plan, even if it does not turn out to be forever. My little babe is only 17 months old, but I have planned on homeschooling her since before I even was pregnant. I don’t really have an idea of what that will mean on a daily basis, but I just feel that the whole concept of it – ME giving my child guidance to explore and learn about the world rather than some stranger – is what makes sense.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your journey! It is so exciting to see when we get to see our children’s learning happen right in front of us! My daughter will, most likely, be starting preschool next year at (4 1/2 years old). We shall see how the year unfolds. I would love to hear more about how it works for your family!

  4. Wonderful, Mariah! Unschooling and homeschooling are such great choices to make, and with your background in education they will be all the more enriched-I love reading about your family’s journey and where parenting is taking you, so thank you for sharing! 🙂

  5. Pingback: the cut off | MamaRise

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