Life has been eerily quiet on the He Sparkles blog, I readily admit. :O) I truly appreciate all of the comments we’ve received from everyone and I assure you…we are still alive. Life has a way of taking hold of the reigns at times! This has been a year of change for us, for certain, and the best that we can do is embrace those changes as they come along.
Our biggest change as of late is school. At first, we enjoyed school. Noah’s teacher was amazing (truly one of a kind) and the kids in his class all brought something special and unique to the classroom. But, after a while, five days a week, week in and week out, begins to wear on a little free spirit. The amount of time spent in a classroom…waiting for the teacher to deal with the other children…brings a level of boredom that is difficult for some to endure. Noah wants to run. He wants to create. He wants to learn what HE wants to learn, at his own level, when he wants to learn it. He wants to feel the sun kiss his shoulders again. He wants to do it in his own time, on his own schedule. So after two months of increasingly more and MORE difficult emotional and behavioral issues EVERY day that we had to go to school, it finally hit me: this is not what we should be doing; this is not where he belongs. It took a lot of reflecting, a lot of introspection to come to where we are now: What is causing all of this ruckus every day? What is making Noah feel this way? What is really best for him? Do I have the ability, as a once-again-single-parent, to balance being a single parent, a freelance photographer AND a homeschooling mama? You know what? Yes. Yes, I do. I know exactly what he needs at this point in time and that’s exactly what we decided to do. So, after a final visit with our family therapist to confirm everything we were already feeling, we withdrew from public school and went back to our happy little world of homeschooling. Fast forward almost a month later and we have a much happier Noah, which also results in a happier mama!
Now Noah has time. He has time to embrace violin/orchestra, ballet, science and sunshine. He has time to explore new topics and dig deeper into the things he already knows that he loves. When I asked him if there was anything specific he wanted to learn about besides the typical first grade stuff, he asked to learn how to make a teepee and a bow and arrow. (He learned how to flint nap last year and did an extensive unit study on Native American history.) He is enjoying studying events that took place in the 30s and 40s after becoming smitten with Edith Piaf. He’s watching documentaries on human evolution, anthropological digs, tigers and Amelia Earhart. Instead of being forced to read for fifteen minutes at the same time every day, in a distracting environment, Noah cuddles up and reads in bed in the mornings as soon as he wakes up. Sometimes he reads Calvin & Hobbes or Bone. Other times he’s reading about the BP oil spill or global warming.Today, before focusing on math and writing in his journal, he spent over an hour creek stomping in the woods. He built dams, he found bones (that we later identified as coming from a deer) and we compared how high the water was compared to before the rain last night. This is how kids should be able to learn. I mean, think about it…this is some big stuff compared to what they learn in a first grade curriculum!
For now we are really enjoying getting back into our own routine. A routine that is not dictated by anyone taking attendance or by 22 other kids waiting in line to go pee. I think we’ve found our happy place again. 🙂