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  1. #11


    I have two closely related points to share.

    1. It's not a cliff, and you're not jumping off

    It can feel like it but I promise you, it's not. If you homeschool and it's not working, you can change your mind. At any point. If you enroll your son in public school and you want to pull him out and homeschool, you can. At any point. Even if they pressure you to finish out the year or even the semester. All the options are going to stay open for you.

    If you decide to go for the Well Trained Mind approach and it's not working, you can change your mind. At any point. If you unschool and it's not working, you can change your mind. At any point. It doesn't even have to be a matter of "it's really not working." You can change your mind even if it's working great but if you think something else might work better.

    You're worried you might make a mistake, but your son's education is going to unfold over a matter of many years. You have plenty of time to react, adjust, consider.

    2. The anthem of homeschooling is "do what works"

    The philosophies can seem overwhelming, but they are just philosophies - ideas. You and your husband are the bosses, not the philosophies. They are helpful to us as they provide guidelines. But if you read about a philosophy and you think "that sounds nice but there's too much/too little of ____", well, that's great. You can use what works and chuck the rest.

    There are some people who are very dogmatic. They will tell you, for example, that unschooling/WTM/whatever is THE ONLY WAY, and not only that, but you are not unschooling/WTM/whatever if you do X, Y, or Z. Who cares? You don't have to label yourself, you don't have to adhere to a philosophy. Use what you like, don't use what you don't like, change what's not working, improve what is working. You and your husband are in charge, and you can change on a dime.

    Here's an example. This is my fifth year homeschooling my daughter. This summer, I put together a curriculum. I listed all topics of study, I chose materials, I even put together a basic daily schedule for this year. I ordered the materials and everything was ready to go on September 1 when we began our school year.

    On September 9, I chucked the whole thing. I completely changed course. I decided something else was better. In case you think I'm a flake, this is the first time in five years I've done anything like that. But I lost zero sleep over it. Just because I bought some books doesn't mean I have to use them. Just because I made a schedule doesn't mean I have to follow it.

    I can't tell you yet whether the course change was the right thing to do; it hasn't been long enough. But I can tell you that if I get any ideas about how to make things better, I can and will implement them immediately. Because I'm in charge of my homeschool and that's the beauty of it.

    So don't get wrapped up in arbitrary rules or distinctions. Your husband may indeed be the primary teacher, but there is no reason that you can't also participate if you have strengths to lend. If he's not a math kind of guy, you can teach math. Yes, even though you work outside the home, there's no rule that says you can't teach math after dinner or on Saturday or whatever works for your family.

    If you are thinking "I kind of like how unschooling sounds but I just don't think we can do it with zero structure," do unschooling with whatever structure you want. Who cares if someone says that the second you put one iota of structure on it, it's no longer unschooling? There isn't any agreement on that subject anyway.

    So, to summarize, do what works, and you can change your mind.

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  3. #12


    That is nicely put squares.

  4. #13


    Yes, Squares, that was beautifully put.

  5. #14


    Squares for the win!

    Thank you for putting that exactly in a way I needed to hear. :-D

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