Friday, 7 January 2011

And what will the new year bring?

Now is the time traditionally set aside for reflective thinking and planning (or mulling over the train wreck of the previous year if you're a 'glass half-empty' sort of person).

I am a compulsive planner.
An addictive thinker.
And not so much of a do-er.
This is my downfall: planning, thinking, weighing up pros and cons, making little lists and diagrams and charts, researching all the possibilities...and then...not doing.

But this year it WILL be different (I think). Yes I will plan it to be different. I will plan to DO more and think less. Hmm...already I'm heading for a headache.

First thing to tackle is our home education strategy. At the end of last year our home education was heading way off the rails. Somehow the 'autonomous' part had got lost among the 'I need to tick some boxes' part and the 'I need to tick some boxes' part gradually became the 'sit down there and do this or else you will make me feel like a crap mother and I'll cry and make you feel guilty' strategy. Not an approach to be recommended.

So this year? Well I'm still undecided. Truth is we are rarely completely autonomous, yet most of the time I am pretty relaxed about what the kids do. That is until little Jonny down the road can say his 9 times table backwards while riding a unicycle and playing grade 8 level flute and discussing Shakespearian tragedy. Then the anxiety sets in.

So a few days ago I asked the kids for some things they wanted to do/places they wanted to go.

Wow! I must have been such a scary mummy these past few months. How do I know? Because ds1 said
'I quite like doing maths'
and ds2 said 'my maths books were ok'.
Uh oh!
So I say, 'Ok, boys, you can be honest now, I wont mind.' They look at me as if this is a trick. 'No really. I want to know what you want to do.'

It took about half an hour and some prompting and reassurances and suggestions, but eventually they came up with a list that looks something like this:

Handwriting & punctuation practice (yes he actually wanted to do handwriting!)
Science: Biology/microscopy; Gases; Rocket science & big bangs
Learn to make pancakes & other cooking
Use metal detector at allotment
Build a raft/boat

Leonardo da Vinci project
WWII project and outings
Weekly science, e.g. Krampf
Find a park for using mountain board

Basic science: growing/plant biology
Bike:Getting off stabilizers!

Cooking from the Posh Boy's Family cookbook
Get hold of the Horrible Histories Cds - Tudors? Georgians?
Make ginger beer, beer and wine
Build bird boxes
Meteorology/Weather - make barometer, hygrometer, clouds, weather vane, rainfall

So, all in all, not a bad list to start the new year. I just have to keep those anxieties at arm's length and focus on where we're heading.

Er...where are we heading? Anyone got a map?


globeonmytable said...

Keep those anxieties at bay, they turn me into a monster.

Did you deliberately do 97 posts for each of the last 3 years? How neat.

Flobstio is the word verification, sounds like an imaginative new game for our house....

Big mamma frog said...

wow! I hadn't noticed that I'd done 97, it wasn't intentional.

ooo...flobstio...such a good word. Sounds like a Spanish game show for who can spit the furthest.

Sam said...

I asked my two for some ideas and things they'd like to do as well. I was hoping fot things to do at home, over the next couple of weeks. The answers were:
Visit the Zoo, an Aquarium, a science museum, horse riding and swimming.


Anonymous said...

I've been reading and listening to people talking about having 'perfect' goals and failing miserably, leading to all kinds of shame and anxiety about how to avoid shame.

Two things strike me about this. One is putting the fear of shame away because 'failing' doesn't matter and the other is focusing on what is close and achievable rather than the future perfect goal.

The struggles with this kind of thinking in our house are like this: we need to move to a bigger house and we need the business to make lots of money.

Massive perfect goals!

This year we are going to focus on the steps to make that happen rather than lying down in defeat before such an immense task.

Bizarrely, I think about the children's learning being a work in progress and the end product, if it ever comes, is not my goal but theirs so I don't worry about it too much.

Word verification is Sesser phonetically "to stop doing". Ha ha!

Big mamma frog said...

I wonder if some of us have 'perfect goals' subconsciously or consciousl) to give us an excuse to give up before we even start. If something seems so massively unachievable then why bother even starting.

But I also know that I am a gold star/rewards type of gal and I need a few goals to get me moving.

The struggle I have is that each year my goals are pretty much the same, and each year I seem no closer to achieving them. Methinks I may need to move the goalposts to motivate me!

MadameSmokinGun said...

It's impossible.

I give up.

There. I feel better already!

You are right.

Thank you.

I think.......

...damn! I hate being found out. Shouldn't have done the thinking bit.

Carolyn said...

You ever read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle?
Me neither.

I am now on chapter 2 though :-)

Also there is a comment on my blog from the Letting go post that you guys might all like to read/answer!!!

Big mamma frog said...

No...haven't heard of it, is it any good?

I do have a good book about procrastination somewhere, not sure where it's gone (probably under the pile of stuff that I haven't got around to tidying away lol.)