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'.
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?