Monday, January 11, 2010

Flying High (with Support)

I know we are barely in the second week of the New Year, but I count my accomplishments as and when they come, no matter how tiny they are. It keeps things in perspective. Dawdling on mishaps used to be my thing, and it did not really help.

Alhamdulillah, homeschooling is going well so far, especially with some better planning. It also helps since the children's attention spans' are lengthening. They can actually sit still for a few minutes at a time and appreciate the effort they put into their work.

I am counting my blessings because I often have to remind myself not to keep second-guessing my progress or the children's. Homeschoolers, like outschoolers, are all unique and develop at their own paces. It's hard enough to not compare ourselves with outschoolers: (Are they (my kids) on the right track? Can they read as many words as so-and so? Are they still allowed to use their fingers when adding?); but it's also hard not to compare with other homeschoolers.

Thank God, the homeschoolers I have met and read have been supportive and keep reminding me (directly and indirectly) that the point of homeschooling is not to test if your child reaches certain stipulated standards, but to raise children who love learning and continue learning without pressure, rather than feeling continuously pushed to be a high-flier. Yes, yes... I remember, and remind me often!
Reading David BC Tan's post here, was the ultimate reminder. Homeschool support rocks! I also found the story of the twins astonishing by the way.

So, I am smiling well into week two of the New Year. So much so, when the kids brough back party streamers from Cousin A's birthday, I blurted, "We could make kites!" What a mistake, especially when the sun had already set and I needed my time to start on a new project.

We had the great battle between the Now-now's and the No-no's. And our kids - with attention spans of mutated goldfish and memories of elephants - reminded me at the crack of dawn that we had to make kites today.

So we made kites. Easy-peasy, fun and easy - but to two Now-now toddlers, it was complete bewilderement. They discovered the joy of running around in circles with a kite, instead of without a kite. I told them one day we will take them to a beach where we can fly real kites, instead of modified A4 papers, held together with satay skewers and cellotape.

But to them, their kites sufficed and they have been flying high ever since.

I kept the party streamers in an empty ice-cream box as part and parcel of our recycling oath. I will remember to use them again, whenever I need another vote of confidence as I have archived in my subconscious that party streamers equals high flying homeschooling support.

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