The time has come. Summer is coming to an end. Back-to-School sales are in full force and calendars are filling up with plans for the fall months in households all around.
Since we consider ourselves mostly unschoolers, it’s a natual decision to “school” year round. We are learning all the time. The world is our schoolroom. Life and learning are one in the same. All that jazz. However, just because this is the educational method we’ve chosen, and I believe in it whole heartedly, it doesn’t mean I don’t worry or think about The First Day of School. Eliana would be participating in The First Day in just a few short weeks if we weren’t homeschooling. This is our first year, so it’s weighing on me a little.
I want to plan, and make lists, and have short term and long term goals all mapped out. The truth is, I can plan until the cows come home, but it’s not going to matter much. Things come up. The toddler changes her sleep schedule, the babysitter cancels, hubby has to go out of town all week for work. And that was just this week.
Acknowledging that plans and goals will always be fluid, I do think the right ones can provide a great framework to work within. So, that is what I’m going to try to hash out in the next few posts.
When I’m reminded that my oldest is now ready for kindergarten I feel a mix of “Of course she is…she’s so smart!” to “No way…she’s my baby!” to “This is it, the real schooling journey begins. Kindergarten is serious stuff these days and she can’t fall behind.” to “This is kindergarten, people! She’s five! This should be fun!” Then I take a deep breath and remind myself that not much is changing in our household. We’ve been unschooling all along; we just didn’t know to call it that the first few years. And it’s been working out just fine. We’ve been doing great thus far, why should “kindergarten” get me all in a tizzy?
After I breathe and get a hold of myself, I know the statement that I truly believe is “She’s five! This should be fun!” Learning has been fun up until this point for all of my kids. Really it always should be, right? It’s fun to learn new things. This doesn’t mean it’s not also hard work, challenging, or frustrating at times. But then it’s rewarding. And fun.
I think if Our UnSchoolhouse starts to not be very fun we will need to reassess what we’re doing. Because that’s why we’re doing all of this- to be life long learners, to learn how to learn, to have the time and opportunities to do what matters to us, and to foster a love of learning. Life and learning are one in the same, so why not enjoy it all?
“It is hard work and great art to make life not so serious.” John Irving
So, in planning for the year ahead, I think it’s important to write out our biggest priority, which is to have fun learning. The rest will come.
Click here to read Part 2 of Planning for Kindergarten at Home