If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Monday, December 31, 2012

Fresh Year. Fresh Start...

You know, I want to be the mom that can unschool, and be comfortable in/with it. I want my kids to explore their own interests, to have interests. I love the idea of discovery boxes, interest-led studies, and all that.

It doesn't work.

Not for us, anyway. I know there are plenty of people it does work for, and I admire that. Maybe if I didn't work, and I wasn't in college... maybe. Maybe it is just that it is not the best fit for me and my kids. And I need to come to terms with that. I need very much to simplify and streamline, so that I do provide my kids with a good education, not keep finding this path, or that one, or maybe that one over there, and hey, while I'm at it, that one looks good too!

That's why I keep taking down my curriculum-related pages, because I need to really think this through. The Boy will be 12 soon, and The Girl 10. Part of the reason I homeschool is to provide them a solid education, and lately I don't feel I am doing that. They do surprise me with odd things they know that I don't realize they know, and they make some excellent connections, but at the same time I feel that we're falling behind in key areas -- math, reading, writing -- and with The Boy's interests and goals, science.

I'm not sure where I am going with all this. Just a lot of whining, but I've got to get it out somewhere!

Anyhow, on to New Year's...

Reflections on 2012
  • I started my Master's program, and made it, intact, through the first semester
  • The Girl made definite progress in reading, though I'd love to see more!
  • I've managed to keep the house, except the bedrooms, clean since the day before Christmas, which I think might, sadly enough, be a record!
  • I lost, and am keeping off so far, between 45-50 pounds!!!
  • It has been a challenging year, with M's broken arm and job loss, my own job loss and subsequent re-hire, my BIL moving out with very little notice.
  • On the plus side, M is spending a lot of time with the kids, and we're getting some tasks done around the house that have gone undone until now, such as removing the ugly and pointless metal awning over one of our bedroom windows. Plus, with BIL gone, we can do things our way, instead of accommodating his ideas as well.

Today's plans are simple. I have errands to run, a kitchen to clean, and Pad Thai to cook. I'm teaching the kids the joyful art of vacuuming today as well as time allows, to fit in with the goals below.

2013 Goals (instead of resolutions!!!)
  • Figure out where we're going with homeschooling right now, and go there
  • Keep the house clean! I don't want to live in CHAOS! This is a two-part goal... I have to come up with a sustainable plan for keeping the house clean, AND come up with reasonable chores for the kids.
  • Keep the weight off, and lose another 15-20 pounds. We're going to be taking the Real Foods Pledge, which will help with this goal, and our finances!
  • I need to write, and absolutely stick to, a budget. I have some debts I'd like to start chipping away at (student loans anyone?).
  • Start planning out our veggie garden! We've been slowly double-digging our garden plot, working in chicken manure and alfalfa from the chicken hutch. We did think about raised beds, and would love to have them someday, but for right now, that expense is not in the budget. I'm working on laying out a year's worth of gardening since we live in a mild climate, so I am making a spiffy chart of planting times, harvest times, etc.
  • Learn to can things. I helped my mom with canning when I was a kid, but I have yet to do it on my own!
  • Keep knitting. It took me a looong time to finish scarf number one, my first official knitting project, and I would like to do more!

There are other, more nebulous goals, like living more in the moment, writing down the good things and putting the slips of paper in a jar to read next New Year's Eve, and so on, and so forth. I think my keyword for the year, obviously, is organization, since most of my goals can be traced right back to that all important word.

Do you have goals, a keyword, or resolutions for 2013?


  1. Anonymous1:27 PM

    As parents, we have to do what is right for us. I think interest-led learning is really nifty, but it wouldn't work for us either.

    What a wonderful 2012 you had, though with plenty of challenges!

    I love your 2013 goals and wish I could be more ambitious in the coming year. However, there's enough going on for me, so certain things can wait. ;)

    Are you doing anything special tonight? I hope all of you have a very Happy New Year!

  2. I get you on the unschooling. I am an unschooler at heart (or maybe I'm just lazy) but it doesn't work for everything here either. I'm still trying to find the right balance, and it's been how many years now?

    Happy new year!

  3. First off, WAY TO GO on the weight loss!! I am completely in awe..I can't seem to shake any of my extra insulation.

    I hear you on the unschooling. I often think that M would be a great candidate for unschooling, but then she'd never do any math voluntarily so she'd be an expert video editor with no calculation skills and who couldn't write legibly. Hmmm..maybe not.

    I need to get organized, too. Our house is starting to look overstuffed again, and I've been missing my sketching pencils for a month now. And the kids and I have so many things we want to learn about, so I have to work with them to narrow it down, plus I have the kids I care for coming more often. It feels a little like I'm treading water sometimes, know what I mean?

    Happy New Year!


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