Monday, November 11, 2013

It only took two and a half years...

On Saturday my husband took four of the kids with him on an unnecessary errand running spree, mostly so I could clean up a bit in peace (the child he left behind was one of the perfectly capable ones, in case you're wondering.  I know.  What a catch.) because that really is all I can think of sometimes.  Gosh I'm glamorous.  So they went, and on their way home passed St. Philip's in Battle Creek.

image here



"We should go there sometime." says Katie.  "I've never been inside a Romanesque church."

Now y'all, I did not sit down and make her memorize styles and time periods of architecture.  I didn't give her tests or make her fill out worksheets.  You know how she learned this?  She did an independent project last month on St. Hedwig (her choice) that needed to include information on the place and time period in which St. Hedwig lived.  Well guess what?  Poland is apparently chock full of Romanesque churches, or at least the region St. Hedwig was from.  Katie remembers because it interested her.  She remembers because it all makes sense in the context of history. 

She WANTS to know stuff. 

Kids really do want to know things, but I'm gonna confess I didn't believe it.  For the first two years of homeschooling, I fumbled.  I wondered and worried.  I pushed too much the things that don't really matter and didn't let them explore enough of what really makes them tick.  My kids fumbled because they had forgotten how to be interested in stuff.  They waited around a lot for me to tell them what to be interested in.  Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I'm not a very interesting person, so they eventually had to amble off and finally get to know themselves. 

This year, year number three, I feel like we are finally blossoming.  My girls are finally getting along with each other in a way I only dreamed was possible and getting to know each other as actual people (the main reason we started this whole thang).  They're realizing that knowing stuff for its own sake is fun.  Figuring stuff out is enjoyable.  And I'm finally learning out how to guide their days without getting in their way.  We're seeing the actual fruits of all this craziness and I am so pleased.

Tommy is making a harp.  (Wait, I swear this is related!) So he's making this harp and Paul is "helping" him.  This evening I went to the workshop to grab something off the dry goods back stock shelf and I heard Tommy say as he puts the strings onto the harp "G.  That's right.  And then what note comes after G?"  Paul: A!

Y'all, I could go on and on about the things I haven't taught my kids.  I'd say that the list of things I haven't taught them but that they know is probably 782 times the length of the list of things I have taught them and they managed to remember.  Honest.  So I'll stop for now.  But really.  I just...I'm just so at peace right now, man.  So at peace.

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27 comments :

  1. Love this post! And love these moments when you sign contentedly and with deep gratitude because the craziness of day to day yields fruit that you didn't even realize you were cultivating! I'm so happy for you and for the blessing of enjoying these moments!

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  2. My kids ask me questions all the time, like "Who do you think was the better leader: King Henry or King Alfred?" or, my favorite from this week, from the six year old, "How do mermaids have babies, since they are fishes from the waist down?" I just look at them and say, "I don't know, I was public schooled!" Sheesh. :-)

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  3. Dwija, that's fantastic. It must feel so, so good to see things working out and bearing fruit. Makes you feel like you're doing the right thing, I bet! I'm sure your kids are going to have fond memories of it. :-)

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  4. I love it! It amazes me how homeschooling has made all of us in our household more inquisitive. My boys ask me questions all the time that I don't know the answer to. We use google & our library A LOT. lol It's been so much fun watching them discover and learn together. Right now, they are obsessed with volcanoes. I keep "catching" them curled up on the couch watching volcano documentaries on Netflix. It makes me so happy. Btw, love the pic of the church in Battle Creek. It's gorgeous! :-)

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  5. I think that is so exciting! Reading posts like this make me want to homeschool. So glad you are at peace and your kids are really learning and better yet - enjoying the whole process!

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  6. WOW! That's great news. So glad you got out of So. Cal.'s crazy public school environment.
    Please post pics of Tommy's harp project. I looked up that gorgeous Romanesque church in your pic - the interior is beautiful. I hope I'm wrong, but I think they installed two ceiling fans WAY up there in the vaulted ceiling! Oh well. It's still beautiful.
    Love reading your posts!

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  7. By the way, a taximom is still what I am - Cristian is not interested in driving at all!
    Eliana

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  8. See, this is so what I want! Unfortunately, I get mired in the "we have to get this done!!!" trap, and they're hating homeschool. :( Have to find balance...

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  9. Love this. I am constantly amazed at how much my kids have learned without being taught!

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  10. Looking forward to those days!

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  11. "And I'm finally learning out how to guide their days without getting in their way."

    Cheers to seeing the fruits of your labors! This idea of getting out of the way of children seems to be a theme I keep stumbling upon. I would love it if you would elaborate on this idea when it comes to homeschooling. How do you guide and stay out of their way when you homeschool? And what do you do when other people get in their way?

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  12. It's so good to hear you're doing well and everything's peaceful in the Borobia camp...:)

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  13. Hooray! Even regular school kids do things like this sometimes. When we go to the grocery store, we always ask what event happened in the date that matches the total for our groceries. For example: 18.61 = the year the American Civil War started or 10.66 = Battle of Hastings. The clerks would look at us like we were crazy, but our kids, especially our son, is crazy about history.

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    1. I love this, Paula! My kids are public school too, and we do crazy stuff like this, but I've never thought of this one. Can't wait to tell the kids about it tonight! BTW, have you ever done the gas tank estimate? Everyone gets to guess how many gallons the car will take before you start filling it up. They get one look at the gauge, or they have to think about where we've been and how much driving we've been doing in the last couple of days.

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  14. That should be..."are" crazy about history!

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  15. Ok, I've never commented before but st. Hedwig brought me out of the shadows. I live in small-town Ontario, Canada in a very polish region. Our parish is called st. Hedwigs, so Sw. jadwiga. Anyhow, my dad (a Brit) calls st. Hedwig the patron saint of hairdressers.

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  16. That is awesome! For now, we plan on sending our kids to the little Catholic school in town (it only goes thru sixth grade though, sadness!) but this makes me excited about the homeschooling option, if that's the route we end up going later!

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  17. We're always having conversations at dinner that involve me or the kids grabbing the laptop to "look that up". They really do love to know things, and it's awesome to see them figure that stuff out.

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  18. We started homeschooling this year, but my boys are younger (5 &7). I totally get that giddy, peaceful, "I'm doing things right" feeling you got! My 7yo grabbed the iPad the other day and when I asked what he was googling he said, "I want to know how Copernicus used math to find out the Earth revolves around the sun."

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  19. I love this post! We are planning on homeschooling and reading this makes me even more excited!
    Btw, I think you should write a post on why you decided to homeschool in the first place. Or maybe you already have?

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    1. I responded to Kelly Jo by email, but I'll share the link here to our announcement post from 2011 for anyone else who's also curious: http://www.houseunseen.com/2011/07/big-announcement.html

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  20. Oh my goodness! That is wonderful! I am hopeful for our family. This is our second year and it still feels so choppy and unnatural! Am I doing it wrong or is year 3 where we hit our stride? Oh well, I guess the Holy Spirit is on our side!
    Katie
    Ps. Love your blog!

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  21. My grown son told me that he liked homeschooling the best when I didn't put him into any resource classes and didn't try so hard - Ha! I'm guessing that was during the time we adopted his little sister. Goes to prove that God has got this!

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  22. If I bought you an airplane ticket, could you come tattoo this on my forehead?
    When I sit down to plan school, I get so excited I schedule 3,456,782,462 things I want to read, learn, do or go see with them. “Oh, wait til they see this!” “Ah, how much fun this will be!” Then I get to that week and I’m all, “Oh crap, I have to do what? I don’t have time. I don’t have the energy. The weather is awful. We are already behind with X.” 2 months into this school year I revamped our plan to make things easier and simplier but I know it still needs work. It is still too much for me. I need Homeschool Mom 911 to come to my house and help me sort out what I need to do, what I don’t need to do, what I need them to do and what isn’t necessary at all. If you videotape your system at all, sign me up for the first viewing. I’m so tired of dragging myself through the week and dreading the next week because there is just so much to do.

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  23. "My girls are finally getting along with each other in a way I only dreamed was possible and getting to know each other as actual people (the main reason we started this whole thang)."

    Check in the We Will Homeschool These Chilluns box.

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