Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Right and Wrong

I always find it easier to notice what doesn't work and what doesn't go right.
My daughter, initially excited at having the lyrics to a High School Musical song to copy-write yesterday, found the word "together" too long and too much repeated and tearfully floundered, needing letter by letter encouragement and she completed one verse.
I have tried to increase our read-aloud time by having two books on the go at the same time. We are currently trying to read "The Hobbit" and "Little Women" and I, for one, am actually finding it hard going. I was struck by inspiration, and yesterday we picked up "Little Women" on cassette from the library. We put it on and started a jigsaw, and I got to play too. My mistake was to listen to both chapters which we have already read and then a new one. Attention spans weren't quite that long. However, later in the day we had our part-chapter from "The Hobbit" and the children all asked for more when I stopped.
The trap I most often fall into is expecting too much: of myself, of the children, of the time available. There is the insidious voice of the imaginary Local Authority Inspector whispering in my ear, "You aren't doing enough" and I feel driven to do more.
I spoke to a headteacher friend at church this week and mentioned that we were slowing right down now that summer is approaching, much of my Grand Plan of September laid aside. She nodded along and then added, "Of course, there's really a lot of weeks left to go and you could get a lot done before the summer break." I agreed and took on more of the message that I don't do enough. But on reflection, I believe it is a fallacy to artificially segment our children's lives: time to work and learn, time to play and kick back. It's not a few weeks to go until it's time to stop learning for the year, they have the rest of their lives both to learn and to have fun.
Now, if only I could get that inspector to pipe down, I could get on with enjoying it!


Jane D. said...

I'll pray for that imaginary inspector to just change his/her tune for you and agree with you about life long learning - the desire to do this is the best gift we can give our children.

Kathy said...

I hear you about the artificial segmentation of our children's lives. The learning certainly never ends though some "official" voice coming from some where says "there, now, the home ed review is over and you've satisfied all requirements"...and so I'm now relieved because I don't have to *record* the learning to satisfy the law. Still thinking through this.:-)