(Credits: Google search)
Just finished this book. The writer took her eldest out of school for a year when she was 10. She framed it as a "sabbatical" from the education system and I found it really intriguing. Doesn't hurt that she's an English professor who graduated from Harvard haha.
More thoughts later can't think when kids are awake and about.
Ok more on the book.
When Laura's daughter Julia was 9, she went missing for one hour and Laura finally found her hiding in the closet. Julia's reason? She wanted to escape homework. This was the tipping point and so Laura decided to give homeschooling a shot for one year, helping her catch up on her Maths and writing and bringing her for learning journeys to different places. She also enlisted her husnand's help to teach French and Music cos the daughter plays the violin.
I found it interesting that her other daughters still went to school, so her problem wasn't with the school system (which is why some Christian parents homeschool), but because her daughter's temperament wasn't suited for the system.
She shared how her daughter loved her Montessori kindergarten, but also reacted violent to changes and always yearned for childhood. She suspected autism, but the doctors ruled it out so it was really personality.
And so she started homeschooling. She brought Julia to museums and outdoors and had grand plans and it was great in Fall, because there were many things to do outside.
But winter came and got all depressing and there weren't so many field trips and Laura admitted that she went a bit nuts trying to drill the maths and music and she called Julia a dumbass one day and even hit her (gently) on the head when she played the wrong note on the violin (must be the curse of perfect pitch)….
So Laura got all emo about it, because homeschooling was helping her daughter academically, but tearing apart the mother- daughter relationship (I SO TOTALLY UNDERSTAND THIS PART!!) Like her daughter was a good violin player, but she didn't want to push her to her best because her daughter just wasn't the kind who would practice everyday without putting up a fight.
And so she decided to pull back a little, and Julia still had to do maths, but not so much writing and other activities.
In the end, Julia and her mom agreed that homeschooling for that year was good, but it was also good to go back to 6th grade because she could hang out with friends her age and her mom got to get her quiet time back.
I liked this because Laura was REAL about her challenges. She knew her limits and she got help when needed (although her Husband didn't really teach French/Music in the end cos he wasn't as disciplined as her, but he spent time doing Art with Julia).
And I liked that wasn't an extreme stance on homeschooling (i.e. You devote your whole life to the children, public school is evil and if you don't homeschool you're failing your child.)
It also made me realize I have to be more intentional in helping my kids develop (it's not ok to be always bored haha!) and be more sensitive to their needs and potential. Like if my daughter likes drawing how can I help her learn through drawing?
She also mentioned that her other daughters were jealous of the time that she spent with Julia, and I think it's a valid point. If there only one child you def can devote every ounce of energy on them (Schooling *cough*) but with 2 or more how? She didn't really elaborate but I'm sure there was mummy guilt.
Read this book "Birthday rules" with the kids today and I think this poem is such a good reminder. Try something new every year!