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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Back-to-School

Back to schoolI guess I’m a nerd. I happen to like school. My kids, not so much, at least the younger three. It could be because I am somehow associated with their negative perceptions since we homeschool, lol.

I was the kind of student who did homework easily for 4-6 hours every night in high school. It challenged me. Now in my spare time, I do grad work year-round on top of my usual obligations.

If they have more than 30 minutes of homework, they imagine that the injustices of the world have fallen upon them.

I realize that it’s understandable to have a certain trepidation when starting back to school. Thehomeschool difficult twist is when you homeschool and all becomes personal. The kids believe that they should choose their own schedule and classes, if not the grades received on all of their work, lol. They can decide whether or not to enter into group discussion on class subjects and naturally… they should have no homework at all.

No, not so fast. But, it’s kinda hard to send them to the principal’s office.

So, I learn to wheedle and cajole and bribe and choose my battles and all of the hundred other unsavory sort of motivational tactics designed to make them smarter while tarnishing my own sense of decency and self. In general, it works.

homeschool2Sticking to a rigid schedule helps by building predictability into their life. I find them to be grateful, though it’s unexpressed, so I’m grasping here, but I think they understand how much time and effort it’s taken to tweak their schedules. I start with the rigorous maths and sciences when they’re freshest in the beginning of the day. In the case of a class that might be shorter than the rest, I schedule that near lunchtime and inform them that extra ten or fifteen minutes may be used in straightening up their room, or closet, or notebooks.

You can be sure they won’t cut any corners and intentionally finish up early given that scenario-!

We’ve been a bit lean in the elective category and their father has provided DVD instruction in typing, music and art which should keep them busy, engaged and productive in the best sense of the word. I would love to add some self-directed study to the mix, but they’re not there, yet.

Research and response papers… computer coding… internships… exploring careers…. The time will thcome. For now, it would just be more work for me. I’m already plenty busy coaching them in French… and Russian… and elocution….

While I discuss with my own professors an upcoming 75-page paper… and work… and cook dinner… and volunteer….

And realize that some of the best educations come from life itself, not so much in the destination, but in the journey.

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