Well, yesterday i spent taking care of animals and weeding in the garden, and playing with children. Pretty much heaven.
But the reason i was so relaxed was that T had taken all the children remaining to me (read: six, as one was away at camp, and one was working at the golf course) into town to give me quiet and solitude to work on my homeschool plan on Monday.
I have loved homeschooling thus far, but something has always held me back from full on "unschooler" and i think it probably has something to do with the addictive quality of screens, and the likelihood that "homeschooling" would quickly turn into youtube surfing..
But on the other extreme has been the notion of "aligned". In my province, the government has imposed regulations on homeschoolers that seem like utopia to many other homeschoolers.
Then, we moved to Alberta. It was incredible to me to hear the levels of funding here. For "traditional" homeschooling at that time, you were reimbursed 600$, and you could buy from the best homeschool publishing houses, most of which were Christian. But, i was told, if i wanted to be aligned, I would have much more money. Almost double the money for making sure that in Language Arts and Math, my children's learning mirrored what they would get in public school.
After investigating one traditional board, and seeing that they planned to rate my child on an obedience scale (which was scary at the time, sorry Wyatt!), i figured we would at least be on track and possibly excel beyond the public school curricula, so why not take the extra money?
Long story short, i think it kind of stunted me as a homeschool mama. The focus became "how can i meet this outcome" and while i did want a scope and sequence, i wanted to evaluate the ones i used. Agreeing to their scope and sequence included a lot of things that arguably could have been covered in different grades, but were arbitrarily assigned to one grade level. I still used a variety of materials, and i had two different facilitators during the first eleven years, both of whom were very warm and encouraging, and helped my program fit the criteria by supplementing with worksheets or whatever. Usually no extras were required though, and we worked along.
This year i will be free from the "blended" or "aligned" type of schooling, except for my grade 12 student, who wants to get a "real" diploma. And yeah, it's with that traditional board whose "obedience checklist" freaked me out originally. But i'm not so afraid of that anymore. And I'm glad to feel free of the pressure, and glad to be planning some things I've wanted to do for a long time with my children. I hope they enjoy them as much as i will!