Friday, January 27, 2012

How will I know if it's working...?

It occurred to me recently that I should think about what my criteria for success will be, with our homeschooling experiment. I've thought quite a bit about my long-term goals, but what about for this upcoming school-year in specific? Since the agreement we've made is to use this year as a test-case to decide whether or not to put Basbusa in "real school" for Kindergarten, I guess I should make sure to define what success would look like. Especially if it turns out that Basbusa isn't particularly interested in the minimal amount of academics I'm planning to offer her. In my mind, that definitely would not mean we had failed, but other family members might be less convinced. And I'm sure I'd run into the same self-doubt that every blogging homeschooling mom seems to be prone to at some point or other! So, here's a tentative criteria for what I think "success" in homeschooling my then-to-be-four-year-old would look like. (Selling this list to the rest of the family will be a whole other issue, but never mind that for now :)

We will have had a successful home-pre-schooling year if Basbusa...

  • ... still loves books;
  • ... continues to discover new areas of interest/focus every so often, and enjoys exploring more about them in a somewhat-intentional fashion;
  • ... is enjoying the company of other children (including, of course, her little sister);
  • ... routinely comes up with possible answers to her own questions;
  • ... sees herself as the primary and most important judge of her own accomplishments.
(What I mean by that last one is that I hope not to hear her asking, "Is this good?" or "Did I do it right?")

And what would be some signs that really would mean things aren't working out right? Hmmm. I think one sign would be if it felt like our lives were continual chaos and we spent our time running frantically to one activity after another. (I'm worried about my own ability to keep us to some kind of vaguely-structured routine, so this is one way I can see things going off the rails.) I'll keep thinking about this one, because I'm sure my family will ask. 

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