As you glean from earlier posts, I lean more towards "give the children free reign to learn what they will." My way is loud and messy. I want to make way for natural learning in math, English, etc.
|Picture Courtesy of AHS 2015|
He believes there are certain things that should be formally taught, such as math and writing. He also doesn't believe in labeling what we do, but suggests we're just living, learning, and doing what's best for our family. Although, I still think his ideal day is the kids sitting at desks, quietly progressing through the day's work schedule, and being actively engaged for a certain amount of time a day. I assumed he just wanted to recreate formal schooling. Or this was my initial impression of the situation. But, this was incomplete.
I see now it's not so much he wants to recreate public school. First, let me say, I initially wanted him to leave me to my domain and let me do my thing. We use to home school in a classically structured way. It created a quiet, peaceful day and learning was definitely observable. I grew into a more relaxed style, struggling to fully embrace unschooling. Now, the kids and I discuss specific interests, learning objectives, and goals. I assist them in locating resources, classes, and field trips. Formal math instruction time has always been required even though I really wanted to let it go. Based on their interest, we meet our educational requirements for the state. If they need help, I make suggestions or use resources I think they'll enjoy. Each child also chooses year long or short term projects to complete.
Today, I realized his views are a result of what he experiences when he comes home. Lately, our environment has been chaotic and filled with constant sibling arguing. On a whole, we are not honoring and respecting one another as we should. In the past year he's probably heard more complaints about the failure and difficulty of home schooling that ever before. More structure is his answer to my complaints. He's all about "slow" learning, not comparing our children to others, and supporting their interests. I finally realized he's suggesting what he believes creates less stress for us,
it's not about home school methodology.
I haven't been valuing his opinion about how our children are educated. Maybe, I've set myself up as the Queen of Home Schooling, and he's just a peasant with no input. He doesn't read home school books, blogs, or articles, so he can't possibly know what his children need (said with much sarcasm). I have made light of his suggestions and have a counter for every recommendation. So, I haven't respected and honored him. Many times, he's been on the outside looking into home school, not quite getting jokes or conversations.
We've compromised. He still has certain things he wants to happen in our home school, just like I do. I've made the decision to listen. It's just possible I don't know everything. Math is now his domain. He has chosen a new math program, after listening to the kids say they're tired of Life of Fred. They only want to use them as readers. They're testing the new program out this week and will give him
feedback. He wants to strengthen writing for the children who need it. So, we've gotten new resources. He's willing to use whatever works for each child. He actually suggested not using the writing resource I wanted for all the children because in truth only one child would love it. I'll organize more using Evernote and calendars to help the kids manage their time and document their days.
I plan lots of free time and give space for creativity. At every turn, we incorporate real activities into our lives, and try not to create assignments for no reason. The kids control how fast or slow they move through material. They are able to say this resource or activity no longer works for me.
Honestly, I haven't exactly put out the welcome mat for my husband. We need my husband's experiences, thoughts, and ideas in our lives. His views aren't wrong, they just add a different flavor to our day. So, our process might change, but not the principles of respect, choice, listening, and love of learning.
How do you incorporate your spouse's ideas into your home school?