After hearing Nancy speak about narrating, living books, schedules and the like, I've come to a few conclusions.
First, I need to pare down what we're doing in our school. (I've already made the adjustments to my Weekly Schedule which I'll try and post later.)
With my rambunctious, adorable 2 year old and a not-so-docile 5 year old, I just can't spend hours and hours homeschooling. And I don't have to. (at least not yet. :) I actually wasn't spending hours homeschooling. But it seemed like it because our school day is so broken up by my Lovable Interruptions. So for this stage in life, I have to pare down.
Second, my 7 year old knows more history than I did when I graduated high school. I'm not even exaggerating. (thanks to the wonderful book lists and curriculum at AO!) To worry that we're getting enough history in is just silly. (Read: I'm paring down.)
Thirdly, even if we only memorize *one* poem per school year, that will be TWELVE poems that my children have memorized. Now, of course, we'll memorize more than that, but *I* don't even have twelve poems memorized! So I can just go ahead and relax a little bit about how much we're doing. (Read: I'm paring down.)
And the fourth (but not last!) thing is that reading even 2 or 3 great living books at a time and narrating them is still a great education! We don't have to read (or narrate!) every single book that a curriculum says to or put pressure on ourselves to do It All. (Read: wait for it.... I'm paring down.)
Oldest is only in second grade. I need to keep reminding myself that we don't have to do All The Things. And going through a few great books and keeping the peace in our home is better than rushing through a ton of books which makes a Grumpy Mama. And Grumpy Mama is *not* conducive to the home atmosphere that I'd like in our home. Weird, eh?
Instead of starting with a list of 6-8 books to get through each day and then only reading 2 or 3 of them and feeling like we didn't accomplish all we "should" have, I'm going to have a goal of reading 2 or 3 books (TOTAL) a day and if we do them all--great! If there's time for more--great! If not, I'll still feel like we're moving forward. (Have you seen this great post by Nancy about being careful about the number and kind of books you choose?)
Education is an atmosphere, a discipline and a life. (principle #5) It's not checking off the boxes, thankyouverymuch.
Which reminds me, that thing I said in my last post about switching from Teacher Mom to Mama Mom? Well, I don't think there's a difference. I think that our "school" day should flow seamlessly into the rest of our day and life. I'm not saying it *does* yet, but that's the goal.
Most of these things I realized and was reminded of after hearing Nancy speak. If you EVER get the chance to hear her talk about Charlotte Mason DO NOT PASS IT UP. :) (Even if you don't do a CM school--these things are applicable to all of us.) :)
I keep telling myself this is our homeschool journey and we are just starting. It's easy for me to want everything perfect RIGHT NOW. And it never will be! Our lives will always be changing and my family's needs will always be changing. I need to rely on the Holy Spirit to be the One who guides my decisions and attitudes and my *children's* decisions and attitudes!
Which reminds me, a while ago I read this quote on Nancy Kelly's blog and it really, really touched my heart. (it's at the very end of the post)
It really is about getting out of the way and allowing the Holy Spirit do the work in the hearts and minds of your children. ~Nancy Kelly
I then did what most people do - I immediately made it into a printable and hung it on my wall. Here it is if you'd like to print it off for *your* wall. (Please do not share without my permission. Thank you! And I have permission from Nancy to share it with you!)