This week we started our history curriculum for the new school year (the truly observant, will note that it's the same curriculum we used 3 years ago, but I figure the girls are at a TOTALLY different level at age 8, than they were at age 5). I LOVE planning things out to the last detail, so I've been happily going through the weekly schedules, figuring out what library books we'll need when, what field trips we might enjoy when, etc etc. One of the "exciting" new experiences this curriculum is adding to our homeschool for the first time is specific assigned/suggested reading that THEY read, instead of me reading to them. At first mention they worried, but once I pointed out that the books would be mostly STORIES, they got excited about it. So, this week's suggested readers included 2 books. I suggested that they each spend 3 days on a book and then switch. Without even realizing it, I was starting to instill in them (or try to) the "school" concept of "do the assignment for the sake of the assignment". It is completely outside my comprehension, even now, to pick up a book and WANT to spend days and days absorbing the book, writing extra copywork on it "because it's so interesting" . . . I just can't wrap my mind around it, and yet, today, our second day into things, MiniMe was stressing about exactly that. . . "Mommy, I just don't think I'll have time to do everything I want to do" . . . and so, I took I deep breath, pushed aside the huge part of my very being that was screaming "but we want to get done with this as soon as we can!!! Because then we can MARK IT OFF THE LIST!!!" and calmly told her, we don't HAVE to finish these books this week, if you need more time, that's fine, we can go at whatever speed you want. She got a beautiful smile, as if I'd just handed her the world. And maybe I had . . . the chance that is so foreign to the school-mentality, to the point that even all these years later, I can't quite comprehend it, to learn for the fun of learning, at the speed that lets you absorb every bit of everything . . . and so, perhaps, we'll turn this curriculum into a 3 year curriculum (instead of 2), or maybe 4 years, we shall see . . . And I will remind myself, no doubt countless times, that slow is ok! That cramming in every bit of possible information at the expense of absorbing and enjoying it, is a complete waste (as evidenced by how much of what I "learn" with the girls, I have absolutely NO recollection of ever learning, even things that I know I must have learned).
And, as a timely reinforcement of all of that, a friend shared this article today.