an ideal concept

today for math seb and i were playing around with and thinking about patterning… patterning with numbers and patterning with shapes. it’s not a brand new concept by any means–patterning is something that is taught or played around with in kindergarten and first grade…. well, every year really, just at a deeper and deeper level. so today we were taking patterning to a different level, and while it wasn’t a brand new concept for seb, he quickly got frustrated, especially when the math curriculum we used expected him to explain how the pattern worked. today i found myself doing seb’s worksheet with him, helping him get the right answers written down. today i was okay with this, but a lot of the time, i find myself bombarded with thoughts like, he really ought to be doing this on his own and isn’t going to learn it very well, or if he was in school, he would be expected to figure it out and do this work on his own.

i think one of the beautiful things about homeschooling is that i CAN walk my kids through tough new ideas, i CAN hold their hand and even show them how to get a right answer and alleviate some frustration for them. the beauty of homeschooling is that they AREN’T in school and i can give them all the attention and help they need–and they might learn some stuff better than they would otherwise.*

now, that scenario is IDEAL. ideally homeschooling is that way. i have to admit that often the reality of homeschooling is more like this: me telling seb he needs to do this work on his own, or at least try to first without my help. he gets frustrated and starts yelling things or trying to rip the skin off his face, and i yell and send him to his room til he gets it ALL done on his own, mister! and no lunch until it is!! sometimes, doubting the ideal gets in the way and makes the real kind of sucky.

today it wasn’t like that though, and in the moment i noticed. i took note that math stayed more peaceful than it had in the past. i took note that we AREN’T in the classroom, so i don’t have to make home into one. i took note, and then sat down tonight and wrote this quick little ditty so that maybe i will remember this concept more often. and the oftener i remember this concept, the oftener a day of homeschooling will be ideal… and real. both at the same time. what a concept.

*this is not to say that parents who have their kids in school can’t sit down with them and help them with their homework in this way too, but i homeschool, so that’s where my focus is.