I don’t know about you, but I rarely have homeschool wobbly moments. I have wanted to homeschool since I was pregnant with Thomas. It was God-lead and in general I have felt very at peace. In fact, I would go further than that and say it has been the biggest and best decision we have made for our family. But I have to admit to feeling a little wobbly lately, and a bit lost as to how to un-wobblify myself (spell check does not like that word 🙂 )
For the past few months, Lillie’s photography course has become harder and harder. She still receives great grades, but I could see her joy diminishing and her learning almost grind to a halt. I have needed to support her more and more, and over the past couple of weeks have had the undesirable job of filling in over 40 LETL forms for her, linking the work she has done to the learning objectives. We were both under the impression that these needed to be done ASAP, so we knuckled down and got them done. Last week Lillie and I were both working silly hours and neither of us were sleeping terribly well. At the end of the week I reached the end of what I could cope with. My little ones had hardly seen me all week, and were being educated by their older sister. The photography was taking up so much of my time, there was nothing left to school plan, or teach. I was letting everyone down. I had no time for anyone or anything except for filling in those horrid forms. Friday morning I took one look at my exhausted and stressed oldest twin and made the decision enough was enough. No course was worth this stress.
I contacted her tutor, explaining the situation and saying that whilst Lillie would continue with the course she would be decreasing the number of hours she worked each day, and she would be taking a week off to recuperate. The tutor was fabulous. It turns out that Lillie was doing a stand alone pre-degree professional qualification. Everyone else on the course had already completed their IGCSEs and their A levels (most had done A Level Photography), and they were doing this course in order to progress with photography as a career. No wonder Lillie was finding it so hard. The diploma was a stand alone course which was usually taken over two years by 17 and 18 year olds and above, not a one year course taken alongside various other courses by a 14-15 year old. This course was far too advanced for Lillie. However, she was achieving an average grade of 85%, so the tutor felt she would easily pass. But that 85% came at a cost and now, as parents, Gary and I needed to make a decision about Lillie’s future on this course.
We have decided that Lillie will do the course over two years instead of one, so that she can spend some time consolidating all she has learnt over the past six months. The course has been run at such a speed that she has not had any time to digest and cogitate on her learning. We are hoping that the extra year will give her time to do just that.
February is never a good time for me, and if I am going to have a homeschool wobbly moment it will invariably fall during the second month of the year. Hopefully things will now settle down, and our little homeschool will return to the joyful, relaxed pace it usually has.