The first hint that everyone is getting sick in our family is that the children can’t remember their multiplication tables.
Unfortunately, I don’t see the signs until I have a sore throat myself. I always wonder why they’re suddenly incapable of basic calculations.
I would make a terrible fortune teller.
Seeing What’s There
An odd thing happened while I was lying in bed this morning with my sore throat. I have mentioned before that we are currently in a time of transition.
Our small house is on the market and we are now in our even smaller apartment.
In my cold delirium, looking for my husband, I looked toward the wall of our bedroom. It took me a few minutes to realize it was a wall and not the corridor leading to the bathroom.
At first, I was confused. I stared at it a good three minutes before getting my mental bearings back and realizing my mistake.
I was in the wrong place, I realized. Actually, I was in the right place; it was just that the map in my head was wrong.
This is often true of homeschoolers, especially new homeschoolers.
How often, when we begin homeschooling, do we stop to revise our mental maps? How often do we get them wrong? Do we judge our children by how long they work through the day?
Do we overschedule them because we’re trying to remain true to the idea of public school in our heads?
Do we worry that they are not in lock step with the rest of the children on our block, our community, our cousins and friends?
That’s a bit like staring at a wall and expecting to see the hallway there.
Seeing what truly exists requires constant reexamination, at least in the beginning. It needs all our mental faculties.
See what’s in front of you, not what’s around or before. Change your mental maps. Welcome to homeschooling.