Monday, March 1, 2010


One of the biggest challenges I have Homeschooling my dogs is staying motivated.

Without a class to attend or a test to take, it's not always easy to justify the time spent instructing my dogs - especially given the many Other Things vying for my time (hubby, son, job, house,...)

It's hard to spend a day at work, rush home to make dinner, spend an hour or two with Lacrosse/School things, clean up the house, and still have the desire, energy, and proper frame of mind to give my four-footed students the instruction they deserve.

And so I created a curriculum to give the effort scope. I make syllabi, lists, and schedules to keep things focused. I post things here to force myself to stay the course and not let my dog's tuition fall victim to those louder forces.

But in all honesty, I fail as often as I succeed. There are weeks that pass without a single Field Trip. There are months that go by without one Special Event. And while I usually manage at least 1 hour per week per dog, it's not as consistent as I would like (5-10 minutes per day, per dog, 5 days a week.) Had I paid "good money" for the time, would I do better?


But there is a Silver Lining to Homeschooling.

Last week Beau's exuberant behavior with regards to "Find the Duck" reached my annoyance threshold, and so I promptly dropped everything else to work on it. No, it wasn't on any list or plan. No, I had not allocated any time to it. Yes, it will cause other things to "fall behind".

But it doesn't matter.

Whereas a traditional student climbs aboard the education train at the start of a course, takes in the information along the way, and hopefully disgorges the knowledge learned on a test at the final station - a Homeschooled student's (or dog's) education doesn't have to follow predefined tracks.

It is OK to derail the Homeschooling train.

Last week, Beau and I veered off onto a footpath and explored Zen Duck. Late last year, Zachary and I spent three weeks wandering down Watch Way - one little second at a time. This week we might take the bridge over the river Lunch Time Begging, or go down the fire road that explores NOT running out Open Doors.

Or we just might stay on the tracks of this Week's Worksheet (wouldn't that be a change...)

The point is, in the end (as with most things in life) I need to make the most of the journey and worry less about the destination. So long as I remember to do so, then these side roads and detours will never seem like a waste of time.

No comments: