I home school Curls. Hubby and I made the decision before she started school that we wanted her to attend a charter school (Thank you Waiting for Superman). The charter school in our city has a uniform dress code, has a heavy focus on science and math when the kids get in the higher grades, and they place importance on good behavior (case in point: a faculty member stands at the gate every morning to shake hands with the incoming students). Because they can only have a limited amount of students, there is a wait list for full time. So we opted for their part time program where Curls goes to school two days a week and I home school the other 3 days. She is on the wait list for full time but until then my life during the week consists of preparing Red for kindergarten and doing school work with Curls every day for hours at a time. It’s hard but I truly love the time I have with her. She loves math and snatches the worksheets out of my hand as soon as I rip them out of her work book. She will read way past her allotted time that she is required every day. But she will also make excuses to not stay in her chair when journal time comes.
Journal entries have been a struggle since kindergarten. She puts too much pressure on herself and tells me she can’t think of what to write. She wants her letters to be perfect. But when she comes up with an idea, she grins from ear to ear. She comes up with the most original character names that I almost want to steal them for my future stories.
I encourage her to write about what she likes. I tell her to keep it simple and not to try so hard. Which, of course, I should take my own advice and run with it. A teacher I adored in high school taught me the KISS method. It means Keep It Simple Stupid. It was perfect coming from this brash man who taught me so much. And 20+ years later, this method still applies to my writing and my relationships.
Trying to keep moving and not letting pressure, expectations, and any other orange cones stop me is a constant battle I face. Doing school work with Curls is a daily reminder that I need to breathe and just keep things simple. The writing will come and it will be as good as I make it.