This question hunts me.
The truth is most days we don't reach the curriculum we have been using, Calvert.
The thing is that I'm under an excess of pressure and I just feel I'm going completely nuts, I just want to cry and hide in a dark lonely cave.
Let me tell you my story, maybe my experience is of use for someone.
I did not plan to be this type of mom, I knew I wanted natural birth and be gentle, but that was it, I was imagining that I will be a regular single mom, working and loving my boy.
And then I start to read and read and find myself as mom, and ideas start to grow, like free breastfeeding, co-sleeping, homeschooling and even unschooling.
I reed John Holt books and felt all set.
But then I was convinced to leave my country for my parents one, and everything start to go unbalanced. It is true that here is safer than home, but I went back to be influenced by my family who won't support my choices and whose judgement I'm so vulnerable to.
At the beginning everything felt peaceful, and we start our homeschool calmly. Even when it was not the purpose, my kid had almost learned to read at the age of 3, he was interested on it. But then pressure appear and so I sent him to the kindergarten. There he spent a year, from the age of 4 to 5, he did had a good time, but teachers were unhappy with his development, they said that he would hardly learn to read and that he did not focus, even Asperger was slightly suggested.
He came out of there happy every day, but on the afternoons he would talk to me about some bullying he had lived, only that months before. I tried to address the problem, teachers said that they will take care, but didn't. Then, the lack of cooperation from my son to complete the kinder activities became more problematic to them, and they start to take away his free time and lunch time in the hope that those pressures will help him focus. I disagreed on this, saying that food should never be part of the equation on the reinforcement of any behavior, they took it lightly.
Finally I found out they were teaching my kid to pray without my permission, and when I confront this situation I was taken lightly and even received some indirect aggression.
So I talk to my son and we decided to start homeschooling and that he will stop attending that Montessori kinder.
I was so afraid I had indigestion for days and even a light panic attack. My father is a PhD.D. and University teacher, so for him academics are the most important issue and my mom studied psychology and is a lawyer and she has very strong ideas on how to raise children, which don't match mines.
I told them and they have a lot of arguments against, but we start to roll and -magically- my son learned to read in the first 6 weeks of homeschooling, so for a while things were cool.
I thought finally we were on the other side. But then my son turned 6, and so the pressure from not only my parents but more people on my family started again, I was even stopped on the street so they could express their concern... in front of my kid.
Finally I decided I had to save some money to go back to Mexico or other environment that would be better for us, and so I asked my father if we could go live with him for a while. He accepted but decided to built and apartment on top of his house for us. I was not clear on my intentions of leaving the country (I didn't even had it clear since Mexico is getting more dangerous), so I let it be. And then we moved there.
Once we were installed my father let me know that we were welcome to live there, as long as I sent my son to school.
I didn't knew what to do. for a moment I thought to just leave to Mexico without any money and try to make it work, but when we went there for a little work-vacation (I can't ever afford vacations, what I do is to give classes in Mexico so we can have enough for our staying) I started to feel very ill, I spent many days on bed (just leaving it to teach my classes), with horrible pains on the head, diarrhea, no appetite, having half of my body numb and the certainty that I was dyeing or terrible ill and no money to see good doctor, the ones I saw said that I had anxiety (probably true).
So when I got back to Costa Rica, still feeling pretty crappy, I decided to just do what everybody expected from me, and sent my boy to a school. I completely dropped the ball on homeschooling for a few weeks and I have felt depress and angry ever since.
I went to see a doctor who run some tests, give no diagnose and prescribed some medicines that I took. I felt better but not all good. And then I got some homeopathic medicine that helped me better, but still I don't feel healthy, and this paralyze me, I don't feel strong enough to make my choices and be the parent I want to be, and so I feel very frustrated and I'm an angry mom, sometimes, which is terrible.
I end up taking my son for tests, so they could determinate if he had Asperger or anything, he doesn't; the report only stands that he distracts a lot when he has to work on something not of his interest, who could blame him?, don't we all? but that he needs to improve his calligraphy a lot.
So instead of doing our Calvert schooling, or more interest based projects, we are now doing uninteresting writing, in the effort he won't have such a bad time at school, instead of leaving him to have a more organic development of writing.
Every body tries to convince me that it won't be that bad, but I'm hopping some homeschooling and unschooling parents could understand how terrible this is for me.
By the way, homeschooling is not regulated here in Costa Rica, so is not legal or illegal, but some parents have been threaten of taking their kids away for not sending them to school, and people close to me has told me: "anyone can make an anonymous report to the government", which I don't know if take as a personal threat.
At the same time I'm judged by haven't graduated from University and not taking a regular job, so I had a lot of pressure on that area too, the general idea is that I sit on my house and do nothing. I do receive economical help from my dad but not from my son's father, and I live of my little two business Centro la Milpa and Simple Loving Family, that are they way I have found to stay at home and take care of my kid.
Thank you for reading this. I'm just very worry and sad.