Friday, June 21, 2013

And end and a beginning...

Tgl 17 Juni 2013 kemarin, Little Bug "resmi" menyelesaikan program Playgroup yang sudah dia mulai sejak Juni 2011 lalu. Di acara "Graduation Day", dia dan teman-teman sekelasnya menyanyikan lagu "Do you want to be my friend?" (hmm judul aslinya harus lihat buku sekolah dulu) di atas panggung dan to my surprise, Little Bug dan "geng" teman-teman sekelasnya memberanikan diri naik panggung untuk ikutan sharing pengalaman selama bermain di Yellow Class (kelasnya Little Bug)... wow!!! Well, I know that bravery sometimes comes in numbers... karena ramean majunya jadi berani.. but for me it doesn't matter-- kalau dia  sudah berani, that's all that matters, mengingat Little Bug dulu nggak akan berani seperti itu, hehehe :) 

It was a sad time for me (kayaknya aku lebih sedih daripada Little Bug dan guru-gurunya deh--- sentimental me!) to see Little Bug have to part with his classmates (yg deket2) and his teachers,  and no longer have that morning school-bus routine that he really loves (sampai2 mama-papanya nggak boleh nganter-jemput ke sekolah karena dia hanya mau naik school bus, titik.).. apalagi waktu bikin thank-you notes buat guru-gurunya, sampe brebes mili, huwaaaaa..... ;(

Honestly, I'm not really good with changes, I hate (most) good-byes.. But it's a skill I must work on (becasue life must go on, and change is inevitable), apalagi we're undergoing our biggest change now--- homeschooling! Yikes, si Hubs and I are holding on to each other (and we hug the kids more, too!) sambil berpikiran sama: okay, bismillah, we're really starting to homeschool... wait, have we gone crazy?!?!?! 

And clamly reminding ourselves (and answering that question, many, many times): no, we’re not crazy! This was a choice made out of a long thinking process with guidance from Allah SWT.. a choice made because:
1. We want to try to make learning as fun/enjoyable possible for the kids (and learn with them, too!)
2. We want to have a closer relationship and stronger connection with the kids
3. We want to have the freedom to control our kids’ education—a delicate cooperation between us (as parents, with our goals for the kids) and our kids (accomodating their interests and ideas in play)
4. We want to keep their natural love of learning, curiousity, and creativity-- with minimal boundaries and judgement (as in unnecessary grading) and hopefully protect their passion for learning
5. We want to break out of the “box”—that education “only” happens in “formal school”—life itself is full of education: belajar bisa dari siapa saja, di mana saja, dan dari awal sampai akhir hayat (life-long learning). 

So it’s all an integrated process. Please note those 2 words: integration & process.

Integration for us means that kalau bisa sudah nggak ada lagi pengkotak-kotak-an atau pemisahan bahwa belajar itu hanya terjadi di tempat/waktu/bersama guru tertentu. At Little Bug’s age now, play is learning. Belajar ya sambil bermain. Dengan penggunaan umum kata “belajar” yang sepertinya diartikan/digunakan berlawanan dengan kata “bermain”, semoga saya bisa mengembalikan makna positif dari kata “belajar” itu supaya nggak dianggap sebagai “sesuatu yang tidak menyenangkan” by our kids. 

InsyaaAllah when he’s a bit older (elementary school aged, I mean), mungkin baru bisa menerapkan yang lebih terstruktur untuk bidang akademis, but still, I hope we can make the “daily schoolwork” lebih terhubung dengan minat anak-anak dan lebih jelas “the bigger picture” buat mereka. Kenapa anak2 harus tahu “the big picture”? So they’ll know why they’re learning what they’re learning and hopefully mencegah perasaan “belajar sebagai beban yang tidak menyenangkan”karena nggak tahu kenapa harus belajar ini itu, yg mudah dan yang (mungkin) susah. (I admit, I was so sick of school in high school because I felt too wrapped up in learning things that I felt unnecessary—even though I did make good grades).  

Sisi integrasi yang lain adalah bahwa belajar juga dilakukan melalui kehidupan sehari-hari. I don’t want to raise kids that are little kings/queens that only know how to receive and have everything laid out neatly or done for them. I want my kids to learn how to take care of themselves and others, too! Hopefully mereka lambat laun akan menyadari bahwa mereka bisa belajar juga dari orang-orang yang mereka temui dalam kehidupan sehari-hari.

Process for us means that our homeschool (and basically, everything in life) takes time and effort to do. We will try to plan stuff but we have to remember that not all that we plan (and that sound good) will work for us in reality. We can expect a lot of adjustments to be made--- semoga nggak terlalu parah, tapi we’ll be ready for rough days. Being with my kids 24/7 juga membutuhkan proses adaptasi—itulah koneksi yang ingin saya (secara personal) bangun dan perkuat dengan anak-anak. I’m not a perfect mom, but I want my kids to know that we can work on our relationship together, and I want to make our relationship a close & strong one. Hopefully by showing them I’m not perfect, but I try to make amends and be better--- it will teach them  that it’s okay to not be perfect and that I don’t expect for them to be perfect, either! But what’s important is that we try to make things work and try to be better each day. It’s all a process and we’re on the same team, bukan sebagai lawan atau saingan. 

Honestly, Hubs and I are scared sh*t. We could’ve easily paid off our admission to another 
kindergarten and now be happily doing nothing during this month of school vacation. But no, here I am busy reorganizing the house to accomodate play/creativity areas so that it won’t interfere with my sanity (read: we can still eat on the dining table, walk safely through the living room floor, and not have play-doh and sand all over the house. Yes, I want to keep the house somewhat clean-ish, thank you). I’m printing off all those printables that I plan to use in the near future and checking on what I already have saved somewhere in my database. I’m trying to tidy up the bookshelf and checking on the books we have and how I can use them. And I still have to clean up my messy supplies drawers so that I won’t have to spend extra time looking for a paper clip or a working pen (they always dissapear just when I need them!). Yes, we're using this "school vacation" time as my prepping time, semoga bisa lebih "smooth" untuk ke depannya-- at least, ini yang aku baca dari blog2 para emak2 HS di luar sono yang sepertinya sudah cukup established :)

Hubs and I have agreed to a 1-2 year trial homeschool period as an adjustment phase. Bismillah, semoga cocok jadi nanti insyaaAllah waktu SD bisa lebih smooth/mantap ber-homeschool ria (karena memang awalnya kami hanya berniat untuk homeschool ketika akan masuk jenjang SD). Tapi kami cukup legowo dan pasrah untuk tetap terbuka pada pilihan nantinya masuk sekolah formal kalau2 hasil trial period ini menunjukkan arah sebaliknya. Belajar dari pengalaman2 yang lalu2, sebagai hamba Allah nggak boleh terlalu cinta/benci dengan sesuatu hal. Karena hanya Allah yang Maha Tahu apa yang terbaik untuk kita... bisa jadi apa yang kita anggap baik/suka ternyata kurang baik bagi kita, dan sebaliknya. Kami nggak bisa meramalkan bagaimana perkembangan masa yang akan datang, tapi inilah ikhtiar kami untuk saat ini. Bismillahitawakaltu.. laa hawla wa laa kuwwata illa billah... 

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