I asked another mom recently what her goals for her homeschool looked like. What she wanted to accomplish with the curricula she was looking for, as she was ready for a change from the textbook approach she was using. She was quickly able to rattle off several things including “produce scholars” . Her goals and dreams for her children were quite articulate and included enough things that I could suggest a couple of styles of homeschooling and specific items for her to look at.
Fast forward a couple of days and glimpse into my dining room where piles of curricula are growing. I am ready to move forward with lesson plans for our new school year as we have.. for the second year in a row.. pretty much finished up what I had planned for this year. A huge goal met for me!
Yes, there were a couple of things that I modified as we went. My history co-op course was altered as many (read: almost all) of the parents didn’t follow the curriculum. Which was fine in theory, but I found myself confusing the children as we hopped around on stories and figures from history to which they had no exposure. Plans altered and we went back and talked through more of the basics of the Revolutionary War instead of moving forward to cover the Declaration of Independence. Consequently we will stop here in history for this year. Our last co-op project will be a big one and will hopefully make connections in the children’s’ minds and pull it together for them. We are going to spend three weeks making scrapbook pages of the event the child found the most intriguing about the war. That combined with the cool History cards project from this past month will go a long way in exposing the children.. here at home and at co-op.. to the people and events of the Revolutionary war. The other thing modified in my school year was Math. We chose to spend a section of our tax return on Aleks math. Purchased through tjedonline.com it was really quite doable for my eldest 5 and has taken a huge teaching
burden responsibility from my shoulders.
Anyway: back to the dining room. My breakfast nook is absolutely covered in various curricula, books and of course lesson planners. There is a box of items loosely organized on the floor next to me and there is a dining room chair across the way that holds many of the shiny new catalogs that publishers of homeschool items send at this time of year. Even the buffet holds a few stacks of papers and books! Quite the cluttered look right now. And I just realized that a bag holdiing my CM planner from Simply Charlotte Mason got left at the church after co-op on Monday. Horrors.. I will need that book. Oh I bought it as a pdf so maybe I can use the back up copy until we are back out at church. With a 20 minute drive each way I wasn’t looking forward to spending the gas to go over there.
I have several goals for this upcoming school year but haven’t taken the time to write them out. So here goes:
1. Continue to school all year so trips, events like our reenacting, visits from family and friends and harvest time do not delay our progress. Yes I do count many of those activities as real life school but I like the feeling of accomplishment of finishing as much of a curricula as needed to cover a subject!
2. Keeping in mind the depression era saying of Use it up..wear it out.. Make do, or do without, I want to pull first and foremost out of the abundant supplies I have here. For someone who started homeschooling over 15 years ago with a borrowed copy of KONOS Volume 1, I have more shelves, boxes and totes of curricula than almost anyone else I know!
3. This needs to be an academic year. While I do believe that there are times and places for unschooling style and child led learning I also think I have done some of my older children a disservice by not requiring more. I know that it flies in the face of TJed style and could be argued against by anyone half way proficient in the understanding of true unschooling homeschooling but I have several children in our homeschool who are looking at colleges that will require strong, quantifiable academic records.
4. I really want to utilize the skills my children have to bless their younger siblings. This is an area we already do well in but not all the children are responsible for someone elses learning.
5. Somehow we have dropped studying God’s Word as a family. It is a high priority to regain this in our school lives.
What do you have planned for next year?