All the dumb things I tried this year, my successes, my favorite and least favorite things about homeschooling this year. I know the year is not quite over...but I'm feeling reflective because I see the end in sight. Well, the end of this year. For a while. Before we start the next grade.
I guess actually I don't see the end after all.
First let me explain, in case you are new here...I taught public elementary school for 11 years. Then I did a few other things. Then we began homeschooling. I read everything I could get my hands on about homeschooling before we started. Tried to figure out what I agreed with and didn't agree with.
I've said it before...I think planning to homeschool is kind of like being engaged. You can imagine what it will be like to be married...but you can just never know until you get there. So after all of my research, I thought I had a handle on things. I got one room of our house ready to use for school, organized all of our stuff, and got read to dazzle my daughter with second grade.
Then, at the end of two weeks she looked at me and said, "Mommy. I miss doing fun stuff."
After further questioning, I gathered that she wanted to do "fun" stuff like her three year old sister was getting to do while she did lessons. So we took a day off, reevaluated everything and started over.
Now I had my three year old doing weekly themes from a really cool website I found. My 2nd grader was doing other more "important and official" themes that second graders should be doing. As I was perusing the library shelves for books one day she asked me, "Mommy, what is my theme this week?" I told her. "And what is Sissy's theme?" Again, I answered her. "Sissy's theme sounds like more fun," she muttered as she walked away.
Hey! Lightbulb moment! Why not study the same thing but on different levels? I tell you, all that higher education of mine was really starting to pay off. Or not.
The point is...I got brave and kept trying until we had worked out "what works for us." We jumped into unit studies, and lapbooks, dabbled in Charlotte Mason, and just kept trying new things all the time. We are still trying new things. The best thing I have learned all year is: we have the freedom to keep trying new things. Man, I LOVE that!
Good thing too, because next year is not going to be anything like this first year. And I'm OK with that, really. (And by the way...that classroom? It's a toy room now. Much better use, I'd say.)