So no matter what I think of our daughters' education and in whatever ways I may change my thinking on how we need to do things, there is still the practical problem of how to implement what I believe.
To sum up:
1. I believe that college is not always necessary. It is over-priced and a better education could be had for a buck 50 in late charges at the library. We will not raise our children assuming that they MUST attend college.
2. I believe that learning can and should be enjoyed. Now we won't always enjoy everything we must learn. I have learned some things about doing our taxes but I do not enjoy learning about that. It's just necessary. But things I am interested in? Those should be enjoyable.
3. Home education does not need to look like school. Even in high school! I do not have to do what everyone else is doing. I do not have to do what is expected. I do have to follow the law.
4. I've been trying to get too much accomplished in school every day. Checking off boxes, while making me extremely happy, does not equal a good education.
5. Our children's character is far more important than their academic strengths. Their experiences during their growing-up years need to reflect that we feel that is more important.
6. We are too busy. We are too disorganized. We are poor time-managers. We have a lot of room for improvement and those improvements will benefit my kids.
7. I can approach the non-essential (outside of what is required) subjects differently than I have been.
8. I want them to learn to learn by themselves.
Having said all that, there needs to be some serious work around this house on organization. I have a child who struggles greatly with staying organized (both things and time) and another child who naturally is orderly and prefers it--to the point where it's almost a problem. And then we have a 20 month old tornado who lives here too.
I am frustrated because stopping to clean up messes sucks our school day away like nothing else. If I just roll with it, we will finish school. But I want them to learn to clean up as they go. Therefore I cannot ignore the messes. Understand I'm not talking about babies and preschoolers. I'm talking about my 14 year old. Different expectations at different ages Mama. I've got minimum 4 1/2 more years with this girl. Gotta make these lessons count.
We've moved to just reading and discussing science. Oh my word how enjoyable!!!!! I feel like they have retained more that way than what we have been diligently doing all year! Comprehension is absolutely better as we aren't hurrying through the reading so we can fill out the answers to the questions and get them glued into those notebooks. I LOVE the idea of notebooking. But this is working much better for us.
History, which is also not required by law, is far too enjoyable and important to stop. Plus, with our curriculum it is tied into reading and cannot be separated. History stays. I've done the same thing with every non-required subject. We've looked at it, the time it takes to accomplish it, and decided what to do and how many days a week to spend on it. Cooking, sewing, learning to be a hostess...these things are far too important to skip over just so we can cover every subject under the sun. Instead of SCHOOL, I'm truly trying to think EDUCATION.
What do you want your child to learn or to learn to do before they leave your house???
That is the question you must ask and answer. Then you have to implement it.
And that's what we're working on here at the House Revised.