Saturday, October 15, 2011

homeschool journal: taking a page from unschooling

There have been times in our homeschool journey when I've seriously considered to attempt the unschooling approach. However, for someone who feels the pressure to meet the expectations of providing 900 literal hours of education and worries that "unschooling" would be perceived as not doing any hours of schooling, I've hesitated to jump into that pool. But I have dabbled my toes in the waters. If you unschool, I would love to hear how you shape your day, and especially how you tackle teaching subjects like math.

Like these past two weeks, where we strayed from our usual schedule partly because of the craft show I was preparing for, partly because it was too beautiful outside to think of staying inside and partly because I think we all needed a break from the routine.

And so we enjoyed...

a hike in the woods:

exploring a new park by the lake (with my sister and nephew):

and preparing fall crafts (still need to take the pictures ;) )


  • Bringing workbooks in the car while traveling between destinations gets alot of the work out of the way (and helps me feel a little less guilty about not sitting around a table to do school)

What's working:
Homeschooling. Though I do have moments of doubts and several where sending the kids away to school is tempting, God continues to bring affirmation and encouragement to me. The other day as we arrived at the craft store to buy supplies for our crafting party, Brianna said, "I think you made a good choice to homeschool us. Because I would miss you too." (She knows that one of the reasons for homeschooling is that I would miss them too much to have them gone all day, every day.)

What's not working:
1. Our schedule. Up to this week, I tried to fit in math and LA in the morning, leaving the fun and more exploratory subjects like science and history to the afternoons. However, with Ben conquering the last frontiers of opening doors and climbing over the gate between the kitchen and dining room, it is harder to teach these subjects distraction-free. And I can't blame him for wanting to be with us.

I also feel like Luke gets the short end of the stick too. He is old enough to play by himself and doesn't get into mischief, which means he often is left to himself for a couple hours in the morning. Good for Brie and Reese and time for focus. Not so good for him. Plus I know he would love for me to do school work with him.

So I'm prayerfully considering how we rearrange our schedule so Luke and Ben are included in our day and I have the quiet needed to teach Brianna and Reese new concepts.

2. Our Language Arts curriculum. I feel like I need to stick with the "Learning Language Arts Through Literature" this year because of the $ investment we made in it. But I would love to abandon it in favor of something else. And perhaps I will if I can find something that plans out our days, works for children in different grade levels and uses good literature as its base. The hunt is on...

Linking up with:The Homeschool Mother's Journal


Our Side of the Mountain said...

Sometimes you just need a break from the usual...and getting outside is the best! I don't know where you are, but we're a few short weeks from SNOW. We're enjoying our last days of warm days! LOL

And school-on-the-road is awesome! It makes GOOD use of downtime (and keeps some of the kids busy and calm).

Stopping by from THMJ!

Dawn said...

What wonderful nature pictures. Sometimes I have set aside a learning program and taken it back up in a year or two. That way your money doesn't go to waste. Sometimes it is a good fit for your family but not the current situation.