It’s that time of year again when we begin gathering our ideas for homeschooling. It’s an exciting and incredibly frustrating time! We have four little ones ages 2-10 to teach and while we love teaching them it can be a little nerve racking trying to find ideas and curriculum that will keep them engaged throughout the year. This year we are throwing our traditional textbooks and accompanying workbooks out the door! Gone will be the days of reading and filling in various hum drum pages. That’s old news. That’s what they do in “real” school as my kids refer to it. This is Homeschool, new and improved!
Maybe I’m behind the times with this decision. I have struggled with feeling adequate in our lesson plans for the past couple of years…I fear them falling behind their peers. However, this fear culminated in an absolute collapse of my confidence last year and mid year we put our two oldest boys in “real” school. Talk about a huge mistake. They were miserable. We were miserable. They started just in time to take the standardized tests for their grades and we were joyfully surprised when they tested at and above level with their peers. That was a pretty good confidence builder. We were grateful for that information to just know that in reality we really are doing a pretty darn bang up job with teaching them at home. We were also very grateful to realize that we are a homeschooling family through and through and no societal pressures will ever change that.
So, this year our approach is going to be a combination of the basics along with a bit of self led learning. I feel like we really have no reason to be dropping hundreds of dollars per kid on curriculum every year when we have so many amazing resources these days. Why spend hundreds to bore them to death? I sat down with my two oldest boys and asked them what they wanted to learn this year. Novel idea, eh? My 10 year old, who is starting 5th grade, wants to learn Zoology and cooking. My 9 year old, who is starting 4th grade, wants to learn Chemistry and Robotics. This I can totally work with! Beyond these two things we will also work on math, literature, and history. I even have a bit of plan to sneak in some gardening and herbalism! My youngest son is 4 and will be learning to read and write his letters and numbers this year and whatever else he may find interesting. He is quite the little painter so I am sure we will be having many afternoons of free form art projects. My daughter is 2 and is currently working on potty training so she is going to focus on that. Hopefully she aces it….soon.
I think this has been the first year that I am not scared to death to make a mistake but rather wholeheartedly excited for what we will all learn together! I plan to share the tools, resources and projects we find along our journey this year so stay tuned! It’s going to be an awesome year!