I’m thrilled to be able to report that I will be keeping my youngest son (ten years old) with me for home-based learning this year. I didn’t push my views as I usually do, just allowed my mate to think it through, and he was the one who expressed his preference for homeschooling first. Just me and kid J at home this time, without siblings during the day, which will be a new experience. I’ll most likely take him to the public school for one or two classes to connect with local kids, have a change of instructor, and practice group social skills. Probably P.E., since I’d like him to have the chance to learn all the sports and participate in more serious running. Grampa (former track and football coach) says he’s got good moves on the run.
I’ve been thinking of the successes and failures of my past home ed practices, and have come up with some working resolutions:
- Read more unschooling and Lifestyle of Learning literature so I can get unschooled myself (again), and keep my plans loose, natural, and Spirit-directed. Kid J is already dynamite at learning, and every time it becomes too “schoolish,” we both get frustrated.
- Have kid J make a list of, and keep listening to him tell me, what he’d love to learn and try. Be a “yes” mom whenever possible.
- Pass on my special skills and enthusiasms whenever possible. Write, read, draw, and make stuff together.
- Read good literature together every day.
- Write every day, both he and I. J loves to write, so I just have to gently expand his experience in various genres. Grampa and others could help with feedback.
- Memorize Scripture, prayers, poetry, historic speeches, and great literature together.
- Start going to homeschool association meetings and special events again. We’ve lost touch with all but a few other homeschooling families.
- Remember that plans, schedules and curricula are our servants, not our masters.
- Find a piano teacher that fits J.
- Set up a sturdy work table for woodworking and other crafts.
- Co-op with some other homeschoolers in seasonal projects, a 4-H club, or specific topics of interest (or necessity, such as traffic safety or bike maintenance).
- Schedule in some cool field trips.