Thoughts As I Start My 10th Year Homeschooling

This fall will start my tenth year of homeschooling.  TENTH.  That milestone makes me feel both accomplished and tired.  SO TIRED.  I’ve been contemplating ways to bring the spark and joy back into my homeschooling.  Here are some ideas I plan to implement as I plan this coming school year:

  • Quitting the charter school partnership:
    • A private company partnered homeschoolers with charter schools who needed more students and used the state funds to offer curriculum reimbursements and a day of classes to homeschoolers.  The reporting and testing requirements were worth it for the years that we participated, but I’m looking forward to being independent again.
  • Breakfast Binders:
    • I’ll start a new post about these.  Basically, I’m going to create sets of pages on various interesting topics to slide into sheet protectors in binders.  Pages will be swapped out randomly to keep the binders “fresh.”  The binders will be stored in the kitchen to be used as reading material during breakfast (or lunch).
  • Scheduling by quarter within a particular broad topic:
    • For history, we’ll be following the units I created for Classical House of Learning History & Literature: Multi-Level Ancients.
    • For science we will start with astronomy using Cosmos (watching, discussing, and writing narrations).
    • I still need to figure out what our topics are for our other group subjects.
  • Quarterly project days to introduce the next history focus:
    • I plan to scrap regular lessons in exchange for an amazing adventure into the next history topic.  These adventures might involve costumes, movies, creations, art, science, a field trip, or anything else that will whet their appetites.
  • Relaxing on the specifics of what we accomplish each day:
    • I’ll divide each quarter into nine weeks and then have each child work from a weekly rather than daily list.  This will hopefully be the sweet spot between flexibility and structure.
  • Keeping things simple and fun:
    • I really want to focus on writing across the curriculum.  I’ve set up private blogs for each child.  I also plan to set up binders or composition notebooks.
    • I will finally relent and allow my children to utilize an online math program for at least part of their math this year because it’s difficult to teach an excellent math lesson to every child every day. I plan to meet with one or two children for math each day to keep tabs on their progress and do offline activities or lessons.
    • More reading and discussing.  Fewer books if that’s what’s needed to get a child to really engage.  I’ve already had the older ones select books from the first unit of  Classical House of Learning History & Literature: Multi-Level Ancients.
    • More time with my littles, snuggling and reading great picture books.
    • More games.  There are loads of fun games for various subjects.  I’d like to play them with my children.
  • Different outside classes and activities:
    • Our local art and theater organization offers homeschool classes during the day.  We’ll spend one morning a week there for art, musical theater, and French.
    • We started a new homeschool group with some friends to make sure we get around to fun history, science, and art projects among other activities.  Our group has just finalized its members and now we are figuring out which specific activities we will do within our chosen topics.  My children are excited to spend more time with their homeschool buddies.  I’m excited to spread out the workload of some projects.  And, yes, I’m excited to meet regularly with homeschool mom friends, too.
  • Minimal new purchases:
    • I want to avoid purchasing anything major–especially any new programs.  I’ve got experience and I own lots of options already.  I need to resist the temptation to grab that Shiny New Program when what I already have can probably be presented in a new or more exciting way.  I want to use the money I might have spent on new programs for fun projects and activities instead.  I’ve got my eye on a few games in the Rainbow Resource catalog.
  • Project time:
    • I’d like each child to choose a longterm project or skill and spend time working on that each day.  For example, my 9yo has learned how to create mods for Minecraft.  I’d love for her to create new mods based on different themes.  She’s finishing up a Greek mythology mod right now.  She’s thinking of doing an Egyptian mod next.

About Laura

I've been homeschooling since 2005. I have six children (born 2000 - 2012). We are eclectic in our approach with a bit more Well-Trained Mind philosophy over anything else.
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