And that is what we have done with our schooling this year.
It has been difficult. Its been frustrating. It’s a challenge.
But it’s happening. And yet.. It’s really not all that much different. I have a tendency to over complicate things when in reality, it’s just a different method to the same thing.
This is what I mean;
We have traditionally been more of a history/science using much literature, focused home school. Loosely following no real philosophy other than my own- learning is fun. We sort of have a schedule. Now, this year, history and science we do, for sure. My kids LOVE science! But it’s not the focus.
We are focusing more on writing and language than anything else. We had been following the Classical Conversations Essentials program. But honestly, it is overwhelming and, well, confusing. There is way too much that I really do not understand in that program along with the fact that there is SO. MUCH. (Did you get the part about it being SO MUCH information??!!!)
I don’t want to only focus on diagramming sentences. We will however, add Winston Grammar to our program as soon as I get the materials I ordered to replace Essentials. It is much simpler to understand and won’t take hours to complete and a BA in English to decipher it.
We are still however focusing on writing and language as I said before. We are following the Institute for Writing program and that is going pretty well. Still a few hiccups along the way, but the program is generally, easy to follow and makes sense to most of us. I have been doing the program along with the kids because, as you can see, I need to learn how to write better too.
And then I gave my passage to the Son to proof. I was a bit discouraged. He liked ONE sentence. One. To my credit, I was trying to write mine as well as, help the others with theirs and I simply did not have any more to give. Lame, I know. But its my excuse. Well, he was absolutely right. I needed to fix it and do better. He liked my improved version.
They still work on science, math, history and science. But that is all on their own. Other than areas where they have problems, they work independently. I do give them assignments and projects to do to help them learn more in some things. Math, if they need help in some areas, we have some online things we have found that have been really helpful. Sheppard games is one, IXL and Khan Academy have all been awesome and hold their attention.
Science is the real focus for one of the boys. One is doing Apologia Chemistry with his older brother. (His older brother gets chemistry. I do not.) The next is doing a General Science and the other 2 are studying Oceans. The youngest Son is enjoying the science projects associated with his Oceans study. I think he has done at least one a day!!
The older 2 have chosen history topics to study further and they will work on their own with the assignments I have given them. They have resources and will find a few others and dig into their topics. We have an Ancient History theme this school year and they both have chosen to learn more about Rome and Greece.
So far, it is working out pretty well. I am pretty much the overseer, making sure everyone gets done what they need to get done. We have gotten into a sort of routine. (As much of a routine as we get into.) I don’t actually schedule time slots. I should, and have in the past, but quite frankly, life happens. It never works. The dog pees on the carpet and I need to clean that up. Chickens need emergency care, a rabbit escapes the cage and needs finding. Then add in a child’s mental breakdown over something in their life.
Instead, here is our schedule:
School work- first, always, Bible. Then Math and if we can something else. They always start long before I do because I spend time writing and doing my own chores for the day. They love being able to work independently so they do whatever they can on their own.
Then lunch, always around noon because Dad comes home for lunch. Next, we like to get outside for some fresh air.
In the afternoon, they can read or we work on more school work. Maybe science or history. Maybe IEW, (our writing course)
We finish up generally about 3 or 4. Depending on how the rest of the day has gone and how much still needs doing. Generally though, at about 4, I quit. They can work if they want, but I am mentally checked out! Then I get outside and get some outside chores done and just spend some time outside. I totally need some fresh air by then and it helps revive me.
That is our home school. It’s not perfect but it is what works for us.