We are now 5 weeks into our school yr if you want to keep track or like me have to for reporting reasons. Yet really life is always teaching and we are always learning. I started out our 3rd yr as homeschoolers with a predesignated curriculum that I chose for each kid based on one what I feel they should be working on, two what type of learner they are, and 3 some influence based on what society says they should know. I felt confident . Had my schedules made but something happened. I can't really say how or when. Maybe it has been in a since eating at me for the last 3 yrs. I felt that children in general will learn no matter what. They will learn when they are ready or want the information. In other words they are interested. I also found my self saying learning happens outside the book, away from the desk. It seemed that we learn everywhere and at all times. I can't say I 100% agreed with the unschooling way that some homeschoolers had taken yet I knew I leaned more that way than overly structured. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on to try and figure out exactly what is the best route and I have decided there really is no one route that fits my family or our needs and desires completely. So we are going to make this journey what we want. I know I feel strongly that my kids should learn math, reading, and grammar yet I do not care at what pace. Those subjects we will do in some fashion every single day. Everything else will be based off two other educational models they are Waldorf and Sudbury. I like the natural hands on and nature aspect of Waldorf but I like the democratic nature of Sudbury. What I mean by that is the children get a vote and seeing they are of two totally different ages it could be interesting to see the way they may come together on the daily life in our school.
Here is an idea or rough draft on how I would like to see this going.
Monday morning meeting- This is where we will decide by vote what topics we cover this week, what projects we will do, family projects, What movies will be watched during Movie learning Wednesday, What nature inspired theme or place to visit on Thursday ,what field trips we may take, Rules of how issues are handled. I think this will be a good experience for the kids to learn to come together on dissension making topics and allow them to build a better relationship with each other and myself. I believe this meeting could take a few hrs and therefore the only other areas covered subject wise on Monday will be math, reading, grammar. I will read to them from our living science book and they will complete notebook. Each child will also work on their individual creative project. This could be anything from cooking, art, editing videos what ever they feel inspired to do.
Tuesday- Tuesday's are special because Daddy is home. This allows a great opportunity for as to do things as a family. Tuesday morning 2hr block of math, reading, grammar. Then we as a family will work on the topic or unit of study that was chosen on Monday by vote. The idea is to dig deep and branch that topic out as far and as wide as we can as a family and all members will be a part of that process. I imagine us spending at least 3 hrs working on the project. The rest of the day will be spent enjoy family time be it through games, play, or what ever life brings at us.
Wednesday- Wed. morning 2 hr block of math, reading, and grammar. Then we will pick back up on our topic project for about two hrs. We will then spend about 1-2 hrs on the topic project. Last we have a special theme for Wed. called movie learning Wed. the movie or movies picked would have been chosen at the Monday morning meeting. Each child will also have time to work on their creative projects.
Thursday- Thurs. 2 hr block of math, reading, and grammar. Then 1 hr spent on topic project. Then we will either work on a nature inspired theme or we will weather permitted go out on a nature walk to learn from nature. All children will keep an on going nature study notebook.
Friday- We call Friday fun day Friday it is set aside to first finish up and work we still need to do on our topic project for the week. Attend field trips or park days with other homeschooling families. This is the day where the children are learning from life, there is no set guidelines of anything we need to cover or accomplish. We may go to the zoo or even a movie. It could be a trip shopping or out to eat for pizza. I leave the ideas up to the children as long as we have the funds to pay for it.
Any topic project the children feel they want to continue on into the next week will be allowed. Reason being I dare you to pick any topic that you know everything there is to know on that topic. I beat you can't do it. That is because there is always more you can learn on any given topic. I am hoping that this will not only instill a love and desire to learn through out our homeschooling yrs but also through out their lives. I hope this will help bring them closer together and allow them to find constructive ways to handle any issues that may come up between them therefore building a stronger relationship as brother and sister. It will allow them the experience of working with others of different age range as well. By giving them a voice in all we do it allows them to see that even if they are children they are human beings and will allow them a way to express any concerns or desires. I hope by exposing them in this way they will be better suited to life in an adult world.
In case you may be wondering about life skills all the children have chores actually all family members have chores. They are each taught to cook, clean, do laundry, sew, mow the grass, ect that is part of our normal daily life just as much as it is most everyone else.