I have realized that long summer breaks just don't work for us. First off it gets to hot to even enjoy the break and 2nd like most kids some of what they learned last year goes right out their heads lost into the ether. So as we finish up the last two weeks of this years curriculum I have been busy planning next. The plan is to take off the month of May. Here in Georgia May is about as good as it gets. Not to hot not to cold and usually beautiful weather just about every day. We will start back in June with a 3 day week until Sept. then move back into our normal 4 days a week schedule. I won't be doing a unschool approach after all. Turns out my kids don't like it nor my hubby. Therefore I will be going back to my relaxed eclectic with a good bit of Waldorf/Montessori inspired style that has worked for everyone in the past. We will stick with lesson blocks each month. Over the summer our blocks will be review concepts, Nature, fairy tales, Oceans, and Insects. My kids really missed the Waldorf inspire rhythm we had used in the past with our morning circle time, handcrafting, and heavy use of arts. Some of the interesting areas we will be learning this year with my 5th grader will be learning to play the recorder, free form dance, clay and wood working, With my kinder son we will have basic intro to ocean life, zoo animals, reptiles/amphibians, dinosaurs, insects, nature studies, and earth/space. He will also be learning poetry and how to make home made instruments.
This style of homeschooling allows me to not only cover I wide range of topics but it allows me to connect more on a spiritual level with my children. It just feels right in my heart and soul to introduce them to these concepts. I felt while giving unschooling a try was a great learning experience for us it just wasn't the right fit for my family nor me. Even though I still see everything as learning and I feel allowing time and space for a child to follow their interest is highly important I felt I could give my child a more enriched experience doing it my way instead of what is or is not unschooling. In the bigger picture I was seeing a disconnect and I didn't like it. I started homeschooling to bring the world alive and when I just let my children do their own thing it seems they were learning very little. I even tried to stew new educational items all around them but nothing much happened. So it is what it is.
So for those who might be wondering what we will be using curriculum wise I will list them below. We still will not be doing any testing and will use art and notebooking to show what we are learning.
5th grade curriculum
Lit- Norse myths, various fairy tales( with painting and notebook page for each story)
Grammar- Growing with Grammar
Spelling- Soaring with Spelling
Writing- Winning with Writing
Math- a mix of family math( which is hands on) and AHA math which is online
Science- two main areas Geology and Astronomy- using a mix of Waldorf book Geology and Astronomy for text reading( with art picture and notebooking) and Science Odyssey Earth and Space for hands on projects
History- We will cover the Middle Ages- Using mix simple homeschool, Story of the Middle Ages, Life in Medieval Times, Viking Tales. ( again will show work by picture with small notebook entree.
Home- ec- made my self
Learning to play recorder- Youtube lessons
Handcrafting- using a Waldorf book called Creative Pathways
Most everything except his phonics, history, and arts will be using the learningpage.com curriculum. It has a wonderful well put together curriculum that comes with lesson plans, recommended reading, and covers math, handwriting, phonics, science all in one.
History- he will join in with sister
Phonics- using the sound city reading program which you can find free on line and I highly recommend.
Handcrafting- Creative Pathways.
I am pretty content with where we are at on our homeschooling journey after what is now our 3rd year. Not only have they learned and experienced a lot but I have as well. I have learned more about my self and my children and what works best for us at this time. I have learned to drop my fear and trust in my self to follow my own intuition on what path we should or should not take. I have watched my children blossom into very intelligent beings. I look forward to a much needed break and to the excitement of what next year will bring.