I am a mom to five great kids. All five are now teens. I do enjoy the teen years. However, I have been homeschooling now for ten years. Yes, I know many of you reading this will have been homeschooling for 15, or even 20 plus years. Let me just say - at ten years, I am feeling it, the burn out, the burn out that goes beyond homeschool burn out and begins to turn into mommy burn out.
Delight Driven Homeschool is a term I recently heard from a friend of mine. Some people may call it Interest Driven Homeschool or Child Directed Homeschool. Basically, the idea it taking a the interests of the child and basing school around that. My personality is a little too Type A, I think to do this for anything more than a couple of subjects. However, I can totally see this working with unit studies.
Fall is my favorite time of year and I love the planning part of a new school year. The actual "schooling" part of school - well, it really depends on what emotions my kids bring to the table. Yes, I know that the emotions I bring will be a big part of where they land on the emotional spectrum. If I keep a positive outlook - they will be inclined to be more positive also.
We decided to change the grade level of one of our children for the upcoming year. So now we have two 8th graders, one 9th, one 10th and one 11th.
Now that all the kids are getting older and expressing some of their own interests, our curriculum selection is getting to be quite fun! The following is what we are doing this year - click on the words in Bold for more information.
We all have a vision of what we want our homeschooling days and overall experience to look like for us and our kids. That is going to look different for every family. Here I will share some of the best experiences we have had, some of the best curriculum choices we have made and some of the things I look forward to each year as a homeschooling mom.
When I look at this picture I see simpler times, hard times, opportunity for growth, and joy. This is clearly an old photo - maybe from the 30's or 40's. So what is history good for? We all know that it is important to learn from history so that we don't repeat horrible mistakes that would impact us and generations to come. Why recreate the wheel - instead we take the progress from the past and improve upon for the future.
I began experimenting with multi-sensory education when we brought home our two children from Ethiopia. We had so much fun with the sensory bins and tactile activities that my other kids wanted to participate too. As time went on, I realized that some of my kids had some learning issues. I had one child that was super smart and became bored easily with typical text books and workbooks. Once child had dyslexia, speed processing issues and time blindness. Another child was also very smart but struggled with confidence. Another child was still struggling with a new language, had a low IQ, no visual processing ability and very poor short term and long term memory. Finally, one child who was having a hard time with reading comprehension. Now, some of these issues are less heard of - but some are pretty common. When we took the time to have our kids evaluated, I decided that I needed to find a way to teach them all together, in a way that would appeal to all of them and their learning styles.
I really enjoy homeschooling the high school years. I love to hear from each of my kids about what intersts them and what they would like to study. As a mom that wants to help them grow and cultivate their interests, I spend alot of time researching and trying to find the best curriculum that isn't going to waste time and isn't going to waste any money.
Our first experience with 7Sisters was Philosophy in 4 Questions. My daughter really enjoyed the material and her and I had some great conversations about it. I want curriculum that helps to open the doors of communication.
Do you homeschool year round? If so, do you use the curriculum you have used all year, or do you and your children pick something fresh and new?
I am certain that most homeschooling families school through the summer to a certain extent. Even traditional schooling families school in the summer - it just looks different. Family hikes, visits to the zoo, summer reading programs, summer bridge books, building projects, gardening and more - this is school in the summer. Sure, some kids (like my own), need to keep the math going for retention, but generally, summer school can be what you make it.
When I was younger I enjoyed the feeling of a book in my hands. Now that I am older, I stuggle to find time to read. Most of my reading is all about homeschool and curriculum research. The research turns into purchases. With five kids, that turns into ALOT of books! We have made pretty good use of our space - but even still - I have come to appreciate the value of digital curriculum.
Digital Curriculum is less costly by far. I only print what I need to. If I really need to print the entire thing - I go to Kinkos or something equivalent and have it printed and bound. This is still usually far less money than an original printed book.
Space is always an issue for homeschoolers. The space while you are actively using the product - but also the space to store the product while you hang on to it, waiting for other children to use it in the years to come. I don't have room for that.
You can always take it with you. Planning an extended vacation, traveling around the country for school, are you a military family? You don't need to pack your books- just bring your ipad or laptop - everything is there for you.
With publishers and authors recognizing the movement toward digital curriculum, more and more quality products are becoming available.
I encourage you to take inventory of what you might be needing for homeschool next year, and see if you could save space and money with digital curriculum