I can’t believe how many folks have been reading and commenting on my Dissatisfied post about homeschooling. Thank you for your encouragement and kind words. It’s kinda nice to know I’m not alone in wanting something more, something different, something better for my kids.
The most frequent questions you’ve posed are: Now what? What are you going to change? How is your daily teaching going to look different?
After lengthy discussions with Chad, we came up with a game plan. First, we asked Noah and Fiona what they both liked and disliked about their current lessons. And we heard what we had expected to: English, History, and Geography were boring them to tears. So we told them what we had been thinking about changing things around, and both kids perked up immediately. Immediately. Then, we asked them to sit and write a list of anything and everything that they had any interest in learning about. We told them to be wildly inventive-nothing was off the table. What made their lists? Art, sewing, cooking, photography, World War II, video games, writing computer code, and several others.
Okay, not so wild or inventive, but we’re trying here.
After considering The Budget (ever-important and sometimes a bummer) and doing some cursory internet research, I found a local, four-week art class for Fiona that will begin tomorrow afternoon. I also ordered a Children’s Master Art Kit for Judah (my other artist) that I’ve heard rave reviews about.
For Noah, I’m still looking into some different ideas for his video game slash computer-loving heart. While it’s not currently in The Budget, I found this intriguing product online yesterday. It’s called Kano, a computer coding kit that you can assemble yourself and learn to write code. I think I’ll save up for it and surprise him.
Silas and Judah have been studying the continents for geography and history. But to date, that’s mainly involved filling in blank maps and answering workbook questions. Since I like some of what they’ve been doing, I’m not throwing it all out. But to add some hands-on activities, we’re making continent lapbooks. I did this years ago with Noah and Fiona, whilst we were using My Father’s World, Exploring Countries and Cultures. It was fun, engaging, and really seemed to help them learn about different parts of our world. Right now, we’re on Europe, so I’ll have them focus on England, France, Germany, Ireland, and maybe one or two more countries. We’ll look up facts, color pictures, make ethnic foods, and find some art projects from around the world. For free lapbooks, I use Homeschool Share a lot, picking and choosing ideas.
I’m still working on getting out of the house for field trips and adventures. Several local homeschooling friends have jumped on board with that idea as well, so hopefully, we can put our heads together to come up with some fun places to go that will be interesting for my older kids. One friend brought up Urban Exploration, which sounds super cool. I’d love to find some old buildings to traipse through.
There you have it, friends. A real game plan for finishing out the year. I’d love to hear your ideas for learning outside of the curriculum box. What’s worked well for your family?