Well we’ve survived our first year of homeschooling. Though we’re continuing through the summer we’re taking a different approach (one I probably should relax and use more during the year) and just reviewing every day, and diving into subjects that excite them.
I wanted to jot down how the year went so I can remember and maybe set some reminders for myself as we start this new year. Here are some things I want to keep doing and change up a bit.
This year was a lot of fun. When I look back at all the things we did: the books we read, the trips we took, the people we met. We did A LOT. I just asked my daughter what she enjoyed about homeschool this year and she said: “I liked listening to Hamilton and learning about the election where he helped decide who should be president.” ha!
She also learned a lot about Frederick Douglass, Hellen Keller, New Amsterdam and early colonial pioneers. Needless to say we hopped around history a bit. It’s so rewarding when she recalls a lesson we had on Holland or King James III and brings it up in random conversation. But even still there’s something I wish we had done more of and that’s…
LET GO OF TRADITIONAL SCHOOL IDEALS
For me this was (and still is) so hard for me to grasp. Last summer I was all about getting outside, counting, doing math with rocks, listening to audiobooks and learning casually. Once August hit I sorta panicked myself back into a “typical school” schedule, trying to cram eight subjects in, and rarely diverting from that unless we were on a trip or planning for a trip.
It was really fun when we went to D.C. in October and did a unit study about Washington, D.C. and again in February when we spent a month studying Black History. But other than that we mostly stayed to our curriculum. Which is ok, but I want to give myself permission to be more flexible and go off and study space, or Egypt or oceans, or whatever they find fascinating.
The main thing that’s important is that I…
It’s easy to forget how far we’ve come when I’m constantly looking at where we are. Reading is easily my most difficult subject to teach. I don’t have the patience I do for other subjects and it frustrates me watching her stumble over words she knows. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lamented to other parents, friends and homeschool groups trying to get reassurance and remember that THIS IS NORMAL!
A huge relief has come just flipping back to where we started. Seeing the books she was learning to read at the beginning of the year compared to what she’s reading now is a HUGE improvement. Seeing her handwriting at the end of the year versus the beginning is a HUGE improvement. The math she’s working on, the history she’s learned, all of the books we’ve plowed through together… She’s grown so much, and that’s what I need to keep track of not…
I know it’s my problem and I have to let go of comparisons… Comparing her to where I was, where other kids are, and just let her be herself. Same with my son who is just an entirely different ballgame. I need to remember they are who they are and that my job is to do what I can to help them be their best selves… Which is the main why I got into this whole homeschooling thing anyway.
It has truly been a fun year and I’m excited for the fun and growth ahead.
Highlights this school year:
Visiting Washington DC
Losing her first tooth
Completing All About Reading Level 1
Completing Math You See Alpha
Finished a Hellen Keller biography
Completing Half of Heart of Dakota Beyond
Enjoying poetry tea parties
Participating in an Martin Luther King Jr. Day Walk
Making friends at our Compass Co-op and studying art, poetry and Shakespeare
Taking video-editing lessons from mommy
Taking sewing lessons from mommy
Learning her back walkover and making an All-Stars cheerleading squad
Getting her first camera and learning about photography
Visiting Walt Disney World 2Xs and doing the Wilderness Explorers Challenge
And so much more that I’ll need to come back to and update with more posts and links.