Even though I consider us year-round homeschoolers, we always have week when the officially, or maybe unofficially :), move up in grade level. This year we did it the week before our church moved all the kids up in classes. It’s a fun time to take their “school pictures”, start a new study or implement a different approach to something, etc.
This year we started out our new school year studying Shakespeare. We kicked it off with going to a free performance at a park, and we plan go to another one this weekend. We read through A Midsummer’s Night Dream aloud (a children’s version, that was easy to understand), as well as passages from the original. The kids are all memorizing bits of this play as well. One of the books we are using is How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare. Our local museum, in which we have a pass, has a Shakespeare exhibit going on right now that we will go to next week. I haven't planned everything out but I think after we finish with our initial study (his life, studying a few more plays in depth, etc.) that we will continue to just read aloud some of the other plays throughout the rest of the school year.
Poetry Tea Time is another thing that we started last month before our new start of school, it was an idea we got from Brave Writer (a new, not just writing, but learning philosophy we’ve been into, which I am loving(!) it basically reaffirms everything I have been doing/my own homeschooling style, and is giving us some fun new ideas) In the past we have done many “tea parties” and things like read aloud’s with hot chocolate, etc., so the idea of pairing poetry with a tea party was super appealing to me! My 11 year old is really into it and picked out a tea pot and tea cups from an antique store for her birthday, she sets our table every time. We’ve been doing it once a week and the girls usually take turns (or the boys will help me) making a homemade treat to go with it…and this is why even my boys love poetry tea time! They won’t complain about reading poetry when there’s treats involved! We’ve also had fun including friends or Nana in our poetry tea times.
Freewriting Fridays is another “Brave Writer” thing I have started this new school year with my oldest 3 children, ages 14,11, and 9. Each Friday they free-write about anything they want, I will give them a topic only if they ask. It’s completely free writing, I don't check it for mistakes of any kind and they don't even have to show it to me if they don't want to, it just goes in their binder. After 8 weeks they will each get to pick out which piece of their writing they want to improve on/revise/share with someone outside the family. So far they have enjoyed this and it seems to have inspired even more writing out of them. My 11 year old has always been working on stories and writes poetry, plays, etc. But last week my 9 year old wrote a cute story/play all on her own, 4 pages handwritten front and back. She wanted to work on it by herself but has trouble with spelling so I told her to just spell it how it sounds so that SHE could read it to me and then as she read it to me I typed it all out for her, spelling everything correcting and adding appropriate punctuation, then we emailed it to my mom who printed it off, put it in a “Lily’s Stories” folder, and gave it to her. She loves it!
Even though it is still summertime the weather hasn’t been too hot so we have been getting outside and doing a lot of nature activities that sometimes we don’t do until fall. We’ve been doing little nature classes at a nearby “Discovery Garden” each week, my 8 year old boy is obsessed with the little frog ponds there, last week he found 8 and his hoping to beat that number tomorrow when we go again.
My oldest is doing high school now, which is intimidating and sometimes gives me anxiety. My laid back, unschoolerish approach works wonderfully with my younger ones but when I think about high school credits, ACT/SAT testing, colleges, etc. it can be scary! We have never done testing, I don't grade papers, we just learn, I know that they are learning because they can narrate it back to me, or draw a picture of it, or tell dad about it, etc. I’ve never felt the need to keep track of things so that has been a challenge already for my oldest, she is keeping track of all her hours in each subject so that we make sure she gets the credits she needs. She has picked and pieced together her own curriculum or topics to study this year, but she has no idea what she wants to do after high school and whether that will involve college or not. This is the first time in a long time that I have felt like I don't know what I’m doing when it comes to homeschooling. She’s in her fourth week of high school and so far I feel like we’ve been able to have a good balance between bookwork type things and hands-on fun learning for her. I definitely don't want it to be all work and no play but I also want her to be prepared for college or whatever else she wants to do, so just keeping a good mix of both will be the key for her high school years, i guess????
Well, at any rate we have some fun (and educational) things planned coming up over the next month and I have been enjoying being able to gather ALL of them around to learn.
|Back to HomeSchool Picture|
|Brave Writer online "camp" I did the beginning of August|
|My evening out planning and getting mentally prepared for the upcoming school year, it was wonderful!|
|big brother pumping water for baby brother|