This has been a tough summer for me, school planning-wise. I waffled back and forth, to and fro, up and down about whether I was going to schedule (ie: overschedule is more like it) my child this year. I know she's getting into those formidable years where a transcript must be kept and hopefully she takes some classes that count toward a potential college. I don't know though. The oldest got into college with no transcript, just her ACT scores and the college's math/english testing. So what does it really matter, I ask you? Anyway, this was my stress this year.
I prayed and prayed about it, wanting to unschool but not having the guts. My child loves to learn and figure out things but I don't know if I'm comfortable with my 13 yr old planning how much she'll learn at all. I don't know how unschoolers do it! Maybe if I'd started from the beginning days I'd be fine. She'd learn differently. I talked to her about unschooling. She thinks it sounds 'great!' (eyeroll) because she wouldn't have any assignments. In the end, there were a few things I wanted to learn and we compromised. It's 1/2 school, 1/2 unschool time. Oh, and wait until I tell you about math!
Here is our schedule:
Grammar - Daily Grams
Latin - Latin for Children, Level B
Math - online program
History - Sonlight One Year World History reading program
Reading - List of fiction/non-fiction/spiritual books I compiled (will share soon)
Music - She's started Percussion & Band classes, Piano sporadically
That's it. No, I didn't schedule in Science, Art, Foreign Language, Writing, Poetry, Typing, Home Economics, PE, or Bible. Some things are a given. We go to church two times a week and Hubby and she do bible studies every night. Currently she has been reading Jesus Freak and I found there is a separate Live Like a Jesus Freak book with questions at the end of each chapter. They've been working through and discussing that nightly. I want to start memorizing scripture again with her but I need to find a fun non-school way to present it. Maybe by painting the words on paper and drawing pictures to go with it. I don't know, thinking on the fly here.
Art is a given in our house. I'm an artist because I can't help myself and my daughter draws almost daily about what she's reading (Trojan War) or watching (Doctor Who, lately.) I keep art supplies at the ready in a mini studio space on top of the piano. Any of it can be used at any time.
Her schedule is, to hopefully get up with hubby every day at 7 am. If she works diligently she's done with her work by 12-1 pm. Then the rest of the afternoon is hers to study what she wants. I ask that she slip in a bit of piano and drum practice and chores and maybe work on training the dogs a bit but the rest is hers. Here is where we have the problem. I'm hoping she fills that time with science and art and poetry, etc... but she likes to think of it as her time to do what she wants. It is, but... Yeah. I'm having trouble with it. Maybe I need to plan some sciencing just to feel better about getting some in. Experiments and maybe a few field trips. I have 107 library books out from the library and a 1/3 are science so hopefully she is getting some in. It's just not a traditional way to do school and my brain is on fire because of it.
Okay, on a happier note. Math this year is LOVED! We've been doing textbooks like Saxon math for years and the repetition and blah blah blah was killing her. We've found something different for this year! Khan Academy. I heard someone talk about it and link to it but I didn't go look. Then my brother who is studying to be a doctor or some sciency person said he uses it for upper level science courses. Okay, this got my attention. THEN, 2 other homeschool groups mentioned it! I had to look. I found it has from the very beginning to hugely hard mathing. You do practice problems and if you get stuck you can watch the videos to learn how to do it. You earn badges and all sorts of goodies. Best of all, its free! It's a God send for me really.
For those other subjects I'm wanting her to study but didn't schedule her to study I've been a bit sneaky. I've bought software or other things that encourage her to learn them.
Typing - bought Typing Instructor
Foreign Language - our library has Manga on tap for free, most any language
Poetry - bought magnet sets in Haiku and Genius and put them in large metal tins with room to form sentences. Great on the go, take to a restaurant type sets.
PE - I bought a bow and arrow set for her birthday she uses, plus I let her walk the dogs or ride her bike around the block now that she's older. We also have Wii Fit
Science - so far we only have engineering games like Roller Coaster Tycoon, Zoo Tycoon 2 and similar programs
So this is my not-so-quick schooling update! lol