New starts and New ideas

I’m constantly learning and coming up with new ideas on how to do things in my life, particularly in regards to homeschooling. This whole adventure called “homeschooling” has proven to be a HUGE learning experience for me (and I’m thoroughly enjoying it…most days. grin)

back-to-school-supplies This week I am attempting to launch a new “school year”…something which always seems so weird to me since as homeschoolers we’re not bound to the public school year. I know this, but find it still easier to ramp myself up to start fresh when everyone around me (the public schoolers and many of my homeschool friends) is starting a “new year.”

Even more than Jan 1…Aug/Sept just feels like a new beginning every year. The heat is coming to an end (though where I live we will still have at least another month of it) and the school supplies and new season’s clothes have taken over all the stores. Everywhere you go you see items and ideas and articles on fresh new beginnings at this time of the year. So, what the heck, I’m jumping on the band wagon.

This past month I’ve been reading a fabulous book called “Homeschooling and Loving it!” by Rebecca Kochenderfer, from Homeschool.com. I cannot say enough how wonderful this book is! Rebecca is teaching me (via her book) how to work with my children to create their curriculum. I always meant to follow my children’s lead in this, but never really put it into action completely. I considered myself an “unschooler” for a while, but the reality is that I don’t even really do that very well, as I find it far too easy to get caught up in life and forget to watch for my children’s interests. I need a wee bit more structure. But not too much structure because I cannot seem to do that either.

So when Rebecca suggested that I ask my kids to set the goals and WRITE THEM DOWN…This just really struck me as an “AH-HA!” moment! Duh! Why didn’t I figure that out years ago?

But Rebecca goes even further…She says to have your children each set a main goal for the semester or year, and then to have them detail a goal for each subject. BRILLIANT, I say!

So I set about this task and I am now gathering ideas and info to move forward. I’ll keep this site updated with my progress as I feel there are things to share…But for now, I’d like to hear what YOU are doing that is a “new” idea for you this year!

Whether you start your “school year” in the fall as many of us or if you prefer an ongoing education integrated into your daily living…What “new” ideas are YOU exploring this fall?

Leave a comment here and share!

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3 Comments

  1. Hi Tina! I came by to post since you asked that those of us on the SecularCM group do so!

    This year, my boys’ 7th grade year, we are doing our own science “curriculum” completely on our own! I have planned a year of science – physics and astronomy at the middle school level – completely on my own using “living books”, a couple of “labs/projects” books, and the help of a friend who was wonderful enough to lend me her classroom K’Nex Education Set for physics! This is a first for us to make up our own instead of using someone else’s curriculum! And it has been made possible because this year BOTH boys are ready to do most of their reading on their own for their subject material, especially if it is from “living books” and not super-technical textbooks with a bunch of ugly jargon that makes reading them hard to understand. And I now have the confidence to try such a thing after completing a year of Beechick- and CM-inspired curriculum which showed me how to do this. Another big help was the use of Simply Charlotte Mason’s Planning Guide to show how to “schedule” our year using my own book list.

    Wish us luck!

  2. New for us this year is a literacy program. I read to the kids before bed and we recently started audio books in the car but I want to pull it all together this year. With learning to read and write, I want to cover all the bases each week. The other subjects are easy and fun comparitively speaking. Literacy is my goal and my son seems ready for it (knowing his learning style also helps! =). My new idea comes from a book called The Daily 5 by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.

  3. I saw your post on the SecularCM this morning.

    New for us will be Cambridge Latin, some (chemistry) True Books (minerals/metals), Michael Clay Thompson Town Level, and Botany. The rest will be like Grade 3, only a bit extra, deeper and more in detail. Good luck with your blog. It looks fine!

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