During the last 3-4 weeks we’ve had sickness and school holidays/study break. It has given me a lot of time to reflect and think about where we are at with our homeschooling. There are things that I’m not really happy with. So I’ve put myself back on a study regime to find some answers.
Some things I’m not happy about
- Nomi and Daniel don’t delight in learning. They learn with a good attitude but there is no enthusiasm and no ownership
- Nomi is not being extended – and has coasted for a long time.
- There is no ‘thinking’ going on – just acceptance of what I say. No digging deeper, no connecting the dots
We could keep going like we are – and the kids would get a good enough education but that has never been my expectation. I am not aiming for them to be brilliant academics but I am aiming for them to be lifelong learners, who are curious about the world around them and who can think about how God’s word applies to life around them. We are a long way from this goal at this point.
Things I am happy with
- This year I have simplified our study routine by integrating language arts into our other subjects – this is consistent with Charlotte Mason, Ruth Beechick and Notebooking
- I have brought Nomi and Daniel together for more of their studies – this has given me the opportunity to be involved more in their learning, and to create an atmosphere where we discuss things (we’ve managed the first transition – we are learning together, but conversations are more like monologues from me at this stage)
- I’ve started to look at whole books, living books, read alouds for the basis of our learning.
These are all good things and I believe choices that head us in the right direction.
Whenever I see something that I’m not happy about in my life, in the life of my family or in my home I first diagnose (like I have above) and then I set to and learn all I can in order to find solutions. This is being intentional about my role as mother and homemaker.
I have chosen the following books to read (re-read in most cases)
- For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer McCauley – this was one of the first books I read in my homeschooling journey. As I read through this there is so much that connects with my heart, I can see the foundation that this book had in my thinking. Though I have kept Charlotte Mason at arm’s length in some ways, I can see that the principles she lays down are the principles I want to build on. I need to think more about separating practices I see and the principles Charlotte Mason wrote about.
- A Biblical Home Education by Ruth Beechick. Once again, this is a favourite and I was half way through this earlier in the year – I need to finish it. I expect this to be particularly helpful for Nomi and highschool aspects.
- Notebooking Success E-book by Jimmie from Notebooking Fairy
- The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach by Robin Sampson from Heart of Wisdom
So slowly we’ll start to change things around here. I don’t expect the structure of our days will change much. There are just some little tweaks needed. I don’t feel bad for the situation I find myself in. To me it is about growing and learning with your family. There have been many times where I have had to re-evaluate and tweak over the years – it isn’t about recriminating over the past, but rather taking hold of where you are at today and stepping forward.