Whew, it has been a year, y’all.
We spent most of last year isolated and anxious. While our actual lifestyle didn’t much change, just the knowledge that we couldn’t and shouldn’t go out was hard at times.
We’re looking forward to a better year now that we’re vaccinated.
I’ve been homeschooling my four kids for about seventeen years now. My younger three have never attended school.
My eldest attended day care, preschool, and one month of third grade at a DoD school. She’s on her own now, working full-time and living in her own apartment.
We learn year-round and love having freedom to learn when and how and what we want. We love being able to take breaks for field trips, extended travel just for fun or educational purposes, sun days, snow days, movie days, game days, park days.
Most of the anxiety I had in the beginning years has faded away and I am mostly in awe of my kids’ abilities and interests. I learn so much from watching and learning with them.
I highly recommend the books by Louise Bates Ames. A good guide to follow are the What Your ?-Grader Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. His books have some problems, but it’s a great jumping off point.
We had somewhat of a break this summer, just continuing with math and science since we take those slower than other works. The middle kids each did a week of art camp – film photography and ceramics – and my third child did another two weeks of an art workshop they won on scholarship! My son did a week of baseball camp at a local university.
We often celebrate the end of summer and beginning autumn and a new school year with not back to school activities.
My youngest is working on 7th grade material this school year.
This was my favorite grade and age to teach when I taught public school.
My two middle kids are well into high school now. I’m keeping track of their credits in a transcript for their future needs. Our high school goals are four full year credits of English, math, science, social studies, with two full year credits of foreign language, and multiple electives for creative arts and physical activity.
- VideoText Algebra
- Openstax Algebra and Geometry
- Openstax Chemistry
- Tori is continuing Russian and Greek
- Akantha is working on Latin Forms and various other languages
- Tori continues aerial gymnastics
- Akantha takes ice skating lessons
Some electives the middle kids are pursuing in addition to sports are cooking/baking, creative writing, drawing/animation, arts and crafts, jewelry making.
Ohio doesn’t allow students to work until age 15, and my middle kids are already looking forward to their first part time job later this year – maybe at our Dairy Queen around the corner or a locally owned shop or volunteering with the Red Cross. My second child already volunteered over the summer with an invention camp and works once a week as a coach assistant with aerial gymnastics. She should start getting paid for coaching soon!
It’s exciting thinking about the kids learning to drive. My eldest waiting until she was eighteen and we didn’t push her. We signed Tori up for the required Ohio classroom drivers’ education. She will then take the state test for a learners permit and take the road driving classes before getting her full license next spring!
We still do lots of morning read alouds together for Bible, church history, natural history, world and American history, and lots of multicultural literature.
We are working on Year 2 in our history cycle. I love, love, love year 2 and I cannot wait to dive deep into the literature this year.
Our main text this year is The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade by Susan Wise Bauer. I just purchased the Study and Teaching Guide: The History of the Medieval World: A curriculum guide to accompany The History of the Medieval World by Julia Kaziewicz. My middle kids are completing the critical thinking questions for each chapter.
This last school year looked very different for some kids and families with online school, hybrid, or new homeschoolers. We have an opportunity to examine what worked and what needs improvement in our education systems.
You might also like to see our other homeschool years:
- The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer
- Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling
- Free to Learn by Peter Gray
- Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World by Ben Hewitt
- Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn
- Untigering: Peaceful Parenting for the Deconstructing Tiger Parent by Iris Chen
- Parenting Forward: How to Raise Children with Justice, Mercy, and Kindness by Cindy Wang Brandt
- How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims
- Raising an Adult: The 4 Critical Habits to Prepare Your Child for Life! by Mark L. Brenner
How is this school year looking for your family?
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