Hello 2017

I'm probably the least consistent blogger ever.  I don't even know if people still read blogs, but here I am, feeling the need to put something out on the internet.

 

Our homeschooling year started off pretty rough.  It's the old story of mismanaged expectations, both mine and my children's.  The start of the new year always invigorates me as far as homeschooling goes.  I get REALLY into planning in August, buy a ton of curricula and then by October we are mostly bored of it all.  Then in December I remember that sometimes we do better with more of an unschooly, project-based approach and we switch course for a while.  Hopefully I'll avoid this next August, but old habits die hard. This year seems to be a tidal year, and it's working out pretty well.  The less I expect from the kids, the more creative and wonderful our days are and I remember why we are homeschooling in the first place. 

I guess I'll talk about what is working for us right now and go from there.

Henry LOVED his Scratch workshop through G3 online.  Now that it's over, he's going to embark on a video game console creation.  I can't wait to see what he does. He's getting on great with Life of Fred math this year.  We will need to make an algebra decision this month, and I'm leaning towards Jacobs.  He's accelerated in math but doesn't love it, so I'm not looking for anything overly rigorous even though I hear such good things about the rigorous critical thinking algebra programs out there. Writing was going to be Bravewriter, but he's decided to write a book!  He's at the very very beginning stages of this, so we'll see where it takes him as he gets started.  At 10, I don't expect him to complete a novel, even a chapter would impress me. (Really, a page would suffice!) He switched to piano from double bass this fall and it is turning out to be a really good decision.  He's studying Spanish online and tinkers with biology using Uzinggo. 

 

The twins are liking anything science and art related. This looks like a lot of messes, but also lots of learning. We recently subscribed to the Smithsonian channel and it's so wonderful for learning about animals and earth science.  I started the year with them wanting to be really Classical, and they rebelled in a big way.  You can imagine, I'm sure.  I've been trying to listen and watch for what lights them up, and for Georgia it seems to be science, and Miles is truly a tiny sensitive artist.  I'm nurturing those things in them more and leaving behind all of the "shoulds."  It feels really right.

 

Some of the "Unschooly" materials we are using -

Let's Make Some Great Art

Wreck this Journal

Life of Fred (This is definitely "curricula," but it's not stuffy or dry.)

Jot it Down (Also curricula, also not dry, lots of fun projects for 1-2 grade)

The 50 States Activity book (A great companion to The 50 States picture book.)

Miquon (curricula, but WOW awesome for concrete math)

National Geographic and National Geographic Kids magazines (endless sources of topics to discuss and research! )

Nature Anatomy (in the winter we practice drawing and painting in our nature journals with this book)

The US Congress for Kids

The American Story

Vincent's Starry Night and Other Stories

Animalium

The Smithsonian Animal Book (We are really into animals at the moment!)