End of First Semester – Overhaul of Curriculum for next Semester

Homeschooling

I sat down with the kids this morning and asked them to help me create a school that THEY want to go to. A fun school where no one is fighting or arguing with me about what we have to do. We went book by book. Subject by subject and I had them tell me what they liked and didn’t like. They gave me fantastic feedback.

Turns out, they love the history, bible and science part of our curriculum.  This was great news because that means “My Father’s World” was not a waste of money and was the most expensive part of our curriculum budget.  They do, however, hate the Math and English curriculum..more specificially the “busy work.” I sorta knew this. We also are going to tweek spelling, music and art.

Jackson had some FANTASTIC ideas on pretty much every subject on how to change it up and make it more fun. For instance in math he suggested math games.  Specific example he used was Math Bingo.  I give them math problems, they look for the answer on their game board and first one with a line across wins a “prize.”  I don’t know if this is a game he’s played before or he just came up with it but either way, I’m impressed.

I agreed with the kids on the English.  “Primary Language Lessons” is very dry and a bunch of drill.  I’m back to the drawing board to find an English curriculum but that’s ok.  We were all ready to see that little book go away.

They both agreed that they are totally fine with having a spelling list every week but the “busy sheets” that come with the list are unncessary.  Also, they would like to do spelling practice and tests in different ways.  Sometimes the standard writing of the words, sometimes typing on the computer (sidenote here Jackson even said, “If you let us do the spelling tests on the computer you won’t even have to grade them.  Just do spell check and it’s done!  Bam!” LOL), oral tests or blocks with letters on them.  Just to change it up.  All good suggestions.

One thing he complained in the area of art and music about is how we are always studying about “classic’ composers and artist.  They want to learn about modern artists as well. So (totally Jackson’s idea) we are going to impliment “Modern Monday” where we study an artist from 1979 to present day. No idea where he came up with the year especially since many of the artists he’s interested in are from before that time but whatever LOL.  On Monday’s we will learn about “The Beatles” or “Paul Simon”, “Bob Dylan” or (Jackson’s request -ugh) “Miley Cirus.” On Wednesday we will do “Wayback Wednesday” when we will study about the classic composers and artists.  How awesome of an idea is this?!  And Jim has started toying with the idea of teaching one to two days a week just to change up things and he said he’d like to do “”Psychedelic Saturdays.”

I’m hoping with implimenting their ideas they will take ownership in our little schoolhouse and cause us to have more fun and learn more!  I’ll post an updated report later next semester.  This is definetley a dynamic environment.  I will do whatever it takes to make it work.  Not that I won’t have my moments of giving up…but I will keep on keeping on.  I’m learning more and more that I need to GET OUT OF THE WAY.  The kids no best how to teach themselves.  I have to let go of control and the standardized thinking that was instilled in me in the 17 years I spent in public school and college.  Each day is a new lesson.  FOR ME!

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  • Why I Write this Stuff

    My children called me Bobby when they were toddlers due to not being able to prounounce "Mommy." They are now 7 and 8 years old and I am Mommy. But my real name is Mandy. I just do this so I can keep in touch with the REAL me. Being a Bobby is a dream I thought I may never realize and I do not take it for granted. I homeschool (more specifically unschool) my two children and it's easy to lose yourself in the tasts of the day. I just want to make sure that after 19 or so years have passed,and my kids have moved out, I'm not stuck looking in the mirror and squinting in hopes of seeing Mandy again.