Happy New Year! Most of us are busy implementing changes we have thought about at the end of 2012.Each new year brings change. Hopefully change for the better.
On the home education front, 2013 will be a little different. We will resume our studies as usual but I am craving out some time so that my oldest can spend time on subjects that interest him. He is currently interested in US History and chemistry. For almost two years he has been asking me to teach him more about chemistry but I have always said no because chemistry is not on the agenda until later. Actually U.S,History and chemistry are both lined up for next year but that would mean prolonging his wait even more. Continually prolonging his exploration, could mean he lose interest in these subjects all together and we don’t want that. I began thinking why can’t we explore some of the things he is curious about when he is curious about them. After all we are homeschooling! Why else do I have them at home? They can be force fed an education in a traditional setting why am I following those same patterns here. These were deep reflections as you can see. After a talk with myself or parent teacher conference, I’ve decided that we will continue the basics math, language arts, writing, critical thinking, history etc. but we will make time to develop the interest of the children.
Christopher and I sat down and I asked him what is it he wants to learn about the U.S. His response was cowboys (that would be frontier days), Presidents, all 50 states. I will provide resources books, poems films music, field trips on all these areas for him to explore more. I am putting together a study of the states in order of state hood and gathering biographies about presidents that we can read together as family. In addition we will do a more in depth study of Texas since that is our state. During our time I also asked him what he wanted to learn about chemistry. He couldn’t tell me much, other than he wants to mix chemicals in beakers. Bing!
The light bulb came on in my head. I ordered him a chemistry set and we will use the library to find books about acids and bases and go from there. Next year we can explore a full curriculum that goes more in depth about elements etc. But right now we are just whetting his appetite and will nurture it as it grows. Sometimes you have to get yourself out of the way and let the learning take place.
Emmanuel has requested to learn more about sports specifically, football and swimming. We resume our indoor swimming lessons later this month but we will spend more time playing sports as a family. During our next homeschool meeting I will bring up an idea of getting a group of kids together on a regular basis to play competitive games, dodge ball, kick ball, capture the flag etc.
Curiosities satisfied! Hopefully modifying our schedule to include interest led learning will go over well. Be looking for updates. Classes resume January 7, 2013.