Sunday, November 23, 2008

Time for evaluation

Next week is Thanksgiving week and we are having our first major break in the school year. It will be put to good use. About this time each year I start thinking about what is working in our homeschooling day, what areas need work, are we on target, is the schedule working for us or are we its slave, what do we want to continue studying, what do we want to take a break on, and the like. So I began sketching out ideas and pretend schedules on a spiral late Friday evening. I just had a burst of thought and energy (fueled by coffee). I want to maintain focus on the major things (developing character and relationships, leading lives for Christ, language arts, and a little math) and leave the other stuff for exploration (history, science, art, music, spanish). My belief is that if you train children to be godly people who are literate and have the knowledge to find information and think for themselves, they can follow great paths of their own choosing.
I think we will spend a week or so more on oceanography, rework the schedule, and get a copy of The Prairie Primer to supplement our American history study through the spring. We are also going to do a 50 States notebook. We are going to skip astronomy since we spent the last 2 years doing units on such. I want us to have more concentrated bible skills with the littler three kids, including tape time, activities and such. I did that with the older ones, but it kinda fell through the cracks on the younger ones. I also want to have more concentrated bible time for the big kids with bible reading schedules on topics, and work in the Explorer series workbooks, and some character/purity training books. I want to be sure I read aloud with all children daily, reinforce life skills and thinking through situations, have time for sibling interactions and parental discussions, and serve the Lord together more often. And I want them to have good memories of a godly home and desire to keep God's word at the center of their lives.
Homeschooling is something I am passionate about and I strive to do the best I can for my kids, so this is a necessary exercise each year. I love it, though. And I truly look forward to the future of their homeschooling journey.

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