Tuesday, August 14, 2012
My Secret Homeschool Mission
School time is just around the corner--though for some of my homeschooling friends, it's already started. We're starting up late this year, due to our move and traveling this summer.
But I've gotten all my books in. The problem is, there seem to be too many of them! Every year, I suffer from the I must add more subjects mentality.
A little background: I use the classical method of education, for the most part. What does this mean? For a proper breakdown, you need to read the "bible" of classical education: The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. Here's the link to her website: http://www.welltrainedmind.com/.
To me, classical education means cyclical world history and science, spread over the course of the elementary/middle school years. It means my kids read classics from the time they're little, only in versions for younger audiences. Yes, it even means they learn Latin.
Intimidating? It certainly can be.
I firmly believe that if my children did every single thing recommended in The Well-Trained Mind, they'd be in college by their middle school years. So, as a mom, and more importantly, a mom on a budget, I have to decide what things they need to learn.
Math, Science, Grammar/Writing/Spelling, History, Literature, and Phys. Ed: these are my "givens." We will always cover those subjects. My kids take standardized tests, like anyone else, and they need to know this stuff anyway.
Art, Music, Latin, German, Typing, Karate, Drama...the list can go on endlessly: these are the things we work in as we can. Yes, I have a schedule for languages. But my kids aren't all on the same schedule.Or even working on the same language! I do want my kids to learn Latin, mostly because I like Grammar. And foreign languages. And words. Latin's helpful for all these things--but not absolutely necessary.
But sometimes, you have to take that guidebook and just chuck it. You know the setup, you know what you need to do. Now make your curriculum work for you and for your children.
That's what I'm plotting now--how we'll make all these books work. It's a little overwhelming (especially when my mind randomly drifts into writer-zone), but I know we're going to have a fantastic year. Even if we don't complete those extra vocab workbooks. Even if I don't get through every Latin lesson.
And hopefully, at the end of the school year, when we're burnt-out on all the testing and hard work, my kids will still enjoy learning. Because that's my secret, ultimate homeschool mission.
All the best to all your kiddos, whether homeschooled, public or private-schooled!
***What "side-subjects" do you think are most helpful for a well-rounded child? And if you homeschool, please share what curriculum/method you love!***