Big Homeschooling Changes
So we have been doing homeschooling different this year. I kept it a secret from the kids until the day before we started and when I explained it to them Lily literally was shaking with excitement. (she is so cute)
However, I wasn’t sure it would work, so I have waited to post about it on my blog….
…but now we have been going for 2 months and it seems to be working
All the writing for my new book, ‘The Simple Homeschool Handbook’ (due out next spring), had me thinking, and I wanted to take a jump from our current format.
I am journaling through the process for a short homeschool e-book and for the fun of remembering the year.
Our 2013-2014 Homeschool Plan
I had planned on ordering new textbooks over the summer but our mail to middle-of-know-where China has been terribly unreliable and incredibly expensive. So, instead of doing a traditional-ish format of schooling this year I figured it was a great chance to try something different.
We are using the Bible as our textbook.
The goal is to read the Bible through in our school year (about 8 months not including travel times). To accomplish this we are reading 8 chapters a day – we read 4 in the morning after breakfast, 2 before rest time, and 2 before bed. Then, during the rest of the morning and afternoon time, we study things we find in the Bible or other things the kids are interested in.
Now, as a Christian, I believe the Bible is an amazing learning tool, but our year has not ended up specifically religious focused. We have been all over the board with our learning thanks to the wonderful and spontaneous minds of small children. We have learned all about ancient Egypt, deserts, different animals and music that was talked about early in the Bible.
Genesis also got us through s*x (don’t want to be rated as one of those sites), rape, prostitution, circumcision, and menstrual cycles… even when it doesn’t seem like they are really listening, nothing seems to get past them and they are full of questions… so, we had a lot of health education starting out.
From there the kids take huge tangents. Ian got started with elements and has learned about 30 of them now. He also has spent a lot of time learning about snakes, spiders, bugs, and extreme sports. Lily has researched music history, different dances, and is now publishing her own newspaper. She is very interested in classic literature and history. They are both doing 5 hours of Chinese a week as well.
Kids are random and I have tried to encourage them to ask questions and then find answers. The Bible is where we start and anchor our day/schedule, but beyond that school can include researching super hero powers and learning to juggle (both part of the curriculum last week).
Over the last 2 months I have noticed changes in them. Instead of just wanting to look up cartoons or only read light fiction books they are more interested in looking up ‘actual’ information. Ian loves Wikipedia and they both search YouTube for answers or educational clips. They are not always interested in the things I suggest learning, but they are much more able to come up with things they want to learn about then they were before.
It has been exciting!
I think they have learned more so far than any other 2 months of homeschooling and have had more fun with it.
Right now we are half way through our fall semester and have 2 more months of school to go before we come back to the US. Next year is looking like it will have a bunch of changes, travel, and adventure and I love how this kind of schooling can come with us anywhere and flex around different situations. Not sure we will stick to this model more than this year, but who knows… we will see how it all turns out.
Have a wonderful week!