Monday, January 2, 2017

Homeschool Year Four

We are still trekking away at this homeschooling journey.  8th grade, 6th grade, and kindergarten now.  Whatever that means.  Actually, I try to stay as close to grade level as I can so they can go back to public school at any time as seamlessly as possible if they so choose.

Our curriculum this year:  Mostly Moving Beyond the Page units with Saxon math for my son, Singapore for my older daughter, and a hodgepodge of math for my youngest daughter.  I love Moving Beyond the Page.  I like how it integrates social studies and language arts.  And I do like to have a curriculum on hand, so I don't have to reinvent the wheel.  I have too much other work to do to be able to create something from scratch.

Challenges.  Screen Time.  The lure of video games.  I set limits, but Minecraft still has a huge pull for my son.  He sees it as his reward, and it is his relief for when he gets all his "work"done.  I'm not such a great education that i have figured out how to quite make learning as fun for him as I had hoped...  It's the reality of it, I suppose.  It does not all go as ideally as you'd like sometimes.

He still sees reading and school learning as a burden to be endured.  I feel a bit inadequate in my ability to bring back the joy of learning for him.  I put this on his shoulders now.  It is part of his own path; I think.  I cannot do this for him.

I find myself often torn between two camps.  Take the screens away. Take the addiction and temptation away, or just let him have as much as he wants and he will find his way.

I choose the middle road, as I often do.  Minecraft with limits.

Sometimes I think that no matter what I do, it might have the same outcome, because ultimately I am not the one in control.  It is his journey.

Kindergarten work is going great!  She loves learning her letters an numbers, and feeling more and more ready to read.  She is excited about it so far.  And that enthusiasm is quite rewarding for me.  She has grown so much this past year.  Opening up, feeling more social and responsive to others, being less afraid.  It is wonderful to see her blossoming lately.  

Adolescence has hit both my older children and it definitely has its challenges too.  Life is not a "bowl full of cherries" a good amount of the time...  But they are good kids, overall I think...  "whatever good means" I don't mean to place value on them in that way.  How do I articulate that?  They are learning.  They try.  They struggle. They are strong willed.  They like what they like and don't like other things and struggle for their own wills to be made manifest even if it isn't always best, but they are loyal and loving, and work hard at times, and love who they love with such loyalty.  They care about goodness. They care about animals a lot.  Things like that...  Make me think they are "good" overall.  Moody, sensitive, full of life, and opinion...and "goodness and love"  too...Not always so polite, but passionate about what they believe in.  or don't believe in..

Will we homeschool next year?  I don't know yet.  Next year will have to be different.  My oldest will be at high school level, so I want to make sure he will be on track for college, so we may make some changes for next year.


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