As I wrote earlier this week, we freaky southerners are getting ready to start school, and that includes me and my homeschooler.
Some of you homeschool all year round, and I admit that at the beginning of this summer we were Going to Do Math and Handwriting! Every Day!
Mostly because of travel and other adventures, I suppose. We started reviewing Beast Academy 4D in early July, but only in a scattered way.
The kid reads constantly, however, and did continue piano over the summer in a fairly intense way (sporadic lessons, but the repertoire – Bach’s Invention 13, Joplin’s “Elite Syncopations” and a movement of Mozart’s Sonata in C, K. 545 – has been challenging), so that’s been plenty.
But mostly for my own sake, I’m going to lay out the thoughts I’m having for the coming school year, and invite you all to tell me (and us) what you are doing:
Reminder: Kid is 10, almost 11, 5th grade.
Note: I want to be more unschoolish here than we end up being. I probably should just give up the pretense. This year, I am adding more formal science and history components for his sake, in this sense: I know that when he sits for an hour reading the non-fiction science and history books we check out of the library, when we watch videos on the same, when we do science experiments with what we have on hand –I know that when we do all of that, he is learning, and learning plenty, but he is starting to worry, especially since one of his friends has transferred from the old Catholic school he attended to one of the higher-pressure elite independent private schools around. Spending some time with textbooks every day is going to help him feel more secure that education is happening.
Also: I love homeschooling, but I will straight up say that if there were a Classical academy around here (that wasn’t operated from a Reformed Christian perspective) – he’d be there. And he’d love it.
- Continue with cursive. Use Writing Our Catholic Faith.
- Start keyboarding. We have a couple of programs hanging around – we’ll use one of those.
- Religion: Faith and Life, grade 5.
- History: Catholic textbook series, From Sea to Shining Sea.
- Science: Biology for the Logic Stage
- Latin: Latin for Children
- Math: Beast Academy 4D, then 5A-B when they are released over the course of the year. In between he will be doing Khan Academy and various other resources, including books by Zaccaro.
- Geography: Mapping the World with Art
- English: Writing and Rhetoric
- Always have a “novel mom assigns” going for discussion besides his normal reading. And every day, if things seemed rushed and too school-ish, there’s 30 minutes to an hour of “draw, play music that isn’t part of your lesson assignment, read something that isn’t part your leisure or assigned reading..or just go outside.”
So..I guess we can kiss that whole “unschooler” pretense goodbye, eh?
Except … I will cling to some semblance of that identity by emphasizing that if the kid sees something outside or in that draws his attention…he’s free to pursue it. And if we read something or watch something that leads down a rabbit hole…we follow it.
FYI, note the absence of spelling. He’s a good speller, and so it’s really not necessary. We haven’t done “spelling” with him since the first year of homeschooling.
Outside of home, structured stuff:
- Troops of St. George, which is starting in our area
- Basketball, when that starts.
- Science Center Class (once a month) – probably. I waited too long to register, so he’s first on the waiting list…#mybad
- Boxing (weekly)
- A 6-week zoo class in being a “Junior Zoo Vet” – he’s super excited about this one.
- Not sure about art – he has enjoyed the classes in the past, but is saying he doesn’t want to start up again right now, which is fine.
Much more as it pops up – there are local outdoorsy homeschool meetups constantly and all over the place. Fun stuff over the next few months in Atlanta, at the High Museum, History Center & Shakespeare Tavern, as well as up in Huntsville at the Space and Rocket Center – we’ll think about those for the winter or spring.
What are we changing, besides being more structured with history and science “spines?” Nothing, really.
What about you folks????