Friday, April 18, 2014

Two pathes start to diverge in a woods... and I have no idea how to walk them both at once!

Right now homeschooling has become quite simple. I teach a 5th and 7th grader and for the most part, they are learning the same things. They did the same grammar, science, art, philosophy, and world history this year. They each have their own Math curriculum, but other than that, I really was teaching a class of two. When I needed to make it more challenging for the older one, I did. When I felt what we were doing was a bit over the younger's head, I worked it out. But I taught them both together and have for the past few years. Their strengths and weaknesses compliment each other. My older, a daughter, is a natural speller, and LA and grammar are fun and motivating for her. My younger, a son, struggles and finds writing almost painful. Math and Science are his thing. Numbers are his friends and just make sense to him. My daughter on the other hand thinks that numbers are out to get her and science makes sense...sort of. LOL Both find History a bit boring, but didn't always. I want to find a fun way to spark their interest in it again.

Now with the coming of another year, each of them are starting to emerge as individuals in their studies and I really want to foster that. BUT...that means separating their studies. Next year my daughter is going to take her LA class through our co op as well as her foreign language, ASL. She of course will have her own Math course too. That means I need to come up with LA for my son as well as his foreign language (he thinks he wants to study Spanish). I can still keep their history and science together, but my son is totally on the engineering tract and I want to encourage that love while not taxing my daughter with too much science.

In a typical school year, by now (end of April), I have already figured out what we are doing next year. I have the start of our school schedule going and have most of the books in our homeschool closet. But we finished our 4 year history cycle and we have finished our science set of books we were working through. That leaves me searching out new curriculum. I could go to a curriculum fair, but that makes me even more crazy. I get so overwhelmed in places like that, so I have been asking friends what they recommend. I have had great advice offered and now I need to just look at it all and decide. I am deciding between an all inclusive curriculum which will start with history and launch itself off that. I can adapt what writing is required for my daughter so she isn't overwhelmed with her other LA class. OR....I can simply find a history and then a science (or two sciences so my son has one he loves and my daughter has one that she doesn't hate), and then my son's LA, as well as an art. OR...I can just throw up my hands and unschool and just let the kids learn what they will (no, just kidding....about what unschooling is as well as my confidence in ME being able to be an unschooler)

But right now, it is after midnight and I am watching "My 5 wives" and I am just enjoying that we have wrapped up our school year with the exception of 4 more weeks of our Body Systems study. Not that the kids are done learning. It is amazing that they both have started looking into things on their own and when I come home from work, run to me to tell me or show me what they have learned. My daughter mostly studies art techniques and my son, engineering and building things. I am so proud of both of them. I know that no matter what curriculum I end up choosing, they will thrive and blossom as they always do!