Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Homeschool Resolutions

I was reading Alicia Bayer’s Better Homeschool Resolutions this morning and thinking about mine. Since we started homeschooling well after the first of the year in 2010, I didn’t get the chance to make resolutions for school last year. I always make personal resolutions, and I didn’t want to mix-n-match, so I am creating a set just for homeschool.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, there’s not a lot that we’re going to ‘change’ this year. I only say that because I didn’t go into it with a ton of preconceived notions about how things were going to go, and so was able to be flexible and make changes almost every month so that my goals were better met. Not that there’s not room for improvement {wink}. There are some areas that we could stand to improve:

1: Make better/more use of JOURNALS. We have a ‘nature journal’ and a ‘science journal’ and a ‘math journal’… but their use could be much improved upon. I love the idea of an art journal as well, so we’re going to work on making better use of journals this year, both as creative outlets and as ways to showcase what they’ve learned over the year. We’re going to start fresh this year, with new journals in each subject – just regular journal sized notebooks. They’re on sale everywhere right now, but even a regular composition notebook will work for most things.

**if you’re interested in math journaling, here are a series of videos about math doodles that would make excellent additions to yours.**

2: Kids in the Kitchen! This one kinda overlaps with my personal NYRs; I keep thinking that the boys are not old enough to be able to cook unsupervised, but my friend was telling me that her girls (a little older and a little younger than mine) routinely make meals, and so I think that I am underestimating my kids’ abilities. I have a cookbook called Whole Foods for Kids to Cook that is published by La Leche League. I’ve had it since LBB was a baby (I got that and Whole Foods for Babies and Toddlers when I was making baby food – both excellent books!!) but haven’t every used it… so we’re using that as a curriculum of sorts this year.

3: Patience, patience, patience… this is an on-going effort for me, and proof positive that homeschooling does not = patient moms. I have a tendency to be quick and sharp in criticism, especially when my expectations aren’t being met, so my goal this year is to chill the frak out. I am working hard to remind myself that there is plenty of time, and that when they’re having fun, they’re learning more. I have an am re-reading How to Talk so Your Kids Will Listen and Listen so Your Kids Will Talk by Faber & Mazlish. They also have one called How to Talk so Your Kids Will Learn at Home and in School that I am ordering. It’s probably an overlap of techniques, but sometimes I need my hand held in a, ‘say THIS, not that’, ‘do THIS, not that’ kind of way. (Siblings Without Rivalry is a great book, too!)

4: Stay Strong all the way through each mod! One of the things  noticed this past year is that I had a tendency to start slacking around the end of week 5 of each mod. Things would be fine up until that point and then I’d fizzle out. I’ve adjusted out schedule this year – each mod is 2 four-week sessions with a break in the middle instead of a long 6 weeks. I am hoping that schedule will fit better into what has become our ‘natural’ rhythm.

5: Word-A-Day. I really have a thing for archaic words, so websites like www.savethewords.org are quite popular in my browser history. One of my English teachers used to assign a word every week from The Superior Person’s Book of Words, which I always looked forward to. The kids have started attempting to make snide comments to each other, and as a sibling myself, I know that trying to stop that altogether is nigh impossible. If I have to hear it, then I think they can at least learn something from it and make their insults worth listening to. We’re going to start doing that with an eye towards increasing and improving vocabulary.

That’s only 5, but I think that’s a reasonable, reachable number. I think that these will be fun and interesting challenges to meet this year, and I am looking forward to getting started. Tomorrow is our first day ‘back to school’, and we’re ready!

Warmly,

~h

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