We’re past halfway in the homeschool year, but I don’t have the energy to think over serious changes at actual halftime: I’m just relieved we made it to Christmas break.
January is the real time for reflection, when we get back to work after our holiday hiatus and I have fresh eyes to assess what’s working, and what’s not.
After some reflection, these are the tweaks we’re making to our homeschool for the second half of the year.
Here’s what happened: Rod and Staff has been working just fine for us, but I’ve been open to changing–especially because math is our subject Most Likely to Cause Vexation. Many of you have raved about Life of Fred in comments here–especially when I’ve mentioned that I’m always looking for ways to trim my hands-on homeschooling time. (Life of Fred is designed for kids to work through independently.)
After seeing those comments, a friend lent me a Fred book (Honey) for the Christmas holiday. We flipped through it over the break for review and reinforcement. Jack loved it–and so did I. It’s funny and engaging: things I’d never say about our previous curriculum.
We both voted to switch. We’re following the publisher’s recommendation and starting over at the beginning of the series, with Apples. It’s easy–which I think is good for Math Morale.
When Jack’s books arrived, Sarah announced that she wanted to stick with her Rod and Staff–but changed her mind 5 minutes into his first math lesson. (She said it sounded like we were having a lot more fun with math than she was.)
Not every kid loves Life of Fred, but Jack and Sarah love it so far–and I am liking math so much more than I was a month ago.
I’ve been reading How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare and it has me all fired up to actually, well, teach my children some Shakespeare. (The book is literally devoted to the hows and whys of teaching famous Shakespearean passages to kids.)
The problem is that many of the passages he recommends teaching to kids–young kids–hardly seem appropriate for youngsters. Shakespeare is brilliant, no doubt, but he’s also bawdy, and there’s no way I’m explaining syphilis jokes to my kids.
Maybe we’ll try memorizing a few passages that I pick out. (Any ideas for which ones?)
We’re still plugging away with our Rosetta Stone German. I recently found out about Duolingo (thanks Tsh and Mandi!) and are thinking about switching when we finish what we’re doing now. (We’re doing okay with Rosetta Stone, but you can’t beat free.)
We’re also thinking about adding French or Spanish. I’m leaving this up to the kids, and if they say yes, we’ll use Duolingo.
Our latest Kiwi Crate included a world geography game, and Sarah was smitten. I’m thinking about capitalizing on her new fascination.
We’ve actually found a great little homeschool group that we’re doing art and science with once a week. It’s been a good fit for the kids, and I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie with other homeschooling moms.
What’s still working for us:
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