Whoa Nellie, it's been a while since I last posted. I'm such a bad blogger lately....WAHHHH! But I've been super busy between my former 2 co-ops and launching my online crafting business. I'm exhausted! Now that it's summer time, it's my time of re-evaluation. I always wonder if public school parents go through this every year, but can't see how they would. See, June is my research month, July is my planning month. Even though we homeschool year round I'm way more lenient in the summer...which I'm sure some of you didn't think it was possible. As child-led learners, how can one be lenient? Well, as I've stated a bunch of times, child-led doesn't equate to non-educational. I still insist on learning between the hours of 10-3. The difference is in the summer, while the tv is off during that time, I'm not telling them they must complete x number of lessons for that day. (The child led part comes in that I allowed them to choose the lesson and the lessons were chosen based on their interests during these summer planning sessions).
But, as I said, every year I seem to re-evaluate. Heck this year I was even tempted to try out k-12...but it's insanely expensive in my area (thank the Gods as I'm sure my kids would hate it..lol)...but now that the kids are getting older I'm starting to worry about PSAT's, college entrance exams, etc. I don't want to 'teach to the test' as public schools already proved that's a bomb technique. But with my Aspie not wanting any worksheets and text books give him anxiety...I'm starting to panic on materials for a soon-to-be 13 y/o. Especially one who wants to go to medical school. GULP! Of course this particular roller coaster ride is entitled "Home School Mom's Annual Anxiety Slam" -- am I doing enough, am I challenging them enough, am I truly preparing them for college & the 'real world'...I almost always have to force myself to re-read my older blog posts and remind myself of my goals:
1) Raise boys that are solid in the self-esteem department. They aren't arrogant. They understand their strengths and their weaknesses and know how to work with both. If they have a solid sense of self they will be less tempted to do stupid things due to peer pressure (texting while driving, trying drugs, excessive drinking, etc). But they will also be able to articulate their own position on topics...heck they will be able to HAVE their own opinion/position. And they will be confident enough to defend that opinion.
2) They will understand how to find, process and retain information. While I'm certainly NOT a proponent of wrote memorization (maybe because I always sucked at it?) I fully believe students will be able to retain & regurgitate information (which looks suspiciously like memorization). So, while I don't care if they can list all the presidents in order, (though I'd like them to have a clear understanding of the time period in which each was in office) I DO want them to know where to go for that information. More than that however, I'd like my kids to have a total understanding of how their brains work. It took me until I had an associates degree to understand how to efficiently LEARN. If my kids understand how to do so before college? I'll give myself a huge pat on the back, or an intoxicating beverage, whatever.
3) I want them to understand how to make goals and how to follow through on said goals. I think so many kids these days see college as a goal, but don't really have a clear-cut plan of how to get there, what the purpose of it all is, and what they hope to achieve after it. I want my kids to understand how to set short & long term goals and how to make precise plans to achieve those goals.
4) Yeah, yeah I want them happy and healthy and all that garbage too. :)
Once I finish beating these points into my head every year, I can relax. It makes choosing "Just the right curriculum" seem silly. Instead I focus on subjects. Since my eldest wants medical school, I will be really focusing on math & sciences as well as technical writing this year. My youngest now says he wants to be an architect, so we will be starting to delve deeper into geometry, computer programming, etc...as well as math. :) Now I just have to find the tools we'll be using to achieve these points.....hmmmmm.....