Back at it!

After our first “vacation” last week for Oldest Child’s birthday, we are now starting week 6 of the school year. We have, of course, changed gears for both math and language arts–because after 7+ years of homeschooling, I cannot possibly be expected to choose curriculum that will actually work for us. That’d be outrageous!

So yes. We switched math programs for the 8th grader on day . . . 2? . . . and then decided that it’s high time this writer mama take the reins and “create” a language arts program that suits us. We’ve never used a language arts curriculum for more than a single year before switching to something else, though there have been times we’ve gone back to one that was abandoned for Oldest Child in order to try it out for Younger Child. I knew when I was 8 years old that I wanted to be a writer and both of these little chickies are following in my footsteps, writing their own short stories and books, so constantly forcing them to underline predicates was slowly chipping away at their interest. Or not so slowly, as it were.

Alas. We jumped ship. We’re using more of a “writer’s workshop” style, with weekly writing assignments of varying types (week 1: pick a style of poetry, week 2: non-fiction writing, week 3: creative writing, week 4: back to non-fiction). Both kids were a little nervous about it, but so far they have risen to the challenge and done beautifully. Seeing them excited about what they’re working on and applying themselves to improving their work has been rewarding enough to make the trouble of buying and then selling unused curriculum well worth it.

We’ve also instituted Documentary Day on Fridays, which traditionally we take off from “sit down” schoolwork. The kids each have to pick a science and/or history documentary or program to watch–and that freedom has led to exploring interests they didn’t even know they had! I’m loving it because it makes our days off still feel at least somewhat educational.

I don’t know how it can possibly be week 6 already, but I have a feeling this bizarro year is going to fly by. Here’s to enjoying new adventures, exploring new interests, and embracing the freedom that we’ve stumbled upon this year!

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