How’s your new homeschool year going? Here’s a little of what’s happening with us.
- We’ve played a lot of 1775: Rebellion while we were studying the American Revolution, and it was surprisingly fun—kind of like a U.S. history-based version of Risk. I’m a read-and-take-notes kind of student, but my kids really do better when they can fidget a little, so games like this are a great compromise, especially when we’re doing a readaloud or watching a documentary.
- With my high schooler, we’re trying to set clear goals so that we have criteria for evaluating her work for her transcript. This requires a lot of conversation and the ability to shift gears when her goals change, as some of them already have. It’s such a different kind of partnership from what we’re used to, and we’re both figuring it out as we go—it’s not easy to find the balance of knowing when to push a little (because my daughter has always been a kid who sometimes needs a little push) and when to take the passenger seat so that she can find her own way. I think this is a tough balancing act for every parent, but it feels especially challenging now that I am navigating these new high school waters as a homeschool mom.
- We’ve been doing daily(ish) nature journals for a while now, so we’re at the sharpening-our-skills stage of nature journaling. I picked up a copy of The Curious Nature Guide (by Clare Walker Leslie, author of our much-beloved The Nature Connection Workbook), which we’ve been enjoying. I don’t think there’s anything revelatory in it (though I did learn a few things, and it would probably be a good starter guide to nature journaling if you’re new to the habit), but it’s given us lots of new ways to think about and look more closely at the nature in our neighborhood.
- Homeschooling through any move is tricky, and ours, alas, has come with a lot of extra drama. Though we’ve taken plenty of breaks (one of my favorite advantages of year-round homeschooling), but I’ve also been happy to discover that homeschooling gives our days a lovely rhythm that continues even when things are hectic. We’ve shared more than one afternoon tea over a stack of cardboard boxes, and the ritual helps me keep all the craziness a little better in perspective. It’s reminded me of how becoming homeschoolers has changed our family life for the better—even when all my favorite sweaters are in a box that no one can find!
AMY SHARONY is the founder and editor-in-chief of home | school | life magazine. She's a pretty nice person until someone starts pluralizing things with apostrophes, but then all bets are off.
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