Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Reading

Summer is a great time to research and reading before my life gets crazy/busy in the fall.  Right now I'm reading 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy.  So far I like it a lot. However, I'm reading it on my iPhone so the graphs are too tiny to read.  I will need to get a hard copy to see what I'm missing.

Here's a great quote from the book:

It doesn't take long to figure out that veteran homeschoolers are, overall, very independent and strong-minded parents.  Chances are you could poll half a dozen such moms and discover they have half a dozen different ways they homeschool.  There is no single right way to homeschool that everyone figures out after a few years.
It sure would be easier if there was "a single right way to homeschhool."  Over the last 13 years, I've ebbed and flowed back and forth between Classic and Unschooling with some Montessori thrown in for flavor.  When I'm in a Classic mode, I feel guilty for missing out on the richness that comes from spontaneous discovery learning more typical of unschooling.  When I'm in a Unschooling phase, I feel guilty that we are not doing enough math worksheets and structured lessons.

Each year, about this time, I start making plans so that this year will be different.  I think to my delusional self, "This year, I'm going to have the perfect curriculum."  (I know this is a fantasy, but it is nice while it lasts).

I say this is delusional because there is no perfect curriculum or perfect children for that matter either.  Things have been good and things have been good enough, but that doesn't stop me from tweaking things

I don't want to give the wrong impression either.  My kids have done well in their academic studies, just not has well as my fantasies (full ride scholarship to an Ivy League School). In the end, I'm happy with who they are becoming.

I have one student leaving our "homeschool" and one student entering. I have to admit that kindergarten is not my favorite stage. My soon to be kindergartener is cut from a different cloth and is a boy. I'm expecting that many of the things I used with his three older sisters are not going to work. Hopefully, this book will give me some good suggestions on how to navigate in my new reality.


Fatcat said...

Boys are different, but they are also a ton of fun. We used KONOS when my kids were little. I'd recommend some kind of unit studies.

Enjoy the journey!

Lorriemom said...

I am very new to home schooling and am a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of having to submit to a yearly evaluation by a licensed Florida teacher. We too go back and forth between traditional and unschooling methods, what do the schools think of that and do they really come and make you do evals every year? Anyone in the Tampa Florida area who can give some advice, PLEASE help!! We just moved here and it is very different than Missouri rules. Thanks, Lorriemom.

Henry Cate said...

Lorriemom - Here are a few sites you might check out for finding other homeschoolers in the Tampa Florida area:

Good luck.