Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Homeschooling: starting and adjusting

This year we began by halves; we made a soft start with our academic studies back in August. By mid-September I could see which days were busiest with supplemental classes and outside activities and could adjust our schedule accordingly. Also apparent by then was which material did not work for us, and which did. So I switched David's focus for grammar and writing (twice), and changed Sarah's and Joan's reading lists for literature and now I think we're on the right track for the year - at least for the next few months. (The main thing I've learned from the past 18 years of homeschooling my children is that for us flexibility is the key to a successful and stress-free year. )

Having only five children to teach and no babies or toddlers to care for is very different - but in a pleasant way - for us. So this year I'm able to be a little bit more hands-on and activity-rich in some areas.

One area of study we're enjoying now is science with Marley and Sam. Back in the mid-1990's I bought Anna Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study and Dorothy Edwards Shuttlesworth's book, Exploring Nature with Your Child. I used them mainly for reference and enjoyed browsing through them both and comparing them, but they've not been used at all since then. This past summer I pulled them both off the shelf, read through them again, and decided they'd be great to use with Sam and Marley.

We've begun our nature study with birds and have spent the last three weeks learning about and observing birds. Next we'll move on to trees. I think. It may be insects. We may study both at the same time. We can be flexible.



Blogger Wool Winder said...

Nice feather collection!

12:20 PM  

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