If you want the condensed version of this post, please see my page with curriculum plans and links, as well as our weekly schedule. The extended version is below (lol).
There is a word that has been looming over our homeschool days since our son left for college.
As in, this will be the last round of high school.
As in, this is the last time will use [name that curriculum].
As in, this is our last homeschooled kid.
Marry that with certain realities of years of homeschooling:
- Reality #1: I’ve grown comfortable.
- Reality #2: I’ve grown confident.
- Reality #3: I’ve grown old[er].
I won’t even get into the apprehension of how the Lord will use me in the next season. That’s a story for another time.
What is for sure right now is that I cannot rest on my laurels; our youngest learns differently than our older two, and differently than I do. So I have spent the last couple of years re-educating myself in how to homeschool.
Our physical curriculum won’t look much different than in previous years.
In fact, I was drawn to a blog post while typing this one that reminded me of how, eight years ago, I was at this all-too-familiar place with similar dilemmas. Curriculum for me is more of a tool—one of many—rather than a pre-scripted determination of exactly what we will study each year. That said, we are using our tools with the following focal points in mind:
Service learning and project-based learning. (See here for more on project-based learning). This is part of an ongoing evolution in this introvert’s understanding of how to homeschool an extroverted child. Simply put, I may have to part from my beloved pajamas more often. My husband, more extroverted in nature, will play an active role in helping me identify those subject-based opportunities to get her out and about, engaged in those activities that help her apply her learning, rather than just getting out for an outing’s sake.
Foundations in character. Not much to be said here except that with so much one-on-one time, we have an opportunity to build and clean our spiritual houses (or rather, allow the Lord to build our house) as women and as sisters in Christ. Bible study, along with selections like Do Hard Things and Beauty in the Making, will continue to be key in discussing what staying “woke,” to coin a phrase, means to a Christ-following, thinking generation in these last days. (We opted out of the AO character selection Ourselves in order to meet some child-specific needs).
Critical thinking. I need to be more intentional about that age-old question posed by Mortimer Adler in his classic How to Read a Book: ‘What of it?’ Intuitively, I know that all learning is integrated, and nothing happens in a vacuum. I will confess, however, that especially when I am tired, I fall into just-get-it-done mode, which is the mating call of silo-type schooling. It takes thinking—on my part as well as hers—but I have to help her with connecting the dots.
So, that’s where I am—a lot of reading, and a lot of research before we approach our last four years.
I’d love to “hear” of your plans, or at least what’s in the conception phase right now. Where is the Lord taking you?