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Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Homeschool Goals for the 2013-14 School Year

Well, it's finally here.  I realize that for most of the schooling population, the 2013-14 school year has already begun and is well underway.  Because we have been on the road, travel school style, our official school year begins Monday. So, I thought I would envision what my goals are for the year.

My children are getting older, so I only have one little newbie in the group whose curriculum still includes scissors, glue and colorful shapes.  For my older two, we are actually facing the middle school years.  And, my oldest is in his last year of middle school, which means next year is the big high school days.

I am told that now is the time to practice record keeping for my older two, to get comfortable with creating a transcript.  I had always said that I never knew if I would homeschool through high school, and I'm still not 100% sold on the idea.  But, my oldest son is driving me to get comfortable with it and in a hurry.  He has made it very clear that he does not want to attend a traditional school.  Though, I am starting to look into classes that are held on a nearby community college campus, just to help him get his feet wet with the idea of a college education in his future.

I have three children.  One learns best on his own with tutorial style videos and only when he is interested in learning something.  One has requested purely workbook, boxed curriculum style of learning, and the third has yet to be tapped to truly figure out her learning preferences.

My son has always been my biggest teaching challenge.  He tends to pull me faster than I'm ready to go, and then drop me suddenly in mid-excitement when he quickly becomes bored.  It has been a challenge in trying to keep him interested in learning.  We have changed curriculum many times over the years.  This year, he will start out with much of his learning online.  I am hoping, however, that he learns to love the times spent with unit studies as a family.

My oldest daughter is entering her 6th grade year.  I would say I can't believe it, but she has looked like a teenager to me for a few years now, so I feel like she should actually be entering 9th or 10th grade instead.  But, 6th grade it is.  She has flat out requested, nearly demanded, that we stick with the traditional boxed curriculum workbook style learning for her.  As much as I wish we could ditch the boxed sets and just work with living books, I will allow her to go with the regimented routine she desires.

My youngest is still in the fun learning stage that I have come to cherish all the more with each passing year.  I wish there were a curriculum that allowed for even college level learners to cut and paste with hands-on activities and big, brightly colored fonts.  Until that day comes, I will cherish my littlest for possibly her last full year of completely fun, free learning.

I always go into each year with high exciting hopes.  It doesn't take long before my son rains on my enthusiastic parade with 27 reasons why he shouldn't have to learn what I am presenting before him.  And, it takes almost equally as long for my oldest daughter to get herself into a routine of being the first to finish her lessons for the day, making my son even more agitated.  My youngest still has a free-spirit approach to school, and I'm curious to see how it develops.

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