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One of the bigger ideas of homeschool that I have been wrestling with over the last 2 years (yes, it takes me a while), is that learning is fluid.
My experiences in education have not always lent themselves to being fluid. In a classroom, we did as much fluidity as we could muster. We pushed back assignments until understanding was there, or mostly there. We shifted to a fun unit about a topic we had just discovered in another class. However, the fluid motion of education was very limited. In a sense, I liked this. It gave me a false sense of control. I knew where the lessons were going. I knew how to grade for mastery. I knew what would be next and the rough timeframe in which it would happen. Boy, there were a lot of “I’s” in those statements. Sadly to say, what was taught in the classroom was a large percentage of what was controlled by me and the school district. And, dare I say, there was much comfort in that. It felt so good to check off the items accomplished and move on.
Fast forward to our little home school. Oh-my-word. Learning is so very fluid. In this one year alone we have changed the “structure” of our learning at least 3 times if not 4. Curriculum has shifted, time frames have shifted, subjects have shifted. What I thought this year was going to look like, um, yeah, not so much. But it is beautiful. It is beautiful to find the right fit for my kids. To tailor to each what they need, not only in style of learning, but in content as well. Princess is half way through her “kindergarten” year and I am growing with her, learning the similarities and differences of how she learns compared to her brother. Being so young, they are both exploring whatever comes to mind, naturally beginning to find interests in life.
We started out the year with a full on-slaught of subjects, until I realized it was really my need of a structured checklist of learning, not what they were interested in learning. Some of that has stayed, because they need to learn it. A lot of it has gone on standby because they just aren’t interested or ready yet. At the moment, each day Princess and Builder have a Math Work focus, a Word Work focus, and a “something extra” focus. Princess’s extra is Continents and Oceans. Builder’s extra is working on a family tree.
This is where we are right now. We throw in some fun science experiments in the afternoon here-and-there, and we are reading through a book at lunchtime about what it would be like to grow up in Jesus’ day. So, I suppose we are doing more, even if it is not during our “learning time”. And of course, we are always learning through life. As I said…fluid.
Your Turn ~ What challenges/adjustments have you run into while homeschooling?