Thursday, May 31, 2007

School Goals

It's that time of year with school that I start to realize we aren't going to finish everything up the way I want to and I start to dream about what we could get done next year.

Each year I think my dreams get smaller, probably a good thing since I never actually get everything done I want. We've ended the year doing very little book work, actually other than math drills we've done no bookwork just lots of read-alouds. Does this make me an unschooler?

I was looking through a few homeschool blogs this week and feeling like such a failure. There were lists of subjects like music, art appreciation, science projects, etc. When we first started this I used to plan and dream about stuff like that but life got in the way. There always seemed to be one more book we wanted to read, so music and art got pushed aside. The only really successful year of science projects we did was when I bought a self-contained kit for electricity and physics. No planning involved, the pieces were all there together and the questions we already printed. Maybe next year...

Talking this over with Paul the other night I realized that although I haven't reached my goals, I have instilled the ability to read and try things. When the kids have questions about a topic they go to the bookshelves, find a book and read about it. Usually an hour later then are instructing me on the neat things they've read. These things don't usually fit into my plans for what I want them to learn at the moment but they are still learning. Even more important than that, they are retaining what they learn. More and more I'm finding myself trying to fill in the gaps instead of planning every minute of our day.

Still, next year we are going to get back into Latin, read about a different composer each month, learn to play and instrument, do one science project a week, and... I guess I do still have big dreams, after all each year in a new opportunity to try.

1 comment:

Marie N. said...

Those science kits that include everything are great.

I like your reading about a composer a month idea. Somewhere (dover publishing maybe?) I saw some coloring books of composers from different periods. For each portrait to color there was a biography ( 4-5 paragraphs) to read.

I dreamed (note the past tense) of printing maps, listening to works by the composer while coloring and getting fuller bios from the library.

maybe next year...