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Start NOW or in September - yearly schedules ?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am pulling my dd7 out of school after next week when she finishes first grade.  I have been obsessively reading lots of different hs books and building up an outline of what I want to do.  I bought SOTW and already read one chapter with her and got half a dozen books from the library that relate.  I settled on a math program but haven't purchased yet and am considering what I want for Reading/Writing/Spelling if anything.  

 

I am so excited about homeschool, I want to start right away but part of me thinks I should just wait until September  so I can make a big deal about "starting school".    Since I didn't hs this past year, we are a year "behind" for the Story of the World which is supposed to be done over 4 years so I'm gonna jump start this for sure but not sure about everything else?   What types of schedules work for folks?  Do you take the summer off?

 

When you first started, did you begin in Sept?

post #2 of 12

If, but only if, you are beginning to homeschool because your child is bored stiff in school, has learned little to nothing and is craving the opportunity to embrace academic challenge, I think you could start right away with some interest-led learning. Otherwise I would recommend a considerable deschooling break, possibly well into the fall, with no expectations of academic work, and then start only gradually with small amounts of structure, albeit consistently applied. 

 

In the meantime I would give her plenty of chance to awaken her creativity and to develop natural interests and inclinations. An environment rich in possibilities but free of expectations. Fallow time can pay big dividends, because it can give kids an opportunity to re-ignite their natural curiosity and drive. There's nothing wrong with reading a bit of SOTW1 to her if she really enjoys it, but I wouldn't build the expectation that you'll necessarily continue through the summer. After a year or two of having most of their productive time highly structured and other-directed, most kids need to chill for a while before they discover a desire to direct and structure their learning in a home-based environment. If you don't let them discover that desire, you can easily end up in a spiral of poor motivation, resistance and conflict over homeschooling. 

 

I can almost guarantee you won't end up persisting with the Susan Wise Bauer 4-year-cycle approach to history over the next 11 years, so don't worry about being a year "behind." Don't fall into the trap of adopting external structure that doesn't fit with where you're at simply because the structure seems orderly and reassuring. Go with the flow. Be prepared to meander, follow rabbit trails, leap forward or linger. The freedom to do so is the main advantage of homeschooling as I see it.

 

Enjoy your summer! Read some books, go to the beach, grow a garden, hike a mountain, climb some trees, dig in the sand, stargaze. And chill out. Congratulations on beginning of your new journey!

 

Miranda

post #3 of 12

Pretty much what Miranda said.

 

I also have a seven-year-old daughter.  This summer she plans to become more proficient at playing her lap harp, design and make 20 more potholders for a craft show she's doing in September, help cultivate the garden, take two weeks of daily swim lessons, take a few Saturday sewing/knitting classes, and spend three weeks on vacation with the family.  The balance will likely be a combination of outside play, reading together and alone, lego building, and imaginative play.

 

The vacation (to Michigan and Wisconsin) will likely include some lighthouse and maritime history, sand dune ecology, and so on.

post #4 of 12

"I can almost guarantee you won't end up persisting with the Susan Wise Bauer 4-year-cycle approach to history over the next 11 years,"

 

Unless, of course, you do. We're on our sixth year of using SOTW for history. However, I don't stress about everyone doing the "right" year of SOTW that is supposed to go along with their grade. Our kids all do history together and since we keep repeating the four year cycle, they come back to each period of history again.

post #5 of 12

We do year-round because I work full time and we can only school 3.5 days a week.  I do go a little lighter in the summer though but for the most part we just keep going with much of the normal stuff.

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefragile7393 View Post

We do year-round because I work full time and we can only school 3.5 days a week.  I do go a little lighter in the summer though but for the most part we just keep going with much of the normal stuff.

 

We do year-round too. But I think for a child who has just completed a year of institutional schooling, with a 5-day-a-week highly structured program and all her classmates heading for a summer of R&R, to launch into a new system of learning without a break is not a good idea.

 

Miranda

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
if, you are beginning to homeschool because your child is bored stiff in school, has learned little to nothing and is craving the opportunity to embrace academic challenge, I think you could start right away with some interest-led learning. 

Bingo.  So far, she loved reading The Story of the World and likes the idea of putting together our own binder that will have information about what we're learning.  Last night she begged to stay up longer to finish a book about archaeology.   I don't think she sees this stuff as something other than reading interesting stuff.  I love learning new things that are "academic" in nature and I think that rubs off on my dd.  She loves to write and draw so making a binder for SOTW is fun for her.   

 

She is also excited for new math and jumped at the chance to do a Math Mammoth Placement Test.  

 

I like the idea of a lazy summer and we will certainly do swim lessons, tons of outdoor unstructured play, work in the garden, go to the beach, etc.  

 

I think we'll continue with SOTW because we both enjoy it and as of now, I do plan to use it as a guide for history plus it allows us to start slow and then add in other subjects as we go, perhaps in the fall, or perhaps later - who knows.   

 

Part of me rejects the idea of needing a break from learning.  I know that kids learn all the time but even academic style stuff should be enjoyable.  I think the whole notion of compulsory schooling is what sets us up with attitudes that learning/studying is somehow work that should be avoided.  Just the other day, i was speaking with an obviously bright 10 year old who proceeded to tell ma all about WWII and the 1938 hurricane immediately after telling me she hated learning.  This is an attitude straight from the ps system.  She really loves learning but says she hates it because she has been conditioned to believe that learning is boring and miserable.  

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want learning to be integrated into our lives in a way that doesn't lend itself to clear on/off periods where we take a break and then rev up.   Of course, we'll still take breaks like family vacations, trips, Holidays etc where we may be too busy doing other things to bother with a math page or SOTW but otherwise, I don't see why we wouldn't do it all year? 

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by berkeleyp View Post

 

Part of me rejects the idea of needing a break from learning.  I know that kids learn all the time but even academic style stuff should be enjoyable.  I think the whole notion of compulsory schooling is what sets us up with attitudes that learning/studying is somehow work that should be avoided.  Just the other day, i was speaking with an obviously bright 10 year old who proceeded to tell ma all about WWII and the 1938 hurricane immediately after telling me she hated learning.  This is an attitude straight from the ps system.  She really loves learning but says she hates it because she has been conditioned to believe that learning is boring and miserable.  

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want learning to be integrated into our lives in a way that doesn't lend itself to clear on/off periods where we take a break and then rev up.   Of course, we'll still take breaks like family vacations, trips, Holidays etc where we may be too busy doing other things to bother with a math page or SOTW but otherwise, I don't see why we wouldn't do it all year? 

 

I, too, reject the learning/not learning dichotomy.  (That is why we were drawn to unschooling.)  If your daughter is happy, great!  But you might want to think ahead as to how you'll respond if at some point her idea of learning includes less obviously academic passions.

post #9 of 12

The reason behind "deschooling" is actually to get away from the "learning is not fun and is me being filled up with information by someone else".  If that isn't an issue for your DD, then there's no particular reason to wander away from academic subjects.  Staying away from academic subjects would be purely to get a fresh start on them with a better attitude, not because there is a reason to divide up life or to single out academic subjects.

 

As far as when to start - sure, start now.  Have fun. 

post #10 of 12

i would start when you and your LO's are ready. The private waldorf school (or private school near you) near us has a summer program, so I plan to have my DD attend starting summer 2013.

post #11 of 12

We aren't following a "school calender", we are starting when it feels right/best for us. It will probably be in July. My oldest loves loves loves to learn new things and keeps asking me to "do lessons" with her.. She helped pick out her curriculum this year (shes 5 1/2 with a definite idea of what she wants to learn lol.gif) and she keeps asking when Im going to order it so she can start. I know that we will be taking some good chunks of time "off" in October since Im due then so it just makes sense to start a bit earlier.

 

I think the most important thing is to follow your child's led and do what they are comfortable with. I wouldn't fight a child to do something they didn't want to/wasn't ready for.

post #12 of 12

It sounds like she is enthusiastic about SOTW.  I suggest to continue with that and add things as her interest dictates for now.  I wouldn't jump into a full schedule at this point; but do lots of learning by chance.  

 

Amy

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