I'm still trying to improve our homeschool journey with my ds8. My dd9, who's in public school this year (and seems to thrive a lot better there than at home), has been home with us on Fall break, and I was really really sick for a big part of the week, for sure bronchitis, possibly beginning of pneumonia, so we didn't do any school this week at all. I'm finally much better, no more fevers at least, so we should be able to start back up when dd goes back to school on Monday. I've been doing a lot of thinking this week, and talked to ds a bit also today, trying to find out how he would like to learn. He surprised me by saying he really likes his math curriculum, but also did say that a lot of the exercises are too easy. He said he liked the first few of each new concept, but then gets bored and doesn't want to do anymore of it. Pretty much the same with his language arts curriculum, although he said he loves the writing section of it (he's been writing his own fiction story, without any curriculum telling him to!). He also likes to read somewhat, but gets tired from reading sometimes. Not sure where that comes from, he's a good reader. He does have sensory processing dysfunction, although a lot less so than when he was a toddler and preschooler, then he actually had occupational therapy for that, until age 3, when he "aged out" of the system. Most of what's left is obvious with his eating (he doesn't like it when foods are mixed together for instance, such as in a casserole, or liquid soup with pieces in it, or even a sandwich, he always wants things separate, nothing can even touch), and he also sometimes has some trouble transitioning to a different activity. But overall, there has been a tremendous amount of improvement over the last 5 years, so I'm not too worried.
But here's the catch, he pretty much hates every other subject, other than his music of course; he LOVES his cello! And he does like science experiments, but not really learning/reading out of any science curriculum, let alone doing a science workbook! History or geography curriculum? Forget it! Dd was the opposite when she was still at home; she loved history/geography, art, and even science, but hated math and language arts (except for reading, which she loves) with a passion.
But, ds is one of those kids that asks a million questions a day, about a million different things, most of which are in some shape or form related to either science or history or geography!!!
So tonight I told him I'm ditching all science, history and geography curricula we have in the house for now (he gave me a giant hug when I told him that!), and will just continue to do my best answering his questions, and try to go more deeply into some of them, by either looking up online, go to the library, help him look things up in the children's dictionary we have at home, or the children's atlas, etc. He seems very fascinated with London and England in general these days, so there's a good start. Both my husband's parents were born in London, and this seems to really spike an interest in ds. He's also always rejected any formal art curriculum, but really seems to enjoy informal, fun, free art projects, so I'll just let him explore art on his own also.
So does such a hs'ing style exist, using more formal curricula for writing/reading and math, but let the child guide as far as the rest goes? And also let the kid guide as to how much they practice a concept in those areas before going on? Hopefully I'm doing the right thing here. It surely will lighten our days quite a bit, as it's always been a struggle to get him to even focus for a short time on any science or history/geography or art lesson. What should take 15 minutes, usually ends up taking more than an hour!! And by the time we're done, he's either mad at me or in tears, and I'm trying to hide either or both! I can't do it anymore... I'm thinking that so long as I teach him how to read and write, and do math, he can read and learn about other subjects later if he wants/needs to, right?
Sure not always easy, this hs'ing journey...