A little back story
Each year I try to do what I think is best for our family, this includes myself, my husband, and the children when it comes to the choices I make for our homeschool. Last year I feel like things worked really well for us. We took a more relaxed interest-led approach to our homeschooling. Some might even say that we unschooled our children last year but I get a little bit nervous about using that term because some people say we are not free-learning enough to be true unschoolers.
Last years school year didn’t start out like that though. When I wrote our educational plan for the year I had a lot of curriculum that I thought we were going to use and books that I thought we were going to read. We did get to some of that stuff but we didn’t get to a lot of it because we were so busy doing the things that really interested my children. We really ended up doing a lot of projects and going on a lot of field trips. There wasn’t much “bookwork” done past the first couple of month of the school year and in the end that was really okay.
Looking at how I would like this year to go I feel like we will be taking a very relaxed approach. I still have some books and resources that we will be using, but this year the children helped me pick out everything that we plan to use. It’s all things that they are interested in and eager to learn about. Which makes me feel like most of it will actually get used, that’s always a huge bonus!
What this homeschool year will look like
We are planning on doing a bunch of hand-on projects this year. Both of my children have expressed great interest in the history of the middle ages so we will be spending most of, if not the entire year, learning about the middle ages! The way that we plan to do this is by reading a bunch of books, do projects and crafts, watch videos and documentaries, and visit anywhere we can to see the history in real life. We are going to use Story Of The World as our timeline base and expand from each chapter.
They also want to continue to grow their knowledge in Canadian history so we will be reading some history-based fictions and visiting quite a few local museums. We even managed to set up some classes at the local museum and through another company that both teach history in a very hands-on way! I don’t feel as if we need a specific curriculum to learn Canadian history because it’s really living all around us, we just have to go out and find it!
There are plans to do some specific science as well this year. Emily has her heart set on learning more about animal science so we are going to read the Sassafrass Science Zoology book together and do the science experiments that go along with that. I’d also really like to see if she can visit a vet clinic and maybe take a few classes on caring for animals. I think that this topic will also include a trip to the zoo, nature centre, and perhaps even volunteer work at the local animal shelter. Kayden, on the other hand, has his heart set on learning all things physics this year. I haven’t quite planned out how we will go about this other than a lot of experiments and reading a few very interesting books that I’ve found. We can always go with the flow! We will also take as many trips as we can to the science centre!
Will I be sharing what we actually use in our homeschool?
My goal this year is to share with you all aspects of our homeschooling so that you can really get a feel for what it is that we do. For each topic, I plan to do a “do a lesson with us” post to tell you about all of the things that we used or places that we visited to go along with our lesson. I am also planning on making frequent posts about how things are changing or new things that we have decided to learn about.
There will be a post in the next couple of weeks that will be a breakdown of all the materials that we plan to use though. This won’t be super heavy on the traditional curriculum but it will give you an idea of how I plan to structure our year. With sharing this I hope that it will encourage others to just follow whatever works best for your family in your homeschool!