Friday, January 23, 2009

New Year, Renewed Commitment

January is nearly over already...I find that so hard to believe! We have hit the books again with renewed enthusiasm all around, for which I'm thankful.

I still struggle sometimes to remind myself to slow down and not stress out about "grade levels" and "school years." Frankly our school year just doesn't look like a traditional August to May thing. It hasn't even been quite a year since we first abandoned Abeka DVD, and began on a new journey with a new philosophy of education. Because of all that entailed, we have fallen more into a pattern of year-round schooling just breaking when it's necessary for our family. Sometimes those breaks are longer than I'd like, but we're moving in a good groove again now, and I'm so thankful for that.

I registered us last week for the Cincinnati Homeschool Convention in April. So excited about that! And I've already begun making up my curriculum lists for next year, and resource lists so I can be on the lookout for those items at the Vendor Hall.

Lauren will enter the Logic Stage of the Trivium next year. That just blows me away. I am excited about entering that new chapter, but a little nervous as well. My girl is just getting so big.

My biggest concerns revolve around Math. I don't feel like we're on the right track there, and that could just be because I have personal shortcomings in that area. I'm strongly considering giving Math U See a shot. From what I've read, that may be a solution to my hesitations in math.

As a closing thought, I would like to share some personal observations and feelings about this journey. I've been re-reading my Well Trained Mind (bible for our education purposes). I've been reading the Logic section really for the first time. I'd only skimmed it before, b/c we weren't anywhere near it yet. I've also been re-reading some of Jessie and Susan's philosophy of education, and noticing how my own has changed. I used to always say that our decision to homeschool was born of necessity. That we were doing it for practical reasons more than for idealogical ones. I don't think that's true for me so much anymore. I am more fully embracing an "idealogy" about this, after all. It's making more and more sense to me that the socialization of a child is best accomplished by the family unit, as well as by interactions with various groups of different ages with whom families may have contact. The notion that a child is best socialized by only their peer group is making less sense to me all the time. That is quite a shift in philosophy for me. And again, I recommend reading the WTM book for anyone of any education background, because they explain these things so well, and so logically! I guess I'm a slow learner! In truth, it's just such a massive change from the philosophy of pop culture that it just takes time, experience, observance, and information to help one start fresh.

Okay, so that's my update for now! Just trying to get back in the habit of doing my weekly reports, and I'm looking forward to sharing some of the kids' work in the coming weeks.