I thought I would write a little more about our homeschool reset and why I am choosing to do this right now. I kind of tend to straddle the line between classical homeschooler and unschooler. Meaning, that classical education appeals to my organized, public educated self. Being busy, worksheets, checklists, being able to see progress on a subject appeals to me. I LOVE checking off lists. I LOVE having tangible proof of what they have done in the form of worksheets, narrations, math books. I LOVE it. But then there is this part of me that knows this is not the only way to learn. That this isn't my true version of homeschooling. I'm not sure I am describing this well, but I am trying my best.
I have always said that Jack would make the perfect unschooler. I unfortunately would not make the perfect unschooled parent- because of that need to quantify his learning.
I have seen it in action with him though. The time he has spent learning about civil rights and nonviolence, those were all his doing. He chose it, he owned it. And right now he knows more about those two subjects than most adults he knows. It may also come back around again. So I am choosing to give him the space and the tools necessary to find his next subject. To find something that sparks his inner self. And I am tamping down the urge to quantify it, or to turn it into something educational which will in turn take the ownership away from him. It's kind of the same thing I am trying to do for myself. Allow myself the space and time necessary to find myself. To find my passions. To find my spark. So maybe in giving myself this, I am seeing the need to provide it for my children. For my husband. Maybe that is the biggest and best thing we can do for those we love, to hold the space for their own self explorations. To hold space for their spark. Provide gentle encouragement and accountability when needed. Interesting thoughts indeed.
With this all in mind. I asked him last week to give me a list of learning goals, or thing he would like to work on. He would like to keep our morning time, we both enjoy that time. He wants to study fractions for math and gain some mastery. For science he wants to focus on astronomy, more specifically he wants to learn more about black holes and star formation. He is also going to be taking his telescope out each night to study the sky. In history he would like to learn more about the gold rush and westward expansion. We will be starting to do some activities with our kit from Stamps That Teach. And of course we have our Bravewriter class. In addition to that, he will be choosing a topic to do more research and maybe a project. He has chosen to research Nasa rockets, specifically the Apollo designs. I had him write a list of questions that he would like to answer in the course of his research. I will write more about the specifics of that in a future post.