After nearly a month off from homeschooling, I can say that I’m getting excited about starting school again with the boys. E kept asking me, “Are you ever going to start school again?”
It says SPRING BREAK for two weeks. Sounds great, right? Well, we usually do take a whole month off–the month of April– and that is what we ended up doing! I planned for two weeks, but I needed the month. Oh HOW I NEEDED IT!
I took a “brain break”. Have you ever done that? Just taken a full break from homeschooling, to the point where you aren’t even thinking about it? Not looking through catalogs, surfing for ideas, or writing lesson plans… just… nothing? You should try it sometime. Like this summer. Just STOP. Give yourself a break. Put the Homeschoolin’ Mom on hold for even two weeks!
This is exactly what I did for three weeks, and now, I am almost ready. In the last week I re-read Catherine Levison’s books, A Charlotte Mason Education and More Charlotte Mason Education. They’re short and to the point. They reminded me how far I’ve veered off the course I plotted when we first brought the boys back home from public school.
I remembered what a smart lady Charlotte Mason was. I remembered how my boys thrived on her methods. I realized how… gulp… lazy I had become with respect to teaching my kids. It isn’t that we hadn’t been doing school, because we had. I was just not nearly as involved as I needed to be. There is no way to have good conversations, good outdoor nature study time, or any narrations if I’m not fully “THERE” with them. And I haven’t been.
But I’m back. And I have some changes to put in place for our last 3 months of school. (Yes, 3 months. We take December, April, and August off.)
First, I am re-instituting Charlotte Mason’s methods. Short lessons using a timer. More outdoor experiences. More conversations. Short readings and narrating back to me. Daily poetry reading again.
Second, we are pulling out our Scripture Memory System box again. We have been doing daily Bible reading, but haven’t used the memory box this year at all. It’s time.
Third, we are going to pick back up with IEW’s Student Writing Intensives. Yes, I realize this isn’t CM approved, but it works very well for them. They enjoy the video lessons and Andrew Padewa’s humor. They just need me involved fully and this is one ball I dropped after Christmas!
Fourth, we are going to begin a geography study one to two days per week using Knowledge Quest’s Global Mania program. You can get it for free by signing up for their newsletter! This is a basic world geography program to help kids get a good overview of the world, in 7 months. It includes lots (and LOTS) of games, mostly online, as well as maps for labeling and quizzing.
I’m ready! How about you? What have you changed up since Spring Break?
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