It’s a brand new year which always leaves me excited. I am a goal person. I make goals or resolutions four times a year. January is the obvious one followed by September with the start of the school year. The other two times of the year that I change my goals and adjust my focus is after General Conference in April and October. Its a great system for me and I adore revamping things in our life and making the adjustments that I am prompted to by the Holy Ghost.
This January has been a little extra interesting as its our first year as official, registered, homeschoolers. I expected to find some massive flaws in our daily/weekly routine that would be need to be changed, or potentially even change our curriculum. That wasn’t the case though when I sat down to evaluate our last few months and look to the future. What I saw was success in a lot of different areas.
Our 2019 Homeschool Successes
Our routine and home atmosphere is on the right track. Many things to improve on but nothing I needed to throw out the window entirely. Our curriculum has my Grade 1 student excelling in his studies. So much so that we only have one more learning expectation to mark off to be completely done Grade 1. I don’t say that to brag but to acknowledge that we have found something that is working well for us which will allow us to travel down other paths for the next while.
Our big change in focus still has me a little unsteady but mostly because it is different than anything I have done before. I’m letting go of the lead and going to try to keep up instead.
Drifting into UnSchooling
Unschooling is the method of learning as life comes, seizing the moments and learning naturally along the way. At least that’s how I currently view it. Yes, you can guide and direct it a little bit but for the most part this way of education come down to your individual family or the individual. What captures your child’s attention? What questions do they have? What is happening in your world or home? All of these are perfect springboards to learning.
I am nervous about leaning into Unschooling because it’s a foreign concept to me. I went to Public School and now as Homeschoolers we still routinely get out our workbooks. Nothing is wrong with this method but since we have already completed the Provincial requirements I felt that it was the perfect time to let the kids lead for a little and see what adventures unfold.
Homeschooling without Established Goals
The flexibility that accompanies unschooling doesn’t go hand in hand with traditional goals. Our goals will not be to read a certain amount everyday or to check off a number of equations. Our goals for this next couple of months don’t even seem like goals to me. We will be spending the next 4 months looking for happiness and knowledge, wherever that may be. Instead of just telling my kids, “That’s a good question,” we are going to look for an answer. First in books and people we know then by using the internet. That method of research has nothing to do with unschooling and everything to do with my young kids. The internet has alot of information in it and I’m not going to send a seven year old onto the web unsupervised. I would let him read all the books he wants and chat with family, friends and neighbors as much as he wants though.