Someone explain how I have a seventh grader and a second grader? Anyone? Surely my math must be off somewhere. It feels like just last year we were starting this journey, and my kids were seven and three.
I didn't blog much last year, because . . . well, I didn't have that much to say. Actually, that isn't true. I had a LOT to say, but most of my thoughts and feelings went into my fiction. The other random bits went on Twitter. :) My main reason for bringing this up is to say that I didn't have a lot of brain power or energy left for homeschool reflection. Did we do the required stuff? Yes. Did we spend lots of time discovering passions and working toward project goals? Yup. Did we flail around a lot and lose focus and let the ball drop on some other, less-important things? Absolutely.
In case you aren't sure by now, I'm 100% ok with letting minor things slide last year. My kids got to see me working really hard toward personal goals (despite some health issues), and they witnessed what passion, determination, and resilience really look like. When I look back at last year through that lens, I have absolutely no regrets.
My youngest is still straddling the reading interest/resistance line, so it's a delicate dance of discovering how much to push and how much to let her set the pace. That sucked up a lot of our academic energy last year, but I do want to push a little more this year. She's asking how to spell words more often and writing more, so we're going to build on that.
My oldest is transitioning to more independent work, and she loves it so far. (Yes! Something is finally easy here!) I still make a weekly schedule of what I expect her to accomplish, but she gets to decide how much she does each day and at what times. She does have a say in her curriculum and materials, and I meet with her regularly to see if she's keeping up and if she needs anything from us. So far it's going well, and I'm looking forward to the next few years and helping her transition to high school.
This year we'll be doing science and history together and I'm super excited! Ella just finished her first round (chronologically) through history, and Harper's ready to add in some formal history, so we're all working together with ancient civilizations this year. I looooooooove studying ancient cultures (uh, yeah, anthropology major here), so I anticipate a really fun year.
This will also be the first year we use a formal science curriculum. I chose to use R.E.A.L Science Odyssey Biology 1, because it's the perfect level for the youngest, and it will still have some new information for my oldest and reinforce things she's already read about. It was much easier to do it this way and add extra labs and information for my oldest (she's also getting science with Life of Fred Pre-Algebra and reading Hakim's The Story of Science on her own) than it would have been to level down something else for my youngest or to do two separate science programs.
So that's the update for now. If you're interested, you can find the specifics of what we're doing and using this year on the curriculum page. I plan to pop in more often this year, and I'll still be writing and talking about that in other places. Until then, wishing you all a wonderful academic year ahead!