This week I did something I didn’t even realize I needed to do. I called to find out where I have to send in a progress report for my children’s year of homeschooling. I had expected to go in with portfolio in hand to show them the work we’d done (which is why we even bothered to keep a portfolio in the first place). As it turns out, I don’t need to do that at all. The process is much simpler than that.
So what do I have to do? I need to send in a progress report for each of my children talking about what we covered in every subject. I was also told I have to send in samples of their work, though I’m not sure how that works. I was told it’s standardized testing OR a progress report OR samples of their work. I’m still ironing out the details of what exactly I have to include, but we’re getting there. One thing at a time, right? For now, I’m going to be compiling a progress report covering what we did with each subject, and putting together my education plan for next year.
The plans for next year are pretty simple, really. We’re going to keep with the phonics program and the math program, but my goal beyond that is to try and do a year of totally unschooling. I know I’ve got daily exercise books for the kids that my aunt got me, and if the kids have interest in doing them, great. I may suggest the geography and science ones on a regular basis because the kids really liked those and they cover some good topics. I’m thinking we’re going to do Story of the World again next year, though if they don’t totally soak it up, I’m not too worried about it. But beyond that, anything goes.
More accurately, I’m going to stick it out with math. We’re going to try and blow through the remaining phonics. Once we’re done with phonics, we’re going to be done with everything but math, and then it’s back to unschooling time!
So, why are we sticking with math and phonics? Well, phonics has really helped Sander with his reading, so I figure the more we can give him tools to be successful, the better he’ll be. I know as long as we live near family, a lot of pressure is going to be put on the kids to be reading. While I’d love to let them learn it organically, I know things will go much more smoothly if the kids learn how to read and we go from there. And math? Well, that’s a life skill that they’re going to need if they ever want to go to college, and while I’m not holding my breath that the kids will want to go to college, I want to keep that option available to them.
As if gearing up for a more unschooling heavy year wasn’t enough, we’re also working on getting back to a more unschooling life in general. Once we have a car we intend to take to the road a lot more and visit some historic places, museums, and other cool places filled with learning. We’re definitely going to start going on more nature walks. It may not be until spring that we have a car, but we’re totally going to be looking forward to that in the coming school year.
It feels so good to know we’re going to be getting back to the roots of it all again. I can’t wait to take another step forward, progressing into the next phase of our schooling life. I’m looking forward to filling the house with experiments, talking about crazy inventions on Minecraft, and all kinds of other cool things. We’re in for an absolutely fantastic “school” year!