We officially start back to "school" on September 1st, thus ending three months in the most unschooly mode we've ever attempted. I didn't even mention it to the kids, it just was. I learned several things along the way. I gained some confidence in my own abilities to assess where we need more parental guidance and where the kids are perfectly capable of handling their own limits. It's not the case that one child needs all the limits, while another is the perfect self-regulator. I also learned my limits and am finding ways to make sure that we find a balance that can work for all of us. I expect our "school" year will look a whole lot more like our summer than any of our previous years. I like this.
I've had one-on-one sit downs with each of my kids every week this month to talk about some of the things we've got coming up. Both girls are in Girl Scouts this year and I am one of the Daisy leaders. We are all participating in Earth Scouts for another year too. There was no interest in book clubs, but I am going to be reading with the kids again. I know I say that every year and we start off strong only to let it fall by the wayside. I think it's going to be really important this year though because Funny Girl and Dimples are both very interested in learning to read. The more I read to them, the better off they will be so I really must make it a priority. I can sit down and read with them while nursing a baby, so I really have no excuse. We are going to try out project-based learning this year too. I've already got some of the things we need set up. Geshtro has his music as an ongoing project, but he's also doing one on the BBC in the U.K. for a presentation in November. Dimples wants to do a project on the U.S., and both girls are doing writing projects. I'm excited about project work because I have some of my own to work on. I am experiencing first-hand how much fun it can be to dig into something you find fun and rewarding. I hope to write a lot more about what we are working on and I've also started a new blog with some of our first steps.
A couple of other new things coming this year:
Funny Girl is officially homeschooling and will be included in the household responsibility chart. She's excited about it.
Geshtro is in the sixth grade and so will have to take his second standardized test at the end of the year. He's not looking forward to it, but I'm not at all worried.
Looking forward to a busy, but more relaxed year. I expect to be sleep-deprived, but also happy and grateful for our lives.