Once upon a time you might have visited our house and found three little girls scattered about reading, painting, drawing, playing with dolls or lego, creating mini-movies, climbing trees, making Indian camps in the garden, or picking flowers. We might have been laying in the sunshine with a chicken in our lap and a book laid out in front of us. We might have been snuggled on the couch together reading aloud, or watching a movie together. We might have been dancing and singing while we did a spot of housecleaning.
Our days look different now. Our lifestyle of learning has grown and changed with the years. We look more organised for one thing. And we are a little more diligent in sticking to our plans. We make greater use of text books, grading rubrics, and end-of-unit tests and projects, and I spend a great deal of time keeping records, marking tests and projects, and putting together a work portfolio in order to create a home education certificate. These are the years I feel most 'teacherly'.
With a new plan and new resources, which should mostly carry us through the next two years, our 'school' day looks pretty close to a standard school day at the moment. We are spending the hours roughly between 9am and 3pm at the dining table reading, discussing, writing, and drawing together. For this first term I will be working with my 16 year old as she learns to navigate higher level learning and stretching herself academically. By the second term, we will have worked out what she can continue working on independently and what she will need continued guidance for.
Group learning also holds a place of importance in our week. Each Friday we meet with about half a dozen teens for tutoring in History, Science, Maths, and Logic. This gives us opportunity for social interaction, group-dynamic learning, working with tutors, and completing home study assignments in an organised and timely fashion.
However our day-to-day changes, we have kept certain long-term goals in mind, which I put together back in 2003, when I first registered for home education, and have kept as part of my yearly plan for the HEU.
Long Term Goals:
When .............. has completed her 12 years of Home Education, I hope to see the following fruit evident in her life:
It's good to take the time and reflect on these long-term ideas. To note the twists and turns along our way, to contemplate work completed and work left undone. To recognise honestly both success and failure in different areas and to realise that God continues to work faithfully in us and our children through it all. To give thanks for our journey as family learning together.