What does your school day look like - care to share? What curriculum, if any, are you using, and what do you like or dislike about it? What are the things that are most important to you in your homeschooling journey, and to God?
Jillian, over here, is asking about homeschooler's days. We have a 2 pronged attack. Ditz has an academic program & a music program. Of the two music is the more important. Ditz has decided she wants to work in the music field so she learns 3 instruments: violin, piano & flute. The theory from these helped get her into AVAE, which is a vocal ensemble & routinely throws our academics into chaos with extra rehearsals & performances but it is performance oriented, small, & believes in showcasing individual voices. We believe it is giving Ditz an unprecedented grounding in music & preparing her beautifully to cope in a fairly hostile environment. The tale of how we joined the ensemble is one of complete ineptness & ignorance on our part, providence & grace on God's!
Anyone who has read here for a while knows all about Ditz & her music driving me slightly loopy but we do have an academic program that is a little more eclectic than most. We use Sonlight as our spine for English & history. This is a literature rich program using *living books.* I tweak it fairly heavily because Sonlight is a quite rigorous academic program ~ which does not suit Ditz. She tends to be academically lazy & the way she learns best is not very conducive to being able to *show & tell* for the powers that be. To the reading & map work I add 1, just one, research paper a term, which operates more as a unit study than anything else. For example this term Ditz has elected to research Gypsies.
Ditz is a very visual learner & can look at plenty of stuff on~line & she pores over the pictures in the books we have though they tend to be fairly unreadable for a 14 yr old, not because they are particularly difficult or have esoteric vocab, but because they are academic in nature & you wade through a lot of guff before you get to the point & that is not something that suits Ditz. I'm enjoying them! ☺ And passing along the information.
What I have learnt from using Sonlight is that a good story will often teach better than anything else so I have got hold of a copy of Rumor Goddon's The Diddakoi as a read~a~loud. We have 2 chapters left to go. While I read Ditz will often sit & draw; it helps her focus & fits in her art nicely.
Ditz & I naturally tend to *immersion* learning. We get obsessed on one thing until we get tired of it so there may be weeks when we focus primarily on history & barely touch her other subjects. I try to combine immersion with a more regular schedule so Monday is for English, music history [from Beautiful Feet] & Home Ec [from Christian Light]. Tuesday is math day. Ditz is never happy. Math is our worst subject. We moved from Math~U~See this year because we just got completely lost & Ditz now has an individualised program through our umbrella school but is still struggling. She just has no interest & resents the time it takes from the things that do interest her.
Thursday is for History because Ditz is usually quite tired after music all day Wednesday & all the travelling & I usually do the reading while Ditz colours & does the map work. Friday is science day & a drama class in the evening. We use Apologia for science. I chose it for being very scientifically presented but I may change back to Abeka as Ditz couldn't give two hoots about scientific accuracy so we may as well go with something less rigorous that she enjoys better. The drama compliments what we are doing with her English work.
We do academics for 3 hours in the morning starting with a bible chapter [Leviticus at the moment & very gruesome it is too!] then Ditz is free to do artwork, computer work & music practise after lunch. I am flexible about start times so long as Ditz works solidly without fuss.
I have 5 kids ~ two of whom could be considered exceptionally bright. Brightness is over~rated. It creates it's own set of problems & one of those is a dislike of set academic work. You can imagine the sort of conflict this can create. Ditz is no. 5 & I have learnt you can't force feed a kid knowledge so I tend to try & work with Ditz's strengths as much as possible, minimise her weaknesses & not worry too much otherwise. I know she knows how to learn, how to find out what she needs to know & that is the most important thing academically.
We chose to homeschool for lots of different reasons & started pulling our kids out of the school system once we found them falling through the gaps. Kinesthetic learners tend to not do well in schools. I also taught in the public school so I know first hand the amount of time wasted & the sort of busy work that constitutes so much of a normal student's day. I consider little real learning ever takes place. I know Ditz often has trouble showing what she has learnt but that is understandable when her primary means of communication & self~expression are non~verbal; music & art. Ditz culls a lot of knowledge visually: T.V., DVDs, movies, artwork, pictures ~ & these are not generally considered acceptable ways of showing what one has learnt. This means I have to have courage to trust the way I feel God is leading us to educate our child ~ not easy for me as I am very academically inclined myself!
I don't fuss about it but God undergirds all our learning & I have a long list of blessings He has showered upon us over the years: moving us into a Christian umbrella school, Christian curriculum, the curriculum I really wanted for Ditz, instruments & teachers just falling into Ditz's lap at the right times.
Homeschooling has got harder as Ditz has got older because Ditz decided very early on what she wanted to do with her life & everything that is not to her purpose she wishes to discard ~ only the powers that be insist she remain on this sort of *liberal* education that gives a little of something in a wide variety of subjects, most of which bore Ditz to tears. When it come to her education Ditz has an obsessive one track mind & if it was left up to her she would do nothing but music & art. You can never have too much of either though my life would be a good bit simpler if other people also considered them viable & genuine career choices.