If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Friday, May 17, 2013

Weekly Report: Finding Balance...

image courtesy of craftgawker
While this was a [purposely] light week, it was a good one. It gave us time to make goals for the rest of this school year, and to figure out where we're going down the road. And, I was able to let go of all the history and science plans that frankly drive me batty.

Following up on yesterday's post, I took the kids to the library, along with the new guidelines:
1 science book (per week)
1 biography/autobiography (per two weeks)
1 book of poetry (per week or two)

We'll add in history and music/art a little later on, since I have history all planned out for the rest of this year.

I expected maybe a little resistance on being told what to check out, but to my pleasant surprise, there was none! And actually, they seemed to enjoy finding books that fit these categories! A couple of the books we had to place on hold, namely the biographies... The Boy has chosen to learn about Henry Ford, and The Girl wants to know more about Amelia Earhart. We're using this fabulous list of "Messner Biographies" as a source for well-written, in-depth, but still fun to read biographies.

They also found poetry, The Girl discovered the Scientists in the Field series, and The Boy is going to continue reading through the Secrets of the Universe series.

image courtesy of thegospelcoalition
So I think, at long last, I have found balance, somewhere between schooling and unschooling!  Child-and-interest-led, within parameters. Besides this giving them freedom to explore their own interests, I think it builds responsibility--they are taking ownership of their own educations.

So, what did we do this week, besides figure some stuff out?

We read about early lawsuits surrounding the manufacture of cars. We enjoyed egg-laying. We traveled to Hogwarts with Harry Potter, and to Frankfurt with Heidi. We read about herons and egrets, after seeing some on Mother's Day. We watched a couple of episodes from season one of Downton Abbey (I've got the kids hooked at last!), and discussed civil rights and art during and after watching Pleasantville. The kids played a lot on their scooters, and did chalk paintings all over the driveway. We sprouted corn for our garden, and bell peppers.

Oh, and The Boy and I (maybe The Girl will tag along) signed up for The History of Rock Part I through Coursera. If you haven't looked at Coursera, you should! From their website: 
"Coursera is an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free."

Since we're a week "behind" in signing up, we have a little catching up to do over the weekend, but we're pretty excited about this. We're looking at future courses on archaeology, Beethoven, from the Big Bang to Dark Matter, and so on.

Next week we dive back into the depths of homeschooling... six weeks to go, then we'll take somewhere between six and eight weeks off.

Hope you all had a good week!


  1. I've always wanted to implement those library book check-out guidelines, but our local library is so small that the boys would be hard-pressed to find things weekly. I usually just end up ordering books through inter-library loan for them. I really wish the boys could have the big city library experience where you can browse the stacks for hours...I remember loving that as a kid, so I'm not surprised that Cyrus and Cassia enjoyed the "thrill of the hunt" for new books!

  2. I love the idea. We visit the library frequently but often I am not happy with the books my children select. This is a perfect solution.

  3. Coursera looks awesome! I had never heard of that but will be looking into it. Thanks!

  4. We have been doing the History of Rock class too! And we also are behind a bit. It's been great fun so far. So fun listening to that music together.


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