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

Friday, July 12, 2013


Truthfully, I've been feeling a bit blah about homeschooling lately, not looking forward to fall nearly as much as I have in the past, hence all my flip-flopping and indecision.

I think a big part of it is that I allowed my "oh my god, The Boy hits high school in two years and I'm worried about being behind" fears to overwhelm me. I forgot about enjoying the journey, and focused only on the potential goals. For a few minutes, I even considered going all textbook-y! Which, by the way, is the exact opposite of how my kids enjoy learning.

I read this bit on Kim's Our Enchanted Place blog not long ago, and it really struck a chord with me: "I always get a little worked up at the beginning of our year and think I need to get everything done by some certain time. Well, you know what? I really don't! Our focus is math, and then doing whatever we can get to from the Sonlight cores. After all, it really does not matter if we finish a Core in a year or two years! We are still learning a ton. I am also realizing that I need to be careful about adding too much to the Cores." Of course, I'm not using Sonlight, but the gist of this really applies. We are still learning a ton, even when we slow down to enjoy what we're learning!

Then I worried myself that using vintage books, and living books, wouldn't be "enough", even though we love the language of older books (like Builders of the Old World versus some of the newer texts). I'm still wrestling a little with history for next year, but I'm starting to look at it from a different angle. What would we enjoy and learn from? I also need to think, instead of "oh my god, The Boy hits high school in two years and I'm worried about being behind" that I have SIX more years to give The Boy the education he needs and EIGHT more for The Girl. Isn't that enough time to fill in some gaps without getting so worried? Plus, since both my kids plan on transitioning through the local junior/community college, not going straight off to a four year college, I can ease up on those graduation requirements... a little.

So now, I am looking at adding more beauty and enjoyment to our schooling in the fall. I'm researching a lot of Waldorf stuff, and a little more Charlotte Mason. I'm thinking about a lovely progression of [vintage] history (Read up through the Romans in Builders of the Old World, and then read Our Island Story alongside bits of Builders, and then, when we finish Builders, we could read through Makers of the Americas) rather than a more "structured" approach. Still not absolutely sure, but I feel like I am getting somewhere!

In the meantime, I would like to highly recommend this book...

I really like the balance in it between stories and (environmental) activities. I think today we might try one where we go out into a wild place and each child finds a special spot to simply sit, be quiet, and really appreciate nature.

And The Boy is really enjoying this Steampunk-inspired book...

The Girl and I are having fun reading The Garden Princess together (a strange tale), and we're hooked on Downton Abbey. I am anxiously awaiting Below Stairs at the library, and The Girl is really into fashion from the 1910's-1920's. And we're all loving Cheaper by the Dozen, one of my favorite childhood books! We finally finished the third Percy Jackson audio book, and will be listening to The Peculiar next, before returning to Percy Jackson.

Hope you've all had a good week!


  1. While doing my Waldorf research, I decided I want Benjamin to enjoy his schooling -- until high school. And during those years between now and (around) 9th grade, I want him to explore his world unfettered.

    So, I created an outline based on his PASSION -- history -- and we plan to use our outline as a guideline for planning his "school year" lessons *while* he explores his world.

    *I'll email you...but, in the meantime: I think you are doing a fantastic job, Gillian! Relax. ;)

  2. I think that fear about high school hits everyone in middle school. I agree with the previous poster so much--try to enjoy these "last" two years wholeheartedly. I sometimes feel very humdrum about homeschooling once we hit high school because I miss all the fun stuff. One of the best things I did was take my daughter's 8th grade year to just have fun, doing a year's worth of Narnia and not a whole lot else. It was such a great memory maker!

  3. I have the high school fears too. I have to keep reminding myself that it is "just" 7th grade this year and that I really don't have to worry *too* much for a couple more years at least.

  4. Ha! I re-read my comment and it sounds like I'm saying once Benjamin gets to 9th grade, then I want him to dislike his schooling. LOL

    I think you understand what I meant...I want him to have as many fun, carefree years as possible before the pre-college/work years of "high school."


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