Sunday, 30 April 2017

A HUGE Change In Our Homeschool

We have just completed our very first term as Official Homeschoolers! I have learnt a lot this term and even though we have been homeschooling 'officially' since Abby was 5 this year with the our Exemption approved it felt more real and more serious!



One of the things I learnt this term was about the importance of planning. Last year we were very casual and took each day as it came. Finding learning experiences in daily life and doing book work when Abby asked for it (which was pretty much every day). This year I am finding that Abby wants more structure and she wants me to tell her what the plans are for the day/week. I was really open to the Unschooling philosophy but I just don't think that is going to work for our daughter. Instead we are opting more for a Child Led Learning approach were we use Abby's interests to lead her study and how that learning happens.

The other thing I learnt this term is that 10 weeks is a really long time!! We found the last 2-3 weeks of the term to be really tough, on both of us. Not because we didn't want to do school but because we had just run out of juice! We were both tired, I was running out of ideas and other aspects of our life were getting busy.



So here is the HUGE change!

We are gong to do 5 week terms! A regular school does 10 weeks of school time then 2 weeks of holiday. What we are going to do is 5 weeks of school time and 1 week of holiday! 5 on and 1 off instead of 10 on and 2 off. So we will still be getting in the same amount of school days throughout the year but we will take a shorter break between them.

The idea behind this is we will be able to plan 5 week long unit studies, which will give us enough time to explore a subject but not too much time that we get sick of it. 5 weeks is also enough time for us to get through one of our chapter books that we read together.

The plan is that 5 weeks gives us flexibility in our planning, and a chance to regroup and check our progress more frequently. Planning for 5 weeks is also a lot easier than planning for 10 for me and it's easier to see what we have coming up in the way of activities and trips. Lesson planning and schedules are all new to me, I'm not a teacher. I didn't go to teacher's collage but I'm very lucky to have a Mum who is a teacher and who has worked in ECE (Early Childhood Education) since I was at Playcentre. So I have been able to bounce ideas off her, she was also a great help with my exemption, not so much in writing it but just to give me feedback and someone to tell me I was on the right track.

What do you think about our shorter terms? This is purely a trial for us so we can re-evaluate in the next 5-10 weeks and see how things are going.

Robin xx

2 comments:

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