Our home for 2012 – cosy!
As part of our year long travel plans next year, we will (of course) be homeschooling the kids. We don’t want them to simply miss a year or skip a year or whatever and be behind in their work — forever needing to catch up, or being out of sync with their peers. At the same time, I think that the learning they will get will be so much more than they could get at school, so different, so extensive and interesting. And I think that Rob and I will be able to teach them the basics of what they need too. I am not worried about it. However I do feel the need to plan for it and analyse it and think about it and research it.
Do you homeschool / Unschool? Do you structure your day, how much actual sitting down schoolwork is really required? Suggestions welcome …
This is what I have so far:
(ps I know that we will need to be flexible, but at the same time I think it’s good to start out with a plan — I can see that it would be so easy to simply go for weeks at a time without doing any ‘set’ lesson sessions. Also I know that kids [my kids] really thrive on routine.)
Weekly lesson schedule (more or less):
- Math twice a week in 30 minutes sessions (we’ll be concentrating on algebra and geometry next year). [Rob]
- Literature twice a week in 1 hour sessions. We’ll be doing essay writing, grammar exercises, creative writing and research writing. [Me]
- Read aloud book (4 per year) followed by lots of discussion questions and essay writing
- Science or history each week (open ended sessions depending upon our circumstances) [All]
- Art + nature: a drawing and nature observation session each week (1 hour) [All]
- We’ll be reading lots of books. Not only our 4 ‘read aloud’ study books for the year, but the kids (and us) get through at least a book a week of their ‘just for fun’ books too.
- We will be visiting lots of art and craft galleries, historic sites and museums, and we will be able to use these to research local history and artefacts –
- I want the kids to learn about ‘primary’ research, rather than the idea that all knowledge is available online. Although we will use google as a reference tool too!
- Observing our natural surroundings — trees, bugs, landscape, rivers, mountains, rocks, birds. We have some guidebooks with us — snakes, mushrooms, birds, trees to help us identify interesting things in nature.
- Drawing — nature journals or drawing exercises — helping us use the other half of our brain and also forcing us to slow down and observe our surroundings (without discussion sometimes).
- Music — practice guitar and piano (we’ll have to find local pianos to practice with. If you live in Australia and know of a piano we can practice on as we travel around — let us know!)
- Sport — swimming, walking, fishing, playing ball games (soccer, hackie-sack, handball), we might learn how to surf, we will improve our fitness and our swimming skills, we will be snorkelling too!
- Games and leisure: Card games, board games (more card games)
- Keeping track of our journey: Journal writing and letter writing
- Living and travel — cooking, planning meals, cleaning up (daily chores — tidying and washing clothes and dishes), map reading, research places to visit, budgeting, organisation.
- Science — star gazing, ocean tides, geology, geography,
- Survival — lighting fires, tying knots, fishing, making an oven and a shelter
- Craft — whittling, crochet, knotting, woodwork, weaving, mending