View Full Version : Weekly Poll: Homeschool Resolutions for 2011

12-29-2010, 10:20 PM
I think it is probably impossible to generalize our personal homeschooling resolutions for the coming year into a single poll, but you don't think that will stop me from trying, do you?? ;)

I can tell you that my own resolution is to work in even more life skills into our learning. My oldest will be a high school "senior" next year, and I realize that my time with him at home is limited, and although I think I've done a fairly good job of preparing him for the big, wide world, there are still SO many things I know he shouldn't have to learn the hard way. So, that is my goal for this next half of the school year, at least.

What about you???

(you may vote for more than one resolution in this poll)

12-29-2010, 10:43 PM
I resolve to let my children's education be less structured. Infact, I'm allowing my daughter to unschool from January to March while we move into our new home. She has amazed me time and time again at the things she learns without my help or my structured lesson plans. Overall, I would just like to be more laidback in the new year. :)

12-29-2010, 11:23 PM
Boy, I don't quite know how to answer. I need more structure in my day and household routine, because my youngest really needs it, but I am led to unschool her more, which would be less structure in learning. I guess it is the TJEd idea of structure time, not content.

12-30-2010, 09:09 AM
I voted for more structure in our learning, but I definitely hesitated. Late in the last "term" we hit a brick wall whereby DS all of a sudden didn't want to learn anything HE doesn't come up with himself, thank you very much, and our daily routine got really off kilter. I flirt with the idea of allowing a period of unschooling until he "comes back" as it were, but we just don't have enough resources or opportunities to draw from where we currently live (and his stubborness has been extremely taxing). So instead I'm going to implement a more structured day than we had previously, in hopes that a set daily rhythm will help (in time) discourage the issues we've had.

12-30-2010, 09:22 AM
I picked two - more structure and more field trips.

More structure because school seems to get put aside whenever anything comes up from a good movie on television to a mild cold. It's not really a big problem since we have no reporting, my kids aren't official age anyway and we are working ahead of where they "need" to be. But, my kids do better with some structure. Given the chance they watch television or play various electronics all day. I really want to cut down on television, computer play, video games (Leapsters and one really old Gameboy), etc.

I put more field trips because I tend to be an introvert and use any excuse to not leave the house. We won a membership to our local museum so I'm hoping to go there at least a couple times a month. The rest I can probably justify putting off until warmer weather but I'll really have to work on it then.

12-30-2010, 10:36 AM
I feel like our days are too unstructured. The kids are inclined to run off to play as soon as one lesson is done and I'm constantly corralling them. I feel like I'm chasing Thing One and Thing Two with a net. I'm hoping to find things the kids can do, like independent reading, while I work with the other one on math or writing.

Like Dottieanna, I'm also inclined to stay home (and the kids too--we're a family of homebodies!). We just got a membership to the science museum and the local homeschooling group has a board game day every week, so we'll try to venture forth more.

I would also like to have a no non-educational videos rule on weekdays. The kids were pretty good in the fall about not asking to watch something, but we've slipped lately.

12-30-2010, 11:12 AM
I am trying to get started earlier, DO more, and encorporate some music in to our day.

12-30-2010, 11:27 AM
I resolved to play more games. We did a LOT of games last year as part of our schooling, but this year, we had more formal curriculum, so we sort of got away from it. I miss it and the kids miss it too. They're a bit older, so I think the curriculum is good (last year we didn't have any for K except handwriting) but I'm trying to find a better balance. Besides, so many games - Bananagrams, Rat-a-Tat-Cat, Knock Out, Mastermind, Mad Libs, etc. etc. - are just as educational as our curricula anyway.

12-30-2010, 12:35 PM
So tough! Great poll - I was actually searching "homeschool new years resolutions" and this came up on google. =) Duh - shoulda looked here first. =)

12-31-2010, 02:45 AM
I voted 'other'. Our structure and schedule is good (though tweaked a bit for 2011; it's both more and less structured, if that makes sense, lol). My resolution is to keep doing what we've been doing - keep the parts that work for us and be flexible enough to make changes when necessary. I also am resolving to add more academic extra-curriculars in this year (4H, science fair - stuff like that).
I want to get back to reading TO the kids several times per week. We used to do that more and I miss it.
Other than that, we're pretty good.

12-31-2010, 11:07 AM
I said I resolve to integrate more structure. However, this is because we have had almost no structure since the beginning of the year and I don't think that any of us have done with with it. Not even me who prefers life in general to be as unstructured as possible.

I've spent the last 3 1/2 weeks making decisions on curriculum and getting organized for the new year. My main goal has been to have more structure in subjects like history and science, while still maintaining plenty of time during the day for my kids to have "unschool" time. I value the ideas behind unschooling so much, but for right now I don't think that any of us are ready to make that style of learning our style full-time. My hope is that will be able to get our structured learning done in the mornings, so that the afternoons can be their time to explore whatever their hearts desire.

12-31-2010, 11:21 AM
I am trying to get started earlier, DO more, and encorporate some music in to our day.

We need to get started earlier too. We haven't been starting until 10-10:30, and I'd really like for us to be at least half way through our structured lessons by then.

12-31-2010, 12:49 PM
I resolve to lower my expectations. We are BOTH still on the PS mindset and it's driving me, at least, bonkers! I know I expect too much and insist on this and that getting done, when really, we HS year round and not on a set curriculum (I make my own) and with no reporting, we have no one to answer to so it's not like we (read I) can't relax a little! I need to learn how to chill. We're only 7 wks into HSing so I know time will help, but it's frustrating even while knowing that

12-31-2010, 01:02 PM
We really need to do field trips--Start having more fun with HS. DH & I discussed this and we agreed that we need to start taking advantage more of her not being in PS--Just taking off and throwing the studies out the window for the day. Maybe the Botanical Center or the zoo. And then we could incorporate some P.E. into miniature golf. Escape the one-horse town and our neighbors from hell for awhile.

12-31-2010, 01:05 PM
We really need to do field trips--Start having more fun with HS. DH & I discussed this and we agreed that we need to start taking advantage more of her not being in PS--Just taking off and throwing the studies out the window for the day. Maybe the Botanical Center or the zoo. And then we could incorporate some P.E. into miniature golf. Escape the one-horse town and our neighbors from hell for awhile.

We play hookie pretty regularly..... just to get away. LOL

12-31-2010, 01:06 PM
I want to get back to reading TO the kids several times per week. We used to do that more and I miss it.
Other than that, we're pretty good.

I have this exact thing going on... I don't know why. I need to get back to this, too. I have a long list of books/poems/etc that I want to read to them - somehow it just rarely happens these days.

12-31-2010, 01:31 PM
We usually don't have any extra $$ to run (away) screaming from the property--I'm sure thats why we haven't done any field trips--We've said though that we need to start getting outside more (possibly out to the lake) and that could be Science & P.E.--Couldn't it??!!

12-31-2010, 11:07 PM
I, most definitely, need to learn to ask for help more often. Trying to keep up with L.G.'s desire to learn everything he possibly can about the subjects that most interest him, 3 year old's drive to learn to read, and 1 year old who just likes taking the books off the shelves and beating them together is really taxing me.

I resolve, also, to stop asking other parents what their kids are learning about in school. For some reason, I've felt the need to compare what we're doing here with what is going on in the local public and private schools. I need to stop. It has no bearing on our plan, and, it simply stresses me out. I have a weird fear that perhaps algebra starts in 2nd grade now or something, and that ultimately my children will be unprepared for the real world.

Stella M
01-02-2011, 06:56 AM
I'd like to spend more time doing fun projects and introducing extra subjects to ds. His work always just fits in around my older girls and I don't do anywhere near as much interesting stuff with him as I did with the girls at a similar age.

01-02-2011, 11:56 AM
I said "go on more field trips" but it's a bit more specific. I want to go to the aquarium this year and maybe the science center too. I've been trying to find a good time to go to the aquarium again, and it just keeps getting put off. So hopefully this spring.

01-02-2011, 04:13 PM
We recently got the less structure thing going, but I'd like to start living more unschooling principles: peaceful, gentle, respectful parenting all the time. I don't always succeed, but our home is so much nicer when I do. I also resolve to not keep the unschooling thing secret, which I have been doing for fear of what people will think.

01-02-2011, 08:36 PM
I am going to try (emphasizing TRY) to unschool. The kids are wanting to do more field trips and playing more games. My daughter wants to also do more art and science experiments. So hands on stuff seems to be on the agenda,...or umm I mean no agenda.

Mother of Terry 16, Martha 8

01-03-2011, 12:22 AM
I voted for more child-led learning because I sometimes cut him off at the pass and pull out the stuff I think he needs to learn, which is hogwash, I know. I know! He is very excited about stop-motion movie making right now, so I can let him run wild with this. He also wants to work on his drawing skills, so we've been trying to sit down and draw for 15-20 minutes a day together. That kind of thing makes him happy.

I say this with the full dark knowledge that I have purchased a new geography curriculum for him and intend to whip it out tomorrow...........it's a struggle between what I want to teach and what he wants to learn, but we are doing pretty well overall and I'm most interested in having a content, well-adjusted, socially-capable, interested and curious child.

01-03-2011, 06:47 PM
Its funny, i was afraid to say it, but its even funnier w all these 'more unschooling' posts - i actualy am bringing in more structure. Last year I wrote out a weekly plan and a daily checklist, and we got a lot done. This year I didnt, and i found that on days that I was tired or didnt feel well, we didnt do anything becuase it was too much work to wing a plan and execute it when i was feeling bad. And we had way too many days i just let them back on 'screen time' by the time lunch was over.

Over break I finally put together my history curriculum base and reviewed what i'm doing for science for the old one, and finally last night got my weekly plan written up. I tweaked a few things already, but i"m feeling GREAT about it! My boys are just not, imo, unschooly types. I am perfectly willing to encorporate anything they want in to school, but they give NO suggestions . . .and if i do say so myself, i'm pretty good at finding things that they really dont object to at all.

And today went smoothly! so i have high hopes . . .for a more structured year!

01-03-2011, 10:23 PM
God, that is so weird that you said that Cara, cause it could be our house. I've asked my DD what she wants to study and she really never says anything either. She pretty much likes structure, too. I've actually eased up a bit (of course I still worry sometimes that we aren't doing enough--But I just tell myself that she's getting more one-on-one time now) And I usually always try to make a plan the night before because if I don't then we don't get anything done. Her self-esteem is in the toliet, so if she doesn't get something correct or doesn't understand something right away, she instantly starts to doubt that she can "get it". And the math starts to get a little harder next year, so somehow I've got to get a lid on that situation. She's definitely not the "unschooler type" or if she is I'm not seeing it. We had a pretty good first day back, too. Went pretty smooth. Of course she was chomping at the bit to get to the computer as soon as we were done. That's one of the reasons I'm going to get TT or possibly try Time4Learning again--She LOVES the computer! That's what she's getting for her b'day--A laptop. I think I'm feeding the beast.

01-04-2011, 10:57 AM
Olive, plz put your child's age in your signature - i cant remember such things! My youngest is on T4L and my oldest used ALEKs for a while for math. We have 4 computers here, one per family member. We had bought my teen a laptop when she started going to community college and she took that with her. But if your daughter is younger, you might want to try some math story books and going light on math for a while, so she doesnt learn to hate it.

01-04-2011, 02:47 PM
yesterday morning i would have said more structure, but then our late afternoon learning took on a life of its own. My oldest (8) learned Excel spreadsheet for his 'bank' and my younger son (7) took apart a blender and several old portable phones and then started to design a ride on train (with the intention of incorporating the bits he now has) . . . this took only about 5 hours of their time, and they jumped out of bed to continue today. We've mastered 2 grades of math in just a few months, reading and some science program is fit in, but I am happy they got excited about some completely different things and took off with them! yeah yeah yeah

01-04-2011, 03:40 PM
We have a very structered day, my kids needs it (as I hate to admit i do too) so that all the things we need to get done do everyday so structure or lack of is not a problem for me. What I need help with is coming up with ideas to keep things from getting boring. Which requires time, which I seem to have none of anymore. (which may have something to do with an 11 month old who is still not sleeping through the night every night!)

I also resolve to go on more field trips which haven't happened this year much also because of the 11 month old. He seems to throw a wrench in the best laid plans. Napping during the afternoon when school is during the mornings.

I have cut myself a lot of slack this year though, first year schooling more than 1 and having a new baby. I hope next year goes a bit smoother...although I worry how to entertain a toodler and teach!

01-04-2011, 03:47 PM
Though not 'officially' a homeschooler (when, in fact, does it 'officially' begin anyway?), I'm resolving to lower my expectations and take things a day at a time. I tend to go into a new project with high expectations, always placing the importance on the end goal, and taking things too seriously. Boy, what a recipe for disappointment, huh?

So, as I consider keeping my kids out of public school this fall, I resolve to enjoy the process and be satisfied with any outcome. It's all about the journey, right?

01-04-2011, 04:15 PM
Welcome Pilgrim!--Yeah, that's what they say--We're in the middle of the school day on our "break" and I already feel like a horse who's been rode hard and put up wet. I've got to think of someway to get DD to stop the fit throwing when she starts to not quite get something. Glad to have you here--You'll love this bunch--Alot of great info floating around here.

Cara here it is--Are you talking about books like Sir Cumference and the First Round Table--A Math Adventure?? That type of book is what I needed when I was a kid. DD saw it and said Camelot!! She's already all geared up to tear into it. We are reading Amazing Magnetism--one of the Magic School bus chapter books. I was pleasantly surprised that she was interested.

I think that she actually likes math, she's just frustrated about alot of things and she lets it out during "school hours". Her self-confidence is in the toliet thanks to PS kids, I've got to get her to believe in herself again. We'll get there. Yes, she's getting a laptop for her birthday (1/18) and I'm getting one for my b'day. We're just buying them at the same time. Let me know if that is the kind of math books you were talking about. I hear the bell ringing (LOL).

01-04-2011, 08:11 PM
Olive/K - check this out: http://www.livingmath.net/ReaderLists/tabid/268/language/en-US/Default.aspx There are a lot of cool math books, including some 'easy reader' math books. The ones I can think that my son really loved were something about ants (its about doubling), and the polar bear math (which is fractions). I know there were a few other we read. I just picked up Banger Math, too, which he seems to like. I'm going on faith (now) that it will be easier if we wait slightly rather than push it when its hard. He loves math, but not doing things like work books.

01-04-2011, 09:40 PM
Cara--Thank-You for the link-I'm checking out alot of the books there. What a day.

01-05-2011, 08:28 PM
Hey Cara--What exactly is Banger Math?? I checked out that site and I already had it written down in one of my notebooks. There were alot of good book titles that I plan on buying very soon. Thank-you for the information.

01-05-2011, 09:16 PM
Oops. that would be basher math. http://www.amazon.com/Basher-Math-Book-You-Count/dp/0753466201/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1294276544&sr=8-1

01-25-2011, 02:03 PM
Well, I decided to let my daughter to go to the public cyber school next year. That was a big step for me!

01-25-2011, 06:46 PM
I resolve to go on more field trips. I think I've read too many horror homeschool stories about DFS showing up on the doorstep because you took your school age child out in public on a week day. I'm not doing anything illegal & have to stop feeling like I need to hide. That doesn't mean I'm going to use the time to go grocery shopping (yeah, I know it can be schooling but I'm busy sticking with my list, coupons & price comparisons, lol) but darned it, we will go to the museum, zoo & parks on weekdays.

I also resolve to relax & lower my expectations & try to rememeber (or make my mantra) that homeschool isn't public school at home. We do not have to sit down & 'do school' formally for 5 hours each day to hit our min. required 1,000 annual hours.