View Full Version : Weekly Poll: How has your homeschool changed over the years?

09-07-2011, 07:22 AM
I saw this question on the Internet when I was looking for some links for our next unit study and thought that it was a great question to put out to you all!

As I read over the question, I thought back instantly to that first day of “school” for us, the year that I decided to pull the boys out of school. I actually decided about a month before they were out of the current year, and “thought “ that it would be enough time to get everything I could possibly need ready. Boy, was I wrong,LOL.

Fast forward to the first day, I had everything set up in the the living room and ready to go! I made a list of everything that we needed to do, correction a “BIG” list. They both were up by 7:30am and ready for the day by 8:30ish. We worked through every subject and it took us all day!! We were all sooo exhausted, but we got up the next morning and started all over again.

In our homeschooling days now, we are a little more laid back. Everyone is up and ready by 9ish, done with chores, showers, etc. The boys both have their lists of things to do by themselves and the list of things we still do together. The biggest change is the quality of the things we are learning now. If it takes us longer or we are really into something, we go longer and something gets bumped to tomorrow. Some days we are working until dinner and others we are working until lunch.

That is how our homeschool has changed, now how about yours?

09-07-2011, 07:30 AM
Homeschool for us really hasn't changed much. I do change curriculum as necessary, and that's happened a lot as I discover new things and find things that aren't working anymore. We do also change our schedule but only on an as needed basis, usually at the beginning of the year to adjust for the kids' gymnastics practices. Once we get settled in, we're usually good for the year.

09-07-2011, 08:14 AM
With a year and a half under our belts, I have to honestly admit I'm still searching for balance. This year our schooling will be taking a huge turn as we transition from total isolation to living in a community that is rich in experiences and enrichment. We will also have co-op taking up 2 days a week, leaving me to figure out how to fit in our (my) "requirements" in the remaining days, plus sports and friends and exploration.

I still fluctuate between feeling like an unschooler and also pressured to cover "enough" material on paper, and already I see that reflected in this school year. I still have days when I feel that table work is redundant and that we'd be better off just getting outside and discussing the world around us, yet I'm not willing to completely toss aside the school books nor do I think that would be best in the long run.

I do think some of the kinks will get worked out this year. DS is getting older and eventually he'll get more independent (right?). But at the root of it, I still struggle between looking forward to the near future--seeing him at 9 and 10--and feeling like he should be able to do more (just sit there and do the writing already!) while simultaneously seeing him at the still-young age he is and wondering sometimes if I'm asking too much. I guess it's the classic push-pull of parenting and of growing up, with the added dose of schooling responsibility thrown in.

09-07-2011, 08:48 AM
Last year was our first year, and our schooling evolved through the year as I learned the kids' and my preferences. I hope we can find a groove for the next year or two, if only for the sake of forming good study habits and attitude. Like Hockeymom, I'm looking forward to the time when they can work more independently and maybe have more input in designing their courses of study.

09-07-2011, 08:48 AM
In general, I feel that we change as I learn more about what is most effective with my son, how he best learns and retains information. Simple as that. :)

09-07-2011, 09:12 AM
I voted that we're always changing. However, for us this is more reflective of the kids getting older and getting more specific in their interests. While our schedule has become more flexible (to accomodate part-time work, sports, 4-H, other outside activities), their schooling has become more formal as they are in or near the high school years and are learning things they feel the colleges they want to appy to will want to see on a transcript.

No year has been similar to the year before it except for the fact we've always been eclectic--what works for us for right now!

09-07-2011, 09:13 AM
I get stricter and more structured every year. I am working hard to catch up a kid who is behind due to learning challenges.

09-07-2011, 10:45 AM
We haven't changed a whole lot overall. We've made a few minor tweaks here and there - adding something, tweaking something else - but mostly the format is the same. He's happy and likes it, though, so that is why we haven't changed. If he needed something entirely different, I'd be happy to work that out :)

09-07-2011, 11:01 AM
We seem to change our methods, our type of curriculum, our scheduling and our strictness every year so far. I feel that I'm still learning the ropes even entering year 3.

09-08-2011, 08:25 AM
When my son was 4 we started a preschool curriculum-in-a-box that came with daily packets of work/crafts, a teacher's guide, CDs, books, the whole shebang. I got sucked into the "We're going to homeschool and OMG he's old enough for preschool so we need to do a complete curriculum with highly structured days!" vortex that befalls a lot of newbie homeschoolers who are starting young. It fizzled about half way through the year because my son HATES crafts, but we plugged on with a few things from the curriculum and finished out the year.

For kindergarten we did a 180 and essentially became unschoolers. I prodded math and writing a bit, but our loosen attitude made my son much happier. It did lead to some interesting conversations in the grocery store when old ladies would ask why he wasn't in school and he would say, "Well I'm homeschooled, but we don't really do anything." Jeeze, kid, you're getting me in trouble with that!

Last year we started with a semi-structured plan of lessons I gleaned from various websites. We were traveling a LOT last year so it was tough to nail down a plan. In February I stumbled upon Time4Learning after winning a Time4Writing giveaway from this website, and we finished out the year with that.

This year we're doing the entire Time4Learning curriculum for 2nd grade, with supplements for science and social studies that I am putting together myself to follow along with what else is happening that week in the online lessons. We're also doing spelling from a great set of 2nd grade lists I found online. (Nikko reads at a 5th-6th grade level but his spelling/writing is more at a 2nd-3rd grade level. After we finish the 2nd grade lists or if I find he's breezing through them too easily, we'll move up.) I also have a French program that's been sitting on the shelf for a while that I'd like to start but we'll see how time works out.

09-08-2011, 09:46 AM
I went with other. We do change things a lot. We change schedules several times a year. We have changed multiple programs. Sometimes, it seems that we're always changing something. However, all the changes are because our situation has changed, the kids' needs have changed, it just wasn't working for us, or due to the amount of say the kids have in their schooling.

Every so often, I allow the kids the opportunity to set their own schedule. They get to choose the order of their subjects, what time of day to start, etc. If they figure out a schedule that works, we'll stick with it until it doesn't work anymore or they decide to change it. If it doesn't work, I take over scheduling again, and change it to something that works. Programs/materials generally only change when they no longer meet the kids needs. Math for dd is the subject where materials have changed the most, because it's such a challenge finding something that works for her & that she doesn't hate.

Right now, ds is trying to figure out his own schedule. However, his current plan is to do all the fun subjects first, leaving the more formal subjects (language arts & math) for last. Plus, he's trying to fit every subject in every day. The problem is that by the time we get to those more formal subjects, dh is home form work & we never get work done while he's home. So, even though he likes Math & Language Arts and the materials we're using for them, he hasn't been getting them done much this last 2 weeks. So, he has the rest of this week to figure it out, or I set his schedule starting next week.

So, while we do change things fairly often, it's always for the kids. Kids change. They aren't static. They grow, adapt, change interests & dislikes. Their strengths & weaknesses get stronger & change, meaning focus sometimes changes. Their learning styles sometimes shift as they get older. Their special needs change as they grow. I couldn't keep things the same and still meet the needs of my children. They are ever-changing. Therefore, our schooling is also ever-changing.

09-08-2011, 01:49 PM
We definitely change things up each year! Some things will stay the same, but others don't.
Great poll!

09-11-2011, 10:15 AM
Well, technically I change as the kids and I need it. However, if there had been an option to choose where it said you used to be more relaxed, now you are requiring more, ramping it up, etc. I would have chosen that. :)