We’ll be officially starting our 2020-21 school year on Tuesday, the day after our 24th wedding anniversary and some sort of family wedding (you might remember we get married anew each year around this time in a new way).
This year, Jack will be in 11th grade, Alex will be in 7th and Fiona will be in 3rd, officially anyway. We don’t really pay any attention to the numbers other than when we fill out our reporting forms. We just keep up with them and keep it at their levels in each subject. Of course, Victoria and Rhia have graduated. They live in houses nearby, though, so we still get to see them lots.
I’m hoping to do more unit studies this year, even with their wildly different grade levels. We’re starting off with some haikus this week. I found some very old Japanese haiku poets whom I fell in love with and I want to do a family haiku reading each day and some writing (improv and not).
I’m sitting down to plan this month today, using the scope-and-standard lists as a general guideline and for inspiration, but following interests and the way the wind blows.
Jack already does Khan Academy and Duolingo every day, for math, grammar and Spanish. He sets his own pace and picks his own rabbit trails. He has a streak over something like 500 days in a row on Duolingo and he did have several hundred on Khan Academy until our internet went out one night and he lost it.
Fiona, Alex and I were doing Duolingo but lost our interest last year. We’re planning on starting up again and Alex already did on his own. He’s begun striking up conversations and asking me for food in Spanish again, always a sign that he’s back to practicing. 🙂
Science is Alex’s big love and he does tons of that on his own, mostly online and in projects he dreams up. I’m planning to do lots more to meet his insatiable need for more science this year, involving the other kids with a lot of it, too.
Music is a big part of our lives these days. We have “family jams” often and have binders full of music and lyrics so we can all play along. Jack plays ukelele really well and also plays guitar and a few other instruments. Fiona is learning ukelele. So far, Alex and I mostly sing along. I love the piano but need to get it tuned and to get serious practicing. Daryl plays an insane number of instruments, all self taught, and Rhia (who’s in her own house now, half a mile away in the house Toria and Gabe bought for $4,000 three years ago) plays the guitar and ukelele really well (self taught, too). I don’t think Toria (in a new house with Gabe and a friend, also purchased in cash like their old one and like ours, just a block and a half from us) plays anything, but I could be wrong.
We’ll be doing lots of reading, lots of science, lots of nature studies, and lots of hands-on learning, as always. I’m going to keep up with our impromptu spelling and to do more writing with the boys (Fiona does tons of writing on her own already). Life skills will be a big part of what we do, as always. I love the fact that my grown kids can get by on so little because they’ve learned foraging, gardening, DIY, thrifting, making and frugal living so well.
Fiona would like to take gymnastics but I’m not sure what things look like in that regard right now with Covid. They’re holding the classes as usual. In our little corner of the world, there’s not much that’s different other than people having to wear masks inside most places. She loves doing cartwheels, wants to learn lots more, and is desperate for some time around other kids. We’ll see what we can figure out to meet her needs. It may involve some creativity.
And with that, I’m off to get back to my canning (copious amounts of roasted spaghetti sauce and not nearly enough applesauce so far) and to keep my promise to play Timeline with Alex and “have quality time” with Fiona.
What’s your homeschool year looking like so far?