Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A word about all these planning posts

I just mentioned, in the language arts post, that I don't usually break our life down so neatly into these things called "subjects."

I rambled on about subjects in this post.

I'm not abandoning my position, though it may seem that I am. ("Hey, Karen, I thought you disliked subjects ... and now you've got one post after another about your subject plans this year ... whaddaya, schizophrenic or something?")

Well, yeah, I am.

But, there's a method to my scattered brain. And it's called, Take Advantage of the Beauty of Homeschooling and Do What Works for You and Your Kids.

Back to that in a minute, but first, the subject at hand.

Even though I'm breaking our studies down into "subjects" -- partly for my own convenience, partly for my off-and-on, anal-retentive tendency toward "neat and tidy" -- I still believe that nothing breaks down perfectly, or perfectly neatly, into one "subject."

Our history studies are full of literature. Our literature covers history. When my kids read a good book and later tell me that they understand how awful WWII internment camps were, I can check off a box called "reading comprehension" without ever purchasing a workbook made for "reading comprehension." (I don't actually have boxes labeled "reading comprehension" mind you ... unless you count the anal-retentive boxes in my brain. I check those off frequently.)

Our science, similarly, overlaps with literature and history. And faith. Our faith overlaps and envelops everything. And, math ... wait a minute, math is just a specter, haunting us, taunting us ... no, sorry, not true ... We have Math-U-See now.

You get the point. "Subjects" are never neat and tidy, and life is too integrated to fully separate them.

Subject labels can, however, be helpful in planning and categorizing, and that's what I'm doing, in my schizophrenic way. So, back to Take Advantage of the Beauty of Homeschooling and Do What Works for You and Your Kids.

What works for us this year is to incorporate a bit more structure and planning than is usual for me. For various reasons, I feel the need to have a few more prefabricated resources "in place" as we head into this school year. I fear the unschoolers among us will toss me out, but, this is what will work best for us this year. Next year may be different, but that, again is the beauty of homeschooling. It's fluid and flexible and adapts to our ever-changing needs.

I love that in an education.


Jenny said...

I do the same thing. Our history and reading are intricately entwined. there is no seperating the two. However for planning purposes I do just so I can make sure I am covering the material and doing activities that meet my objectives.

Us! said...

What an excellent post...This year we are also doing what works for us 'this year' and it is looking more organised than other years (which may look quite unorganized to many!). I somehow needed the reassurance tonight...thanks and here's to a great year for your family!