Friday, March 29, 2013
switching up our routine
It hasn't been that long that I've been doing a plan of monthly assignments, and already I'm open to changing things up. That's one of the good things about homeschooling - you pay attention and you can change things.
I've noticed that the kids - in particular Carbon - have been racing through their assignments as fast as possible, in order to be done and then able to pursue his own interests - primarily Minecraft. Racing through his learning without any joy or desire to learn is not the goal here.
So I decided to try something else; what if we did a block schedule and it wasn't about doing it as fast as possible but rather was just a learning routine?
We tried it out today for the first time. I made no assignments at all - just a schedule. During each time block, they were free to choose what to do as long as it was that type of activity. So during pencil time they could write, or do workbooks, or draw. Today they both chose to draw, and I had a "how to draw robots" book I'd checked out from the library so Carbon drew a bunch of robots. It went that way for each chunk of time, with them basically asking me "what resources do you have for us?" and then deciding and going from there.
The day felt marvelous. They were mostly engaged and excited (except that a full hour for "quiet book time" turned out to be too much - they've requested that be shortened), and I also had a flow to my day that helped me accomplish a lot because I followed that same schedule with them. The only hiccup to the new idea came when I sat down to try and log their day's schooling into the journal I keep for our homeschooling. Free form learning is hard to categorize into little boxes.
We're going to keep trying this two days a week. The other three days a week will be the old style of assignments. I really think it will be a nice balance.