The big thing we did last year was a Spanish language immersion trip to Central America in the spring. I will write more about that at a later date, but it was overall a really awesome experience. So, all other academics took a backseat to our trip and its preparation.
Our homeschool had to change drastically with Bug being out of preschool. I had devised many ways to “keep him busy” while I worked with his brother. However, he did not want to be “kept busy” while his brother received an education! He wanted to interact constantly with us. For this year, he should be able to participate in virtually everything that I do with his brother, and I have more things to work on just with him. I hope he will enjoy listening to the history, language arts, and math texts that I will be reading to his brother and not feel left out.
Bug also had to learn that he does have to wait sometimes. I’ve had to physically remove him from the room that I do All About Spelling in because he would act up and try to get attention during his brother’s spelling lesson and not respond to redirection. He’s matured and learned and can now play quietly during his brother’s brief spelling lesson. It helped that I started him with AAS too, so that he doesn’t feel neglected. (I would have preferred to wait on it a little longer, but he’s doing very well.)
I’m learning to prioritize a little better. For instance, it’s been nagging at me that we haven’t done much in the way of formal science. Both boys know quite a bit of science for their age in spite of this. Bug has watched hours of Nova and other science documentaries over the years. They’ve visited many a science museum. They’ve gotten the most science education, I think, from conversations with their mathematician father.
This year, I decided that science has going to be a priority. I chose something finishable, Real Science 4 Kids Chemistry. It only has 10 chapters and 10 activities, all basic concepts that children can build upon. We’ve had so much fun with it so far! And we’re all learning a lot, me included.
In addition, I am not starting history, language arts, or art until we have finished that science curriculum, and I will stagger these in gradually, making each a priority in turn. You would think that as a trained Montessori teacher and a nontraditional sort of learner/person, I would not struggle so much to break free of the school mentality of doing every subject 36 weeks out of the year, but I do struggle with it a lot. Some things (math, Spanish, spelling) need to be done more consistently, but other subjects are best learned in chunks.
I think that Bee learns best through stories, so the vast majority of his subjects with be based in narratives, including math. We will be spending much more time snuggled on the couch, reading. I just don’t see how that can go wrong.
I am really going to limit our outside activities and driving time on weekday mornings. We are going to save the mornings for school, unless it’s a really special sort of field trip. In the afternoons, I will schedule our activities and time with friends.