It’s been a while since I have just written a blog piece that wasn’t a review in a long time, but 2022 means new things for our homeschool journey. For the last 4 years, we have been eclectic homeschoolers. I bought the curriculums and wrote out elaborate homeschool lessons. Then in October I started to feel burnt out and observed my son was just not his usual cheerful self and we butting heads a lot when it came to getting lessons completed. Seeing my now unhappy 4th grader I started to examine what was going wrong without homeschool.
Unkownglingy after careful observation our homeschool was starting to turn into the one thing I hated and promised myself I wouldn’t do, we were doing “school at home”!!! How did we get here? We weren’t playing games anymore… hands-on learning opportunities were still present but opportunities were few. Then it was the curriculum I had chosen curriculum that wasn’t interesting and just busywork. What had I done to our homeschool? How could I get things back to our happy place?
The first thing I did was sit down with my son and talk with him. I was shocked at how unhappy he was with our current homeschool situation, I promised him that we would get things back on track. Luckily I kept all of my previous planners and I opened them up and started to examine our previous years. After looking over the planners, I ordered a new planner because I wanted a fresh start. I needed to start fresh and our current planner for the school year was a constant reminder to me of what I had done to our homeschool. I looked over our curriculum and took the advice of a good friend on Youtube and made four piles:
- Summer Review!
- Stretch for 5th and 6th grade!
- You were nuts buying this!
After doing a curriculum check I had to do a mental check, we desperately needed to include mindfulness back into our homeschool day. I personally was suffering from weekly headaches and anxiety. My son was also starting to show signs of anxiety because we were just not starting our day peacefully but rushing. So I purchased us some new meditation cards, My 52 List Project, and 52 List Calm. I also picked up a few books for executive functioning and a workbook for gifted kiddos.
I also slowed our pace down for doing actual homeschool lessons. We now operate on 3-4 lessons independently and then the ones that require more 1:1 we do in the afternoon. I am making it a point to meal plan again and prepare 3 meals a week that can stretch for 2 days and the 1 day is a fun meal! I pulled out our Kid Stir, Raddish Kids kits and dedicated one afternoon a week lunch to us cooking together. While revamping our homeschool I noticed we had a significant amount of games that still had their wrapper on them. I pulled all those new games out and put them in the forefront.
I looked over our curriculum and noticed we were doing a lot of repetitiveness in lessons. Now I am well aware that there is going to be review in many curricula, but what I saw was we were truly repeating stuff my son had fully mastered. So I am taking a hard look and decided that I would make some big changes for 2022-2023, we would move towards the 5th/6th-grade curriculum. After all, his math was already 5/6th and he is working well above 4th/5th-grade in language arts, geography, history, and science. So why am I boring him to pieces with repetitive lessons he has mastered. I will continue to analyze his lessons and add support where needed. It was time for a major change and to offer him lessons that work for him and that he loves.
I think what help me validate my decision was watching my good friend Erica over at the Melanated and Well Educated 2022-2023 curriculum choices video. My son is a huge Mrs. Erica fan he studied her video and made his own list of things he liked from the video. He also let me know he wants me to get books about anatomy and physiology and cardiac science because he wants to learn all he can about the heart. With the sincerity and excitement in his voice, I knew he was ready to shift his learning. Little J is looking to expand his knowledge beyond the standard curriculums I was considering. He wanted to see even more of his ancestry in his lessons, my child is wanting to be fulfilled and I needed to pour into his cup.
So many changes have taken place these last few weeks that I know will make our homeschool more of what we both want. Be on the lookout for our 2022-2023 Curriculum Choices and Summer Review Choices!