Ok, so I'm open to the idea of more academic structure for the kids. K, J, and W have been wanting more mom time for workbooks, learning sign language and Italian, readalouds, crafts, etc etc etc. I love that they're so eager for knowledge, but with our busy schedule, it's hard to try and accomodate what everyone wants to do every day. I've been thinking about this a lot and with their input, decided on a new plan. We definitely need to create a weekly schedule. We need to have a set time for academic work where they can all learn together, but at their own levels. It has to be fun, interesting, and encorporate what the kids love doing. And I need to have it all in an easy to implement style. Well I put all their ideas together with what I can feasibly manage and can only think of one homeschool method that ties into all of it...Charlotte Mason.
And it's funny, because we've come back to what we started with. Before we were unschoolers, we used the Charlotte Mason method. A week or so after she started homeschooling (2/05) we jumped into CM with both feet. She loved it for a few weeks until she started wanting to skip most of the scheduled things. I then learned about deschooling and realized she needed to have time to get the school mindset out of her system. That's when she started printing out her own worksheets, asking for readalouds, and finding educational games on the computer. I spent weeks reading about unschooling and loved how J was doing so much on her own. Unschooling has been an amazing discovery journey and I'm grateful my kids are very self-motivated.
But when they are so obviously yearning for MORE, I couldn't imaging not giving them that. J, especially, has always been one who needs to really know she is learning and accomplishing. It's not enough that *I* know it. Workbooks aren't proving anything to her, although she enjoys them, but it's something. The Charlotte Mason method is the only hs style that made any sense to me (besides unschooling). It entails everything the kids love. I can organize the day in such a way that it won't feel haphazard anymore - not that there's anything wrong with haphazard, but it's not what the kids want right now. I have been looking at CM websites again and I find myself smiling and knowing this will satisfy their cravings for academia, semi-structure, and more mom time.
So, we're going to try it for a while. I'll keep you updated on what we do each day, what the kids think about it all, and any positive or negative changes I see in them. We're pretty excited to try this again. I feel better about it now than I did 2 years ago. The kids have had ample time to deschool and spend many months learning about themselves and what interests them. I'm open to a new adventure.
I'll be doing a major organize this weekend, throwing out tons of stuff, tallying up the supplies we have, and making lists of what we'd like to buy. I promised the kids we could start CM'ing on Monday, so I want to be ready.