Sunday, June 15, 2014

Looking Back...Going Forward

Elizabeth will be starting High School in September and it has been a time for reflection… What has worked, what hasn’t. What have we done well, what have we not…
Looking over the past 10 years, homeschooling with her (and almost 18 for all of our children) I am amazed that much has changed, but much has stayed the same.

Here are the elements that I feel we have done well and we will continue in the future:

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A Passion for Literature!
I have reflected on all of the literature that we have read over the years, and I am certain we will continue to make time to read aloud, discuss and explore literature. This summer we will be reading “To Kill a Mockingbird", “Tom Sawyer” and I am hoping we will have time for “Susanna’s Quill”. We will be exploring Poetry, Famous Speeches, Short Stories, and several other novels during the year and I am very excited about this year’s literature selection!
We continue to participate in exploring literature in a group setting. This will be our third year doing 6 sessions of Literature exploration with a group of students (Tom Sawyer and Fiddler on the Roof for the coming year). These include a drama as well, which always brings the literature alive! I am so thankful for such a talented drama mom to work with! Our Movies as Literature class will continue next year and we will continue to explore the elements of literature through these movies. I am hoping that the critical thinking questions will continue to challenge our students to think about their lives and their faith. They are growing in their ability to tackle questions that even I struggle with!

Elizabeth's Watercolours - Just for Fun!
A Passion for Art!
We have studied art history, art techniques, done semi-private art classes, enjoyed our amazing co-op mom’s art classes and put up many artist’s work on our bulletin board "Charlotte Mason style" using old calendars and photos. Over the years we have enjoyed the videos about artists from many sources with our favorites being the Artists Specials series from Devine Entertainment. Next year will be no different as Elizabeth explores art in many different mediums! I continue to collect art ideas on Pinterest on my board Art Education that Elizabeth may want to explore. She continues to find her own artistic passions and explore them learning techniques from articles, YouTube and pictures.

DNA Experiment

A Passion for Hands-on Science!
Over the years we have tried to make science hands-on… As High School has arrived, I would really like to continue on with this trend. Experiments, activities and problem solving to me seems like a much better way to explore science than a textbook. Over the years we have spent money on a Microscope, chemicals, slides, beakers, test tubes, a dissection kit and the list goes on. All with the goal of making Science lots of experiments and activities! Hopefully next year we can continue to explore science through hands-on activities.

Co-op -American Revolution 

A Passion for History!
So much of our homeschool has centred around history! We have loved tying in novels from the time frame and incorporating biblical history wherever we could. We have enjoyed over the years the Reader’s theatre that our Co-op's drama mom has provided. We look forward to next year’s installment!
History has been the place where we have not dabbled, but dove deep into each time frame that we have studied. The art we have studied has followed our time frame, the co-op’s we have participated in have done the same. It has been very rich learning and I am looking forward to our high school adventures that will include new history topics, more challenging literature, and deeper learning as Elizabeth grows into adulthood. It has been my joy to learn history alongside Elizabeth!

We want to continue to see the “science of relations” happening in high school, where the connections are not always obvious, but where they happen from real learning. Nothing is more exciting than those "lightbulb moments" where one of our children has made their own connections! 

I continue to ask the question... How will we remain true to the past, but move forward as High School awaits us? 
Blessings, Natalie