Monday, August 29, 2011

"Self Learning" in our Homeschool

I'm working on a self-learning model for my oldest, who is turning twelve in November (although I'm not a fan of the term). I'm motivated by the fact that I'm feeling a bit burnt out and we haven't even started the year yet! But just as importantly, the self-learning option has a lot to recommend it. My current plan is to give him a loose list of topics and books to work from, but not so much he can't add his own, or find more resources on a topic that interest him, or go lightly on something that doesn't spark his interest. I'm also making him a planner to keep track of it all. He has a composition book sectioned into topics for notes and narrations. I'm not willing to give him completely free rein, but I do think that giving him choices over books and when to study each subject can have positive effects. I'm not willing to put aside books and methods that I have researched, but I will be flexible.

My hope is that I will have far less to do -- I have never yet been very successful at giving him a list of things to do. I tend to watch the clock and decide if there is time for one more thing. My hope is that with this plan, he takes over much of that work, to his benefit and mine. I need time to work with my other two. Last year my youngest mostly tagged along and didn't get much work targeted to his own level. I don't think much harm was done, but I want to be able to work with him individually. And my nine-year old needs some help to learn to set thoughts on paper. He has a way to go.

These are some of the best resources I've seen on self-learning for homeschoolers: