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Saturday, October 20, 2012


So many changes happening at one time!

We are completely changing directions in our schooling.  I was a great student in the public system.  I still tutor collegiate students through prerequisites   My own child did her first four years of schooling in the public system and excelled.  She became a master at checking off the items on her list and being grilled and penalized for what she didn't know.

By the grace of God, we were able to start homeschooling a year ago.  I spent $350 on our starting curriculum because I was not going to be responsible for my child being "left behind."  We didn't finish much of the curriculum and many-a-day I had to lay out Lil Bit's options...cooperate in homeschool or go back to public school.  I am actually ashamed of my scare tactics, but we did manage to get through the year.

Here she is, now a fourth grader, and I've tweaked some things.  I am enjoying the advantages of a character study and creating my own curriculum for her health and science studies.  She is confident and cooperative in her education no matter how mundane it may get.  However, something still doesn't feel right.

I adapted the brilliant ten-drawer system introduced by Sue Patrick.  This system allows Lil Bit to know where she is in her day and eliminates the dread of not knowing when she'll be done.

I only spent $100 this year on curriculum...a number that I hope continues to decrease as I master utilizing all my resources.

I currently keep a grade book, as this makes me my child more comfortable.  And I follow the basic setup of the curricula that we have.  Also I write out my lesson plans daily in a planner for her in checklist form with any additional instructions that the worksheets/etc don't provide.

Her usually work day takes 2 to 3 hours.

However, it still feels like school at home and though we both know that homeschooling is a blessing, there is still a negative shadow that seems to diminish the glories of this opportunity.

So NEW approach!!!!

We've watched the video and heard the testimonials!  We've talked about it and *drumroll please* we're going to try NOTEBOOKING!

What does this mean you ask?

Well, I'm not exactly sure.  You know homeschoolers...boldly venturing onto new paths.  I know that others have done it successfully for years with multiple children in all grades.  I know that I may be tossing much of the curriculum that I have purchased/accumulated.  I know that it is a refocus on what she is retaining rather than not.  I know that it is not busywork, but expressions of her knowledge.  I know that it may just be what we need to restore some of the joys of homeschooling.  

Now, I know that there will be hard days no-matter-what, but I still feel that there are some windows that haven't been opened yet to help us enjoy something so wonderful!

Have you used notebooking?  If not, how do you setup you "lesson plans?"  Do you have any suggestions or warnings as we turn this new corner?

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