It’s another school year! I feel like we’ve found a great rhythm for our family with our homeschooling, chores, seminary, carpooling, football practices and games for two teen boys, on top of our weekly trip to our family liberal arts school in Tucson. The kids are doing most of the laundry, meal prep, and dishes too. We’ve had big sister move back in for a time after graduating from college. It’s been interesting fitting her back into the mix. I wish I could assign her all the driving but she does have her own adult life. She has helped quite a bit with driving and fixing dinner with one of her younger buddies so that has been super wonderful.
If you want some encouragement and some new ideas for how to make this year more fun, more meaningful, and less tied to a curriculum, I encourage you to read aloud more and provide space and time for your kids to read silently to themselves. Doing this allows for more relaxed days and a more relaxed mom! I’ve never been one to be a slave to a curriculum. It’s always seemed too stressful to me. In my 19+ years of homeschooling, the only curriculum I’ve stuck with is Mathusee, day in, day out, and year in, year out. My language arts/science/history curriculum, until my kids do LEMI Scholar Projects, is reading aloud to them and getting them to read on their own.
A new idea I’m learning from Sarah Mackenzie, one of my favorite podcasters, is to show your kids how to track what they are reading with the insights they get by creating Reading Journals. These are similar to commonplace books. Here’s a great way to do that below, from Sarah, who also blogs and homeschools. I am copying and pasting her email message to share with you so you can get access to her master class where she shows you how to do Reading Journals. The book darts she mentions sound like great stocking stuffers for Christmas! I don’t know if I can wait until then to get them!