It’s a fun time of the year. Even though I have time to read only a handful of blogs, I have a lot more in my Reader. About 90% of them are written by Homeschoolers. There are a lot of posts about curriculum choices, organizing for a new school year, planning “non back-to-school” parties, etc.
Life is different in “afterschooling” land, especially since we have a “year round” school. On September 1st the new year will start in Anna’s preschool. She is moving up to the last step before “real school” and will start a PreK program. I am not buying new books, and I am not organizing our shelves. Well, it’s not entirely true. I did organize them somewhat, but since we don’t have a dedicated playroom/workroom, Anna didn’t even notice this change. We are not following any curriculums at home, but we read a lot of books and build a lot of activities around wherever our geography studies take us. I try to give her a lead as much as possible later in what we are going to do and when, and more often than not we run around playing “shark in the house” – a game of Anna’s design which involves a lot of hiding from an imaginary shark and squealing in delight.
I won’t deny that I do have learning goals, and I “guide” some of our activities to make sure those goals are met. My goals are aligned more with Anna’s age than with a new school year. I was focusing on phonics and reading between ages 2-3, and this year has seen a lot more math. When Anna turns 4 in October, I want to focus a lot more on fostering independence and competence – in dressing herself, setting up and cleaning up her work and play space, completing activities that she started. I will also focus more on prewriting and writing. We will continue to “gallop the globe” (I like the name even though I am not using “Galloping the Globe” curriculum). The most important thing for me is to foster her love of learning and her curiosity, to encourage her to ask questions and to seek answers.
As time goes on, I hope to meet more “afterschoolers” in the blog world. It bothers me that there are all kinds of “gathering places” for homeschoolers, but I am not aware for any “week in review” memes for the rest of us. When we outgrow kindergarten next year, I just might start one.
Are you an “afterschooler”? If so, drop me a comment, and I will come and visit your blog :)