Monday, January 30, 2012

More and More Relaxed

I'm on a kick lately to find new ways to relax our homeschool. I think it's already very relaxed compared to the quite structured way we used to do things, but there is always room for improvement. I love the slower pace, and the kids do too. They are much more enthusiastic about the work we do. That doesn't mean that they love everything they do! But I am hearing far fewer complaints these days.

I want to take things to the next step and relax our days even further, while injecting a little more fun into our homeschool.  I have yet to fit science experiments, history projects, and nature study back into our routine on a regular basis. These are all hits with my kids, but they are more time consuming and  difficult for me to plan for than read-alouds are.

I have been brainstorming how to fit more fun things into our mornings and still be done with lessons by lunch. I like to have the afternoons free as much as possible for other things. So I've been pondering where I can "cut a little more fat" so to speak. I am currently considering what we've been doing for writing, and how it can become both more streamlined, and more joyful.

I subscribed to the Bravewriter Lifestyle email group, which I have heard about from many other homeschool families. Lots more info can be found here. I have only scratched the surface of her very awesome website, but basically I am debating whether the writing my kids have been doing can be further reduced. I have been having the kids do two papers per week, one science and one history. From my quick reading, it seems that the Bravewriter Lifestyle would only have them do one paper per month, worked on a little at a time. They would come up with a topic, research, write, and edit over the course of a month.

This week, I am pondering whether this less structured writing approach might actually be more meaningful. Would the kids get into it more, rather than just viewing the assignment as something to get through? Would they actually learn and retain more this way? Would the act of writing itself seem more important when there is less "formal" spent time doing it? These are the things I am pondering, along with the other great ideas from Bravewriter.... like poetry teatime, freewriting, and language games.

More fun, less structured time? I can go for that.

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