We started our third year of homeschooling about a month ago and this year feels different. We started because I didn’t like the plan Gage’s school had in place for Covid and I thought I could manage 4th grade at home. We did, but due to Covid it was isolating. There were still Covid issues last year so we thought we’d do another year at home. Thankfully he was able to join a weekly nature group, but as a whole it was still isolating. For that reason I contacted Gage’s previous school in the spring to see if he could go back this year, but there wasn’t an opening in his grade unless we wanted to travel 30 minutes away to a new school they just opened. That was an easy no.
Am I still concerned about Covid? Sure. We still wear masks inside if there are a lot of people. Am I more concerned about my son’s mental health? Yes, I am. So, this year homeschool looks different. He goes to tutoring everyday at an office (not at home), he still has his weekly nature group, he takes a homeschool art class at the local art center, he just started chess club last night, and there are a few more in person activities I’ve signed him up for in the next few months. I planned a game day with other homeschool kids at our library last month and 22 kids showed up so I’m going to make it a monthly thing. He’s in two Outschool Zoom classes with the same kids week to week. It feels like a new homeschool beginning.
This year I wanted to make what we learned interested Gage so I’m letting him choose a country each week and I base our learning time on that country. I ask him for 3 countries then I go to the library and request everything I can. I start reading/searching usually the Thursday or Friday before and plan our activities and learning for the week. Not only does he learn about the country and its history and geography, he learns some of the language (he’s done French and Spanish so far) we also cook something, listen to the music, and do some kind of art. I can include math by having him do currency conversions and word problems.
Our homeschool days are more fun and varied this year and we’re both having a lot of fun. After three weeks of the countries of his choice, he spends a week doing a project from something we learned. This way he delves a little deeper into something that interests him. (Also this gives me a week where I don’t have to start a country from scratch!) His first three countries were Canada, France, and the UK and for his project he researched British high teas, wrote about the history, planned a menu, and put on a tea for his dad, grandma and me with minimal supervision and he did a fantastic job.
I know this is long, but I feel like the blog needed a little TLC and this is what’s happening in our lives right now, so I hope to do more of these, either long rambling thoughts like this one or just what we’ve studied for the week. As a bonus for making it this far I’ll share the recipe we made yesterday for this week’s country Peru. Gage loved learning how to use our zester and garlic press. This was a super yummy dish.