Bringing Balance to our Homeschool

Our homeschool is primarily interest-led.  At the beginning of every semester, I scramble around making a plan that no one actually follows (or is interested in following).  It’s my fears that cause me to make the schedule, but when I start truly working with and connecting with my kids, I forget my fears and dive right into their interests and lay my plans aside.  My hubby gently suggested to me recently that maybe I should just ditch the planning part and go straight to working with the kids, and he’s probably right.  He usually is 🙂

So, anyway, my more faithful blog readers may be noticing that my posts about what we actually do each week have no relation to the Spring Semester planning posts that I posted in December or January.

We spent the whole month of January studying Football.  We used books, movies, crafts, and the Amanda Bennett Unit study Football Frenzy.  It was Firecracker’s idea and we had a lot of fun.

I spent the month of February trying to interest my kids in either France or Valentine’s Day.  I thought Rose would enjoy it.  We didn’t make much headway with either one, but my kids had an obsession with rodents, and spent a great deal of time working on Stuart Little lapbooks and projects.  They also enjoyed Larryboy.  We did a lot more reading aloud of Larryboy than anything else this month.  No projects.  No activities.  Just pure reading (and cartoon watching).  Both the kids were very enthusiastic, but most of the rodent stuff was Firecracker’s idea.

So, this week, we began working on Amanda Bennett’s Rocking Robots unit study and we ordered a bunch of stuff to make soda can robots and other robot things.  This was also Firecracker’s idea.  He wants to make robots for science fair next month and he needs to start now to have plenty of time to study it.

Rose told me that she wanted to do butterflies for science fair.  We sent off for some caterpillars so that we could watch the life cycle for our display board.  I didn’t really think about it again because I didn’t think we were going to do anything with the butterflies until we set up their habitat.

Today, as we prepared to work on the robot unit study that we are doing, Rose burst out, “Do I not live in this house too?”

I was clueless and said, “Of course you do.  What are you talking about?”

She said, “Didn’t we say we were going to do butterflies?  When are we going to make butterfly crafts and study butterflies?”

Major parenting oops!  I didn’t pay attention to her plan for our studies because I had planned on waiting to focus on butterflies until we got a little further along with our robot studies.  I had totally neglected her needs.

 Firecracker is so definite with his needs and interests and so enthusiastic that I had totally forgotten about her wanting to start her projects too.  She has a different energy than Firecracker.  Firecracker is focused and intense.  Rose is a completely cute six year old who, although forceful, doesn’t have the intensity that Firecracker does toward her projects.  

I needed today’s reminder.  When you have multiple kids and you’re trying to respect their interests and their desire to work on their own projects, it can be difficult.  There’s a constant tug-of-war in whose project gets attention.  I need to make sure I balance both projects, and give both my older kids what they need.

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