We start today. It’s a bit early, but we’re going on a 5 week ‘field trip’ to Germany in spring, and I wanted to give us a little wiggle room.
Today is going to be a bit crazy, since we’re having two windows replaced. The kids, the dog, the books, and I will all head over to my parent’s place for the morning. Not ideal, but happening.
Last week we had a Homeschool Preview. I told the kids that most high schools have the students come in before school starts to set up their locker and make sure everything is in order and that we needed to do the same thing this year. One afternoon last week we headed out to a cafe with their empty binders and a whole lot of papers I’d printed out. Course by course I handed them a syllabus – an overview of the course and clear expectations for assignments and how final grades would be determined. They also got the weekly To Do pages for the first 5 weeks, and a 12 month calendar page with the important dates for holidays and book club. I did a little book talk for each of the books for the book club. We drank iced coffee.
Sandra is in Grade 11 this year and an old hand at this high school thing. Matthias is in Grade 9, and a little freaked out at it all. This is the first year I gave him course outlines, and I think it was both intimidating and good. He’s not always the most eager or willing student, and he needs to step up this year. My expectations are realistic and the course outlines were simply codified versions of those expectations. He is capable of more than he believes, and this year I want him to realize this. I’ve designed the year to shore up a few areas where the kids feel that they aren’t up to snuff, to give them a boost in skills and confidence.
I’m feeling really good about the courses I’ve chosen and the schedule I have set up. In many ways, despite their incredible maturity and personhood, I still can’t believe they are in the Final Countdown years of homeschooling. I don’t have forever with them. I’ve got to get them to the place I want them to be before they head out into this world. That means key skills, the ability to think clearly, confidence, a sense of self, a sense of humour, a sense of daring.