Ever since I went to the SC Homeschool Convention, I have been renewed and excited about planning a new school year. I think it's very important for homeschooling moms to seek out conventions, workshops, and curriculum fairs to give your creative inspiration a boost, to remind you of why you are doing this crazy thing, and ideas that help you tweak your learning journey. I always debate whether or not to go to a convention and question whether it's really worth the time and money, but it is. It really is. I try to remind myself of that every year.
Last year we used My Father's World and it was the right fit for that time in our lives. It's interesting that we think that if we used something one year and it worked well that we should just stick with it and keep going...instead of praying first. The Holy Spirit might have different plans for us! For many different reasons I felt as if that curriculum wasn't the direction we were to take this next year, but really couldn't come up with anything else.
After hearing a workshop on the "joy of unit studies", I was reminded why I loved, loved unit studies so much. Unit studies is the way that our family learned for many years, and I had slowly gotten away from that. As a result, I haven't put as much of my own creativity and heart into our learning adventures and simply relied on MFW to do the work for me. I got into "checklist mode" which is most definitely not the way I like to live.
Then I read this wonderful post on planning and knew it would be the perfect schedule for us. We will do 6 six-week unit studies this year revolving around American History...6 weeks on, 1 week off, 6 weeks on, 1 month off for all year round. I even purchased that handy-dandy Desk Apprentice and feel more organized and creative in our learning than I have in a long time!
Finding what energizes us and brings out the best in us as learners/teachers/facilitators is so important. We are each designed uniquely and must follow the way God has made us individually and not just follow what everyone else is doing. We must get before the Lord and pray, seek, know ourselves, know our children, and walk that path. We must "keep our eyes on our own work" and not compare ourselves to all the other various kinds of homeschool moms out there.
I am a relaxed homeschooler who loves unit studies and delight-directed learning. When I stray too far from that, I lose sight of the journey our family is on and the creative energy drains away. I am going to stick with who I am and what I know and simply seek to trust the Lord at every step.