Friday, August 17, 2012

Starting our year off right...

            I spent a lot of time in the spring of 2011 reading about un-schooling.  The whole idea of it fascinated me and I decided once summer came and I had more time to devote to reading and research that I would look into it more deeply.   

            So summer 2011 found me scouring the library bookshelves and vigorously searching the internet for anything and everything I could find on un-schooling, and primarily Catholic un-schooling.  The more I read about it, the more it made so much sense and yet ultimately, I decided it was not for us.  You can read more about my personal, internal un-schooling debate here and here.

            Summer 2012 proved to be a different kind of summer.  There was little time for reading and research as the children and I were busy, busy, busy with new and exciting projects.  And now, here we are at the end of our first week of school, after having jumped right in without much time for academic contemplation or intellectual preparation.  

            Now, in the midst of our initial studies of the new school year, I am once again looking at what works for us and what doesn’t.  This year, we have started school with a short first week and we decided to take it slow getting started.  I told the children not to worry about any workbooks or even textbooks or independent work this week.  We did all our activities together these first few days, concentrating on religion, art, and reading and we will ease into the more intense work of math, grammar, history, science etc….next week.  

Though, I still do not think I will ever take the plunge into a radical un-schooling approach, this week of more laid-back, hands-on, family-centered learning has been great!  

We have done art projects for the Feast of the Assumption and for the upcoming Sunday gospel on the Eucharist.  We have read aloud together quite a bit, finishing Andries (by Hilda van Stockum), the story we had been reading through the last few weeks of summer, checking out a few books on the city of St. Augustine, that we will be visiting in a few weeks, and learning about Eucharistic Miracles in fascinating “living books”.  We have written in our journals and drawn self-portraits, and decorated our notebooks for each subject.  In between the lessons I had planned, we have discussed hummingbirds and movie-making and the importance of family values.   

Altogether, it has been a wonderful start to our new school year….


  1. Congrats on the first week of school!!! It sounds like it was very rewarding!!!

  2. I can relate to this, Kari, and the excitement you're feeling. I really the enjoy the time we spend together and the read alouds, but the structured work is very stimulating for us all, too. Maybe, it's a question of finding our own balance?

    I hope you have a good second week!

    God bless, Kari:-)



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