I attended the FPEA (Florida Parent Educators Association) Homeschool conference
over Memorial Day weekend. It was great to be around other homeschooling families and hear some sessions on hot homeschool topics. But the most important part of the conference is the exhibitor’s hall. That’s the place where I get to touch all the manipulatives, flip through all the workbooks and get my hands on the materials. The interesting things about this
1) I’m going to be homeschooling all 3 of them (for the first time).
2) I’m looking for a lightweight, travel-friendly, minimalist approach
She’s an interesting case. She is 12 at the time of this post and already has several high school credits. We had talked seriously about preparing her to dual enroll early. She’s technically going into 8th grade but has already finished her freshman year of high school. This year’s completed coursework looks like this:
- American History
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Computing for College and Careers
- Spanish 2
- IEW (for Writing)
- Progeny Press Literature Study
While she is really on-level in math, she’s ahead in a lot of other areas, especially her areas of interest. The truth is, she could take a “gap year” right now and be no worse for the wear. If we were stationary this year, she’d probably be taking Honors English 2, Biology, World History, etc.
Our approach with her this year is going to be more of an internship mixed with cultural experiences and math. Math is not a subject we can forego. So we plan to utilize an online course for math that can be completed with her computer (and no books). Her Internship is going to include entrepreneurial work. She will be shadowing her dad’s work for web design and programming as well as daily writing. For cultural experiences, we plan to try to immerse her in local activities and opportunities she might not otherwise get at home. Want to study Chinese brush painting? Let’s find an artist in Chengdu that she can take a class with. She’s also an avid reader, so Kindle Unlimited is going to be her best friend when we travel. If she takes her internship seriously, this will be the route for school. If she uses it to create an abundance of non-school time and too-much screen time, then we will hit the books harder.
Cielo & Chichi
I am planning to combine a lot of their schooling this year. Chichi just turned 6 and Cielo is 7 (going on 8). They are 21 months apart, but I think I’ll be able to work with both of them in a few subjects.
- Story of the World. Audiobooks make travel nice and light and I think I can get a pdf version of the student
work pages. If that’s the case, we can listen to the history and I can reference the PDF to ask them questions (and they can write in their journals). I’m planning to go out-of-order and study whatever history relates to our current location.
- Journaling. Both the littles will have a journal to keep. They can write about our daily travels, answer history questions in their workbook, and even use it to scrapbook anything along the way they want to keep.
- Pen Pals. Both girls will be writing letters to send home. This will be part of their writing practice and they can send mail to their friends and family.
- Passport to the World and Children’s Atlas of God’s World (Geography). I found the workbook accompaniment for this geography study at the FPEA conference for just $10. The textbooks are available on Kindle.
- Worldbuild Online. This is 2nd grade and up, so Cielo will be the only one using this program. This is designed to build vocabulary to strengthen her reading skills.
- Sequential Spelling. This is an ipad app. Another gem I found at FPEA. I’m planning to use this with both the littles.
- Math Apps. Currently, we use Splash Math. I think if I level them both up, we should be able to continue to use this app.
- Progeny Press Literature Study. I used this at a high school level with great success last year. This year I found books like Oscar Otter and Sarah, Plain and Tall for the little people to read. I really like the study guides because it helps me with questions to ask and creation of a discussion.
I realized that I have probably overplanned. I wouldn’t be ME if I wasn’t buying all the things that I can’t possibly ever get to.
But I can try!
In all seriousness, we won’t be doing all this stuff every day, but it gives me enough to pull from so I can make sure we are touching on all the right things and getting school done on the road.