Homeschool/Unschool Update 2020-2021
It's been a few years since I gave an update on what we are using, and there is a reason for that - we have been unschooling for a long time. Over the last few years, we continued copywork, used some textbooks from Rod and Staff, and Power Homeschool courses, but by and large, we've been unschooling. I like to make sure that my children have a strong foundation in literature and classical history and critical thinking when they're younger, reading from classic books and copying good literature. Then, as they get older, they get to work on projects of their choosing and develop their own gifts and strengths.
This fall, I have one graduated 18 yr old, a junior (turns 17 in January), a freshman (turns 15 this December), and a seventh grader (turns 13 this November).
Both of my older sons have been working about 3 days a week up at our screenprinting shop and also listing products on eBay for a friend's business. I'm glad that they don't have to work a traditional job with full time mask wearing and ridiculous safety restrictions. I think it is such a blessing to be able to offer our kids employment opportunities. Our business income has been reduced by 50% this year due to school having closed earlier in the spring, since we normally do a lot of work during that time.
They have learned so much over the last year about various political issues - election years are a nightmare! We have had so many good meaty conversations about morality, what it means to be a man, etc. I see that they are growing in wisdom and beginning to bear fruit from all the seeds I have sown over the years. I'm happy that they are beginning to follow some conservative voices on social media, and they talk to me about memes and videos they see.
My youngest son (7th grade) is doing Veritas Press self paced history program, 1815 - Modern. He is a really smart kiddo. He has a Fiverr account and creates custom pixel art. He has a natural knack for graphic design, and I am encouraging him to develop those skills. He currently uses Paint.net to design, but as it uses layers, I think he will have an easy time switching over to Photoshop. Sometimes I have him color in Dover history coloring books to develop fine motor skills since he doesn't do much on paper.
|He recreated this game art pixel by pixel|
My daughter (9th) is a free spirit and stubborn. She does NOT like traditional schooling but is bright, witty, and a good writer. Her passions are birds (she has cockatiels, parakeets, and ducks) and she knows a lot about their care. She is working on a bedroom redesign and researches decorating. She's into playing Fortnight with her friends, and going to her church youth group. Jewelry making, crafts and doing nails are also ways she spends her time. We are still figuring out her niche as far as a skill developing project for the year in addition to the copywork and math practice she does. We have plenty of time to think about it, but she is interested in cosmetology school.
|She likes photography and took these pics on her iPhone|
My 11th grader is going to focus on learning music for the last years of his schooling. I'm investing in a keyboard and learning program, and have been teaching him how to play guitar. I'm also looking for drum classes for him. His brother also wants to learn music, so I think that's where we will spend a lot of focus. He builds computers for us, and has built himself a really nice gaming setup. We might also get him a course on phone repair. He's trade school bound (computer repair, HVAC or electrician) so I'm not stressing about his academics.
My oldest graduated in May. Because of the plandemic, any possible post-high school options have been put on the back burner, and he needs more time to figure his path out. He is really interested in live streaming, and voice acting but knows that I will be requiring that he learn some type of vocational skill. He wanted to enroll in a dental assistant program,and he still might go that route later on. He loves to play Dungeons and Dragons with friends, and does a lot of research on planning campaigns and characters. We also work on cosplay together; I am helping him sew a Mandalorian costume of his design. He is painting the armor and helmet. He and I will also be starting an online shop for shirt mockup photo downloads, and it will be his stream of income.
|His table at our homeschool graduation|
We will continue to be a part of our local homeschooling group, playing soccer in October and in the spring. We have monthly themed meetings, park days, and hang outs for the teens. I will be hosting video gaming hangouts at my house as well.