A New Season for Homeschooling (Libraries of Hope and Outschool)

We have been unschooling for the past couple of years. I've been learning how to manage: the needs of having adult children who still live at home, a graduating senior this May, health stuff, and searching for a way to reclaim a home rhythm with cynical teenagers that will allow me to keep sane and balanced.

Unschooling is not my favorite. Maybe it could work for some very highly intrinsically motivated kids, but it doesn't go well for mine. I just don't think unschooling goes well when there's tech addiction. Yes, I absolutely believe smartphones/gaming/Youtube/Tiktok is addictive and will squelch the natural inclination of a person to learn, be active and enjoy nature. 

I've been praying and seeking the wisdom of God for my situation, and it always seems He leads me back to things I already found and know. He also has shown me how I overcommit. And if these horrible gas prices have any benefit, it's that I have to limit my driving for the foreseeable future. Also, I hate driving, and it leads me to the type of stress that may have contributed to my aforementioned panic breakdown.

Libraries of Hope lines up with my educational philosophy, and I had built up this small library of books before when my children were younger. I'm going to back to it. How lovely they look on my bookshelf. These books are curated and edited and the website offers rotation plans for using them. 

I ordered four more books today: Stories of Great Businessmen and Philanthropists, Stories of Great Inventors, Tales from the British Isles and Tales from Germany. I like the Great Stories collection because each chapter is a different person, and it's easy for my homeschooling planning when a chapter stands alone. Truth be told, we aren't a big novel family. I read fluffy novels on occasion. But it's always been hard to get some of my kids to persevere in a fictional story to completion. So homeschool methods that are heavy on the constant novel reading have not worked for us - as much as I admire them.

The plan is my kids will have to read a chapter from a few of the Libraries of Hope books (there's also nature, poetry, folk/fairytales etc), do copywork that I will write on the board each school day, and read the Bible. I have Rod and Staff math. 

I also have them enrolled in Outschool live online classes. Having a scheduled time when they are expected to log in has worked better for me than a self paced program. G has some classes on executive function and planning management for ADHD, IPad Procreate illustration, career planning and J is taking some drawing/sketching classes. 

We will have forest school on Wednesday mornings at a park where the curriculum is focused on outdoor survival skills. 

And if that's all we do, I'm fine with that schedule. They do want to meet new friends, so I'll plan some hangouts with other teens at least biweekly. They were enrolled in Monday classes in a homeschool enrichment program but it wasn't super useful for making friends, and the class content wasn't quite worth the drive/time. 


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