Next week I'll be setting about to wrap up our fifth grade year on paper. All year long I've been keeping a journal on the computer of what we've done; this blog has also served as a wonderful map as it has diagrammed our experiences, materials, and some of my crazy thought processes. Boy, I sure did worry some about math, didn't I? Perhaps that was wasted worried energy now that I look back. If there's one sentence I could utter to a new homeschooling parent, it would be, "don't waste too much time worrying - your child will get from point A to point B in his or her own way". And, "you can do it!"
In the journal I kept track of what we covered in various subjects, what books we read, which ones I read aloud to Max, how we each rated those books, and some of my thoughts. I also kept a three-ring binder with daily sheets that were used for planning and guiding him in his daily schooling. It was an objective to encourage him to work more independently and by the end of the year, he was definitely managing to work much better by himself. Last year in fourth grade I still spent a great deal of time with him or at least sitting near him at the table. Even though he is working more independently, he tends to try to complete his work quickly so that he can move on to other adventures (adventures that don't entail school work.....) And quick work doesn't equate to correct work most of the time. That's something we'll continue to strive toward in sixth grade - slowing down and concentrating!
I'm planning to write up a summary post to include what we covered during our fifth grade year. I'm sure it's going to look ridiculous all typed up, but in truth, it really flowed well as we followed our interests. We mainly concentrated on early American history and used that as a jumping off point, but I am easily distracted, so our rovings took us far and wide. I read somewhere that you can turn your blog into a book and have it printed as a record of your journeys; I would very much like to do that! Does anyone have experience with this endeavor?
Even though Max is finished with most of his work for the year (barring some math), I still have much to accomplish as far as wrapping it all up in a neat little package. There's something highly gratifying about this part for me! I crave living in order, but can never seem to find that place on the map! I've visited occasionally or have had brief glimpses of order from afar, but I tend to live out most of my days in creative chaos and befuddlement (population one billion, I'm sure......) Order sure is easy to find in magazines or books on home design, isn't it? I'll let you know if I manage to wrap up the year neatly and thoroughly so we can move on to next year and I'll try to share some of what we learned, both figuratively and literally!