Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thinking about homeschooling this fall...

Summer should be about relaxing, chilling out by the pool, fun and games.  But, as any homeschooling parent knows, it is also a time to start thinking about the fall and homeschool curriculum and planning!  This year, however, I am at a bit of a loss...my son is on the cusp of...I don't know what.  Yes, he's nearly 12 and that means lots of physical changes, but he also seems to be on the verge of something huge intellectually.  I see it, right there, just brewing under the surface.  But, what is it?  How to tap into it?  How to help him bring it out?  I'm at a loss.

I've been looking at homeschooling materials, curriculums, plans, and on and on but have yet to find anything that I think will truly tap into my son's desires, needs, and potentials.  Everything seems to be either just oh so easy - read: boring.  Or, so far above and beyond that I worry about his ability to really *get it* or about the possibility of burn-out.

Part of me wants to let go and let JP find his own way via unschooling (or, child-led learning).  He has concrete enough interests that I know he will learn more than I can possibly imagine.  But...I am not that courageous.  I don't doubt my son's ability to learn and pursue his passions, but I doubt my own ability to help him in those pursuits.  How do I help an 11 year old boy who is interested in nuclear energy?  In how atomic bombs work?  In all things warfare related (though he is a peace-lover)?  In computer everything?  I just don't know...

Sure, there is conventional wisdom like, "Go to the library!" or "You can find some great videos at..." or "Take him on field trips..."  Guess what?  None of that has been completely satisfying for him so far.  I could sign him up for classes but who has the money for that?  Not me...  I could send him to camps.  But again, with what money?

Right now I am feeling rather lost.  So, what is the plan for fall?  I have absolutely no idea...we'll figure it out when we get there...

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