I like having a plan of what we are going to achieve in our home education. I like knowing where we are going but I have always said that I pencil plan. That might sound strange but what I mean is everything is written out in pencil so it can be easily changed – and I mean that figuratively and literally. As much as I love having a plan I also resent it for the simple reason that following your plan can restrict you and it can prevent you from diving into the topics that your kids enjoy. And for me that is a joy of home education, being able to jump into whatever topic or subject it is that your kids find fascinating and inspiring.
My oldest is year 8 (well if she was in school she would be in year 8) and she has already identified two possible courses that she might like to follow later, both of which require exams. Which means we know that GCSE’s and A levels are sitting somewhere on the horizon (although I am going to state that both my husband and I are not fussed about her having to write them in the exact same year that school kids do). But we know that they are there. So I have been doing more detailed planning to try and make sure we are covering the subjects that we need to. (I am going to be sharing some posts and links about that). I want to make sure we working in the right direction and that we do not not leave stuff to the last minute as my daughter hates feeling rushed.
But then yesterday, our first day back from a lovely two week Easter break where I spent a lot of time reading and planning and figuring out what to do when and in what order. Our first day back and already plans got thrown out. Her younger brother was doing some European Geography and she happened to join in and then happened to ask some questions, which well, all three of us found interesting and guess what. Plans changed. Last night I hopped back onto the internet did some searching found some things to read and activities for them to do. Yes my carefully plotted plans, making sure I cover everything that I wanted got changed yet AGAIN.
But that is okay. Changing plans to follow a question, an interest means the kids are engaged, enjoying what they are learning. Yes Tangents happen – we can go from looking at the countries in Europe, to Biomes, to which dinosaurs lived in Europe, to how some ruler did something way back when, all in one session (which is why I drink so much tea and coffee so I can keep up with the two of them and their questions). But it is all because the kids are engaged, involved, asking questions that they genuinely want to know the answers too.
And yes I had not planned on this new Geography topic. But guess what, I was planning on doing graphs in Maths and this new Geography topic slots really well in with some graph work. It also fits in with some books they kids have been reading, it fits in with our History and I know I will be able to get some interesting writing activities out of the kids.
And yes my pencil plans have been rubbed out and rewritten, tweaked, adjusted whatever you want to say. But for now I am going to enjoy the fact that both kids are excited about learning.