Having nearly reached the halfway point of our school year, I thought I would share our current thoughts on Moving Beyond the Page. In past years, I've always found myself looking at different curricula shortly after the new year, eyes always open for the next best thing that's going to miraculously pull us out of our homeschooling rut. Good news! Things will be different this time, as I'll just need to simply order the next age range for each of my girls. End of post. Well, not really.
Rather than giving you a rehash of my first Moving Beyond the Page post, I thought I would give you a little peak into our homeschool last year and how we ultimately settled with MBP. Let me just come right out with it. Homeschooling last year was a bit of a chore. Yes, it was my fault. I mean, what was not to love? Writing, grammar, spelling, logic, latin, science, history, math, geography, reading, read-alouds. I think my anxiety level crept up a notch just typing that. Of course, we didn't do every subject every day, yet I had worked so hard and done so much research to gather what I felt were some of the best resources for each subject only to find my girls less than enthusiastic with my amazing choices. Mind you, my girls have never been the type to show any real excitement when all of the new homeschool materials start rolling in through the mail. Please tell me I'm not the only one who feels a bit envious of those homeschooling blogs that photo document their children on box day (the official day when new homeschool materials arrive), eyes wide with wondrous anticipation and a huge grin plastered across their face. Not my house.
*Side Note* The last thing I want to portray in this blog is an inauthentic picture of what our homeschool really looks like. On any given day, there may be tears of frustration, eye rolls, heavy sighing, groans of anguish, and raised voices. Okay, maybe not the anguish part but definitely the groans. Admittedly, this is usually related to math. And yes, I regretfully include myself as an active participant in all aforestated emotions at one time or another when I should have been setting the stellar example! Such is life.
It quickly became abundantly clear that something had to give. At this point, unschooling was looking like a viable option for us. I truly love the idea of unschooling. Imagine it...the self-driven child spending hours in self-directed adventures and investigation for the sheer love of learning. (Why did the song "Strawberry Fields Forever" just pop into my head?) After copious amounts of reading and podcasts, my heart swelled with joy at the thought of loosening my grip on the reins of my children's education. I foresaw only two problems with unschooling, standardized tests and discussing it with my husband, the second of which bothered me the most. However, he was quite supportive. There was just one little question that he asked that gave me pause. "How do they know what they don't know?" True. How could I ensure that there would be no major gaps in their education? As is the case with most things in life, the answer for us was somewhere in the middle.
Ready and willing to let someone else do the planning for our next school year, Moving Beyond the Page thankfully fell into place for us. It can be as stringent or as relaxed as you want it to be. We're not unschooling, but this is undoubtedly the most relaxed school year we have ever had. Furthermore, I think they've done a great job of appealing to a variety of learning styles, which makes it a good fit for both of my girls. I can honestly say that this is the best school year we've ever had, and most importantly, my kids are happy...most of the time!