I've really been pondering how much structure do I need to impose on my kids' education. I generally like to be a structured and organized person, but I'm having to learn flexibility because of my headaches. But, I'm also wondering how much structure is best for my children and their learning.
I have been reading a lot about unschooling and I'm very attracted to the idea of allowing kids some leeway in the choice of topics of education. [Note: I am not at all supportive of the idea of "unparenting", but there are plenty of Christian unschoolers who believe in providing discipline and guidance for their kids but allowing lots of room for choice in education.] Do children need to study science and history all the time? Would it be OK if we focused on history for awhile and then went on to a science topic? When does a child need to learn to write an essay? And on and on.
I am convinced of a few things. Wild Man needs to continue structured reading education until he is fluent with the written word. I want both kids to do math on a regular basis (btw, they're both doing ALEKS math on the computer and loving it). I love the Sonlight books and their organization.
Ga'Hoole Girl is almost 13 years old. I think she and I can start discussing thinks that she can take over. She is already taking responsibility for doing her Bible and History reading and writing assignments. Maybe we can talk about lightening up on some things to allow her to work on projects that are important to her - cooking, computer programming, piano. As Wild Man develops new interests, I can help him find ways to learn about them. Both kids want to learn to fence, so one of my current projects is to figure out how to get them fencing lessons.
In any case, I'm not ready to allow the kids to completely take over their education. But, maybe it's time to start loosening the reins a little bit and giving them some room to stretch their wings, educationally speaking. We'll just have to see what happens.