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Student Learning Plans

little girl with a fuzzy caterpillar

This week we have a meeting with our supervising teacher to go over our learning plans for the upcoming year. Because yes, even though we homeschool and our daily life looks like any other homeschooling family, Bea is technically enrolled at the local school. We learn at home through a special arrangement called Distributed Learning, and so we are still pretty much accountable to the school board for meeting the provincial learning outcomes.

I’ve been making lists, ordering books and supplies, and planning the structure of our week to allow for the right mix of at-home and out-and-about time, as well as balancing parent-suggested activities with kid-suggested ones. I’ve been thinking about what kind of projects the girls might enjoy working on this year, and wondering what new passions and obsessions will arise in the months to come.

Late one night, I impulsively bought some books for myself. And you know what, I’m going to write up a student learning plan for myself too. Because life learning isn’t just for kids, and it’s important to walk it if you’re going to talk it, right?

Life Learning for Everyone

Elevate the Everyday: A Photographic Guide to Picturing Motherhood – One of the things I want to learn more about is how to take great photographs. One of my roles in this homeschooling/homemaker gig is documentarian, and if I’m going to be taking photos of the kids working on projects anyway, why not take really awesome photos? Photography is an interesting thing to practice anyway, because there are always opportunities to take the camera out and try out a new technique.

This book is very pretty to look at and has lots of very inspiring mini essays about documenting motherhood, but it’s a bit lighter on the technical side of photography than I was expecting. Even so, I still haven’t quite mastered all the technical stuff Tracey has included, so I’ve still found lots of inspiration for practice in Elevate the Everyday. It’s a good fit for my particular skill level.

Project-Based Homeschooling – I was inspired to order this book because of a really amazing review, and even though I am only a few pages in I have not been disappointed. I honestly can’t wait to read more of this one.

If your child deserves to learn at his own pace and have his own ideas, so do you. Whatever you champion for your child, make sure you also give it to yourself: the right to follow your own path, work at your own pace, follow your own interests, make mistakes, and try again. Whatever you want for your children, you are far more likely to help them achieve it if you live it yourself.

This is the heart of the Playful Self-Discipline project I lived and wrote about for a year, and I’m so excited to see how these ideas play out in terms of inspiring learning, challenging my kids to push the boundaries of their knowledge while stretching myself to learn and do new things. Like write and launch an ebook, for example. I’m nervous, but I’m doing it!

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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • patricia September 10, 2012, 9:15 am

    Thanks for linking to my review, Michelle! It’s a fantastic book, isn’t it?

    I love your idea about writing your own student learning plan! That’s how you show a kid that having a learning plan is valuable. Go for it with that e-book!
    patricia´s last blog post ..homeschool writing

    • michelle September 11, 2012, 9:36 pm

      Thanks Patricia! It really is a great book – I think I am going to go back and read it again right away. :) So much of it falls into the “of course!” category, but then knowing something makes sense and knowing how to put it into action in my life with my particular kids is a whole ‘nother process of experimenting and learning.

      I read Rene’s post today about how her reading and writing tend to be at the edge of her learning and personal growth, and I think that is very much true for me right now. I’ve got some interesting big picture questions to ponder, and my girls have got glitter glue and pastels within easy reach. They made several glittery pastel drawings right away. :)

  • Lori September 11, 2012, 2:18 pm

    thank you, michelle! (and thank you, patricia! ;o)

    michelle, if you have any questions while you read the book (or after), be sure to e-mail me or check out the forum on my blog. it sounds like our philosophies are simpatico. :)
    Lori´s last blog post ..In which I am interviewed on Rhythm of the Home

    • michelle September 11, 2012, 9:19 pm

      Thanks Lori! I gobbled up the book in a day or two and now it’s “simmering” away in my brain. :) I didn’t know you had a forum on your blog, I’ll check it out.

      I agree – our philosophies do seem very much aligned! I’m looking forward to reading more on your blog…

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