Our lives have been overrun this month with the Future City competition. It's this weekend in Seattle and I'm ready to have it all over. But in the midst of this chaos, we've managed to make a few other changes to JW's learning plan.
I've been simmering on this idea for months, just waiting for the right time to present it to my son. I was so excited when I realized it was finally time.
So...I took a bunch of learning books: grammar, spelling, math cirriculums, history books, etc... and laid them in front of my son. Then I had him choose which ones in each subject he was willing to do or that looked interesting to him. I then got his book group books for him and told him to go around the house and choose 5 more books from our shelves that he wanted to read. We set up his desk as his "study station" using all of learning materials he had used.
Then I told him the plan. He can choose each morning if it's a study day (Scholar day...whatever you want to call it) or a family day. If he chooses a family day it just means he chooses to follow the family schedule, join us for family learning time and read aloud, and accomplish his set of study goals (made earlier in the month). If he chooses a study day he is required to study 3 hours using the materials in his study station plus practice piano (at least 45 minutes each day). As time goes on these hours will increase, but starting out, this appears to be enough. He then needs to record what he did during those few hours in his calendar and report to Mom or Dad. It has been exciting to watch his enthusiasm for learning increase! When he chooses a study day he actually talks to me with interest in his voice rather than just a, "Yeah, I did it" response.
One other aspect of the study day is that he chose one major household job and has complete stewardship over that job. So each day looks something like this:
Family scripture study and breakfast
Go down and study for 1 1/2-2 hours
come up to make lunch for the family & clean up the lunchtime kitchen
Go back down to study for another 1-2 hours and practice piano
Rest of the afternoon is free
If all goes well here, I can see this working for my other kids as well as they get older. For now, they're all enjoying the family schedule.