When the kids were younger all of our schoolwork was unit study based and interest led. As my older kids began to reach middle school, and then high school I felt the need to prepare them for college so we opted for classical history and science curriculums.
I thought that the classical history and science curriculum was the best way to teach older kids. However, my kids were bored to death of the classical textbook format to history and were not retaining the material the way that they did when we took a more interest led and unit study approach to history. Last school year at the end of the year we finished our book early and did a few unit studies to finish out the school year. Those unit studies renewed their interest in learning history and they soaked the information up like sponges.
This school year we are doing things a little bit different and going back to our roots, well sort of. This year we are going to stay with the formal classical curriculums when it comes to math, writing, and science but for history we are going to do interest based learning.
This week we are learning about September 11th, as the anniversary of this day is this week. After this unit study we are going to learn about colonial America as we are going to visit Colonial Williamsburg in October. That trip will be followed up with a unit study about Lewis and Clark as our local history museum has an exhibit about the explorers we plan to visit as part of our unit study.
As you approach this new school year I encourage you to think about what is working in your school year and what isn't working. If something isn't working don't keep doing it because you feel like you have to, or because a homeschool how to book tells you that you have to. My advice is to follow the lead of your kids, and do what is best for them. Don't be afraid to do something different.
However, when making decisions you need to keep in mind your kid's future plans. My oldest daughter entered college this year, and is studying political science. Her career goal is not science or math based, so she could get by with a science program that was not so strenuous. However, my youngest daughter wants to be a vet, which is very science based. So for her a strong science program with labs is important.
I am linking this post up to the Hip Homeschool Hop at the Hip Homeschool Moms.