Posted in extraschooling

Pause for Progress

Growing pains are part of the process

If you’re reading this, then you’ve already probably noticed something is different. Extraschooling has some things to learn too, and so there is a shift going on behind the scenes – and a little on the surface. There is a new appearance in town today: new layout, new colors, new style. Those who know me could tell you, I am no streamlined, modern-design kind of soul. I like color, quirkiness, and character. When I started this site, I quite frankly had no past experience and no idea what I was doing. I had been offline for years, enjoying new-motherhood. Extraschooling began rather by chance and I have worked with a scratch pad full of terms to learn as I run across them. Though it was not officially launched until Jan 29th, this site is a month old as of today – still a mere fledgling – but, as with all offspring, it has provided a steep learning curve. It is time to take it past utter-beginner-stage and move it to the next level.

This goes for more than just how it looks. There will be all kinds of rearranging going on as well. Right now it’s a bit clunky and needs some streamlining. My plan is to bring ideas together into more of a one-stop shop. I foresee that to mean creating categories (essentially typical school subjects) that will be linked to the Learning Ideas page, rather than just the random assortment of projects listed currently. When you choose a category, you will be linked to a page that brings everything together in one place: projects/experiments, facilitated lesson ideas, books and other resources, suggested materials/supplies, links to relevant items from the Extraschooling Facebook page, ways to involve or explore your community, and more. If you have read through any of the offerings on the Learning Ideas page thus far, you know I like to make lessons open-ended (see my feelings on that in the earlier post, “Join in the Journey“) and widely applicable. Therefor, they will be linked anywhere they are relevant, so you don’t have to hunt for where I might have decided to stash them.

Some things will be getting nixed. Book Nook may survive to see another day. The Favorite Resources page will be gone, as the items on it will instead be linked to relevant subjects. Until this process is complete though it will remain; same with the current lesson ideas. They will stay put until I can finish creating pages for them to reside on. The rebuilding will be done mostly in the background, so content can be accessed until the new layout is complete. Some things may appear a bit awkward for a while, so just bear with me as I am a team of one who still tries to give most of her day to the 5-year-old who inspires everything I do.

There will be an addition, too, I believe. Another well-known fact about me is that I love to be out in nature. Any nature. Just laying down in the grass is acceptable. For us, if there is a remotely mild day, life simply moves outside. Fresh air nurtures me, nature centers me, the woods are my home away from home. I think probably the biggest, most important shift that could be made in formal education would be to get more of it outside. So I plan on devoting a page to all things outdoors: activities, lesson ideas, interesting flora and fauna, places to explore – we’ll see where the path leads.

As always, I value input. You are the one reading, thus you are the one I am trying to reach; your opinion matters, and your insights are important. How do you feel about the new appearance, the layout concept, the plans for content? Do you have more you want to see? Do you have ideas or resources to share? I can’t promise I can incorporate any or all, but I can promise to look into suggestions and consider constructive criticism. I can fine-tune this site to meet my own specifications and preferences, but it is the sound of one hand clapping if it doesn’t interest or help anyone else – so please, communicate anything you deem important. I’m all ears!

In the meantime, thank you for joining me in my new journey, and I appreciate everyone’s patience as I tweak and readjust. Once the site is fully renovated I can return to adding content on a regular basis. My goal is to have most of the switchover done by the end of this month; wish me luck! See you on the other side – until then, you know the drill…

Happy exploring!

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”

– Gail Sheehy

Author:

Who am I? Foremost, the lucky momma of an amazing boy. To be perfectly honest, I am less his teacher than he is my inspiration - I have learned at least as much from him in the last seven years as he has from me. I am an old-timer at heart; I'd rather live on a farm, garden, crochet, and raise my kid out in the sun than anything else. I'm a bit of a technological dinosaur, more geared toward life where you can get your hands dirty and have some fun exploring, learning, and growing. I'm a homeschooled, homeschooling single parent with a passion for my son, nature, and the simple life. I am not here to pretend I know it all or lay out the research or provide a step-by-step game plan. I hope to encourage and inspire families to join in the journey of learning together - and have the fun that life is supposed to be made of along the way. Happy exploring!

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