I’ve found that as my kids got older, they wanted to learn more on their own. Once I taught them to read, they could each explore things they’re interested in. Well, they could do some of that even before they could read because the older ones would read to the younger ones.
But I have kept doing “together” school with the oldest 6, who are 19, 16, 14 and 12, 10 and 9. And it mostly involves reading a good historical fiction book, missionary biography or historical non-fiction book to them. We almost always have at least one read-aloud going. Our main goals each day are to pray together and share anything the Lord has been speaking to us and put our spiritual armor on and to read the read-aloud. I have relaxed lessons with the younger ones as things come up during the day, and as the Lord gives me ideas. I have 10 kids all together, so I have to take things as they come. I can’t make my baby nap right when I want her to or my 3-year-old sit still and be quiet when I’m reading to the older kids. If I try to structure things a lot, I get frustrated and angry and upset. Things rarely go the way I plan. So I leave things loose and trust God to take up the slack for me.
I have Math curricula for each level (Teaching Textbooks for 3 of them), and I check with them to make sure they’re moving along in them. They each have areas that they like to study. They use the Internet. My oldest listens to audiobooks from Librivox, and he has listened to many Classics that way. If they want to know something, they research it. My oldest son is doing Geometry now, on his own. He’s using Life of Fred. He’s studying Chemistry because that is the subject he chose. He doesn’t like Biology, but he did Apologia Biology last year, because I asked him to. Last year, his main area of study was the Bible. That was what he chose. He is a very responsible, advanced, intelligent young man. He helps me so much with the younger kids. I couldn’t do it without him.
My parents used to wonder about what I was doing with the kids. We live far from them now. They came to visit a while ago, and they were very impressed with our oldest son. They were impressed with his respectful attitude and his willingness to work. They are now saying good things about my kids. They used to just not say much of anything. I think they still wonder about us not being on the same time schedule as the rest of the world, but it’s okay. If my son doesn’t want to graduate from homeschool at the end of this year, I’m not going to make him. Having another year with him will be just fine with me.