Thursday, September 3, 2015

New School Year!

Sometimes I can hardly believe that this will be my 3rd year homeschooling! At the end of summer, all I have are good memories of schooling... well, mostly. I open new books, get excited about all the things my kids will be learning... it's wonderful! Then, about 2 months in, I start to look at how many math lessons are left & get a little crabby. I'm hoping that due to some careful scheduling & a greater willingness to be flexible, I can overcome & feel less crabby, less like giving up.

Jovi is a lot more cooperative this year too. I'm really hopeful that she'll make my job a bit easier. We have some things scheduled that will help the kids moods too... we're meeting every other Thursday with a good friend & fellow homeschooler to do our history & grammar together. My friend & her kiddos are also involved in CC, so we will probably add in some geography & review time too.

Speaking of CC, I'm a tutor this year! And I'll have both boys in my class!! I think having them will be good - Cole could use the extra time to memorize as I prep, and Asher likes to know what's going on ahead of time, so he should enjoy that. My class will be small, and I already know most of the kids, so I'm not super nervous... I'm mostly prepped... I'm sure I will be crazy nervous the day before, but I'm glad to do it. While I know it'll be stretching, I think I need the extra push to get a little more organized & stay on top of things. And, I think I could use the additional experience for the long haul. I really hope to stick with CC through high school, so getting some tutor experience in at the lower grades will be beneficial for sure.

Let's see. What else? I guess I will give you a quick rundown of what we are using for the year!

Math - Saxon, memorization in CC
English Grammar - First Language Lessons, memorization in CC
Reading - All About Reading, random extra books I like or my kids like
Spelling - All About Spelling
Writing - Zaner-Blosser books, pre-scripts from CC for Asher
History - Story of the World (ancient civilization again this year)
Art & Science - mostly through CC, additional projects & books along the way, nothing incredibly formal

That list might look a little intimidating, so I'll give you newbies some encouragement...

We do not school more than 4hrs a day EVER! Usually, most days are 2-3hrs, and it's not all formal. We spend a lot of additional time where I read to the kids - devotionals, other classics or just books they enjoy. Here's our general schedule...

Monday - CC, art, 1 kid does reading in the late afternoon
Tuesday - math for both, reading for 1
Wednesday - math for both, spelling for both
Thursday - (every other) - MJ School (language lessons, history, writing) or Field Trips
Friday - math for both, reading for both

I will add in the language lessons, History, CC review & writing on random days where math is lighter for one or both of the kids.

Most of all, what will really help me this year is my willingness to change. I'm starting out with a very general plan for each day - not a real time-table, but just an idea. We'll see how it goes & test out some alternatives. I'm also planning to look at homeschooling more like a real job. I get "me" time later, not usually mid-day or mid-morning or just whenever I feel like reading. I hope laying this desire aside will help me be more content with the way things go, for better or worse! This is my job, it's normal to be challenging. And of course, if I desperately need a break, I will take it! But overall, I'm so thankful to have this job & not some other job. It has flexibility, great potential, rewards, etc. I can coast when I am weary, and I can be ambitious at any point I desire. And mostly, I get to be with my kids & see them grow before my eyes. They are really fabulous & make my job more than worthwhile.

So, here are my boys, ready for another year! They are mostly willing, mostly excited & only whining a little about math. Stay tuned for updates & to hear our adventures & challenges - good luck with your own school year!!

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