Wednesday, September 16, 2015

All You Need Is Love...

Since summer and all it's fun is now officially over. (Boo!) I keep meaning to blog about my incredibly awesome and perfect homeschool plan for this year, but then I realize that I am so far from having it figured out--STILL, after 5 years of homeschooling. So instead, you are going to get a little bit of information about our curricula and "my plan" for the year, but a lot more about what I'm hoping to accomplish personally and as a mom.

This summer, I kept thinking, "I need to get things organized for our school year." And then I would sit down and do a few things and feel like I hit a wall, like I couldn't go on. I could not get into a rhythm or figure out the best way to do things. Don't misunderstand, the teacher in me ordered all of our curricula last spring. It wasn't that I didn't know what we were going to be doing, it was the how. The flow, the methods, the schedules, they just weren't coming together. And to be honest, it's still a work in progress.

This school year brings us a fifth grader (yikes!! I used to teach fifth graders, how do I have one?!?!) a third grader, a pre-Kindergartner, and an almost 3 year old. I could juggle 30 sixth graders, or 24 fifth graders, but each year that my own kids get older, I feel even less confident of my ability to juggle teaching them all well.

However, God is always faithful. Every year I have had something that has caused me to be fearful about homeschooling. Whether its been pregnancy, or a toddler giving up their morning nap, adding a commitment outside of the home, etc...I have been nervous of trying to find the new balance every single year. This year is really no different. And just like previous years, we are slowly finding our rhythms and working things out. It's still not quite as smooth as I would like, and the house is certainly not as clean as Pete would like--hee, hee! But we are making some great progress.
My Hobby Lobby find that now hangs front and center in our school room   
The biggest game changer has been my focus and attitude. The educator in me gets so caught up in the academics and routines, that sometimes I forget why we do this. It's so much more than the books we study, it the heart, the character not only of my kids, but my own heart. I kept coming back to LOVE. I need to model love to my kids. I need to help them figure out how to love each other better. I need to point them back to the best example of love--Jesus Christ. It's really all about love. Remembering that has really helped me to breath more freely.

A few other things that are making the year go smoother than I had anticipated:
~Jon is getting more independent in many areas of his work. This is huge!
~Sam continues to be one of the easiest kids I've ever taught--he is such a people pleaser, which is something that concerns me from time to time, but when it comes to school, it is a huge, I mean HUGE, blessing!
~Will is absolutely LOVING "doing school." He changes the calendar in our school room without me each day and often starts his workbook pages without me, too! It's been a lot more fun and a lot less fighting with him than I had been expecting!
~Miss Elisabeth. What or who is that? Our family's favorite babysitter/mom's helper! Elisabeth started babysitting for us once a week three years ago. Last year she started coming three times a week for just between 2-3 hours each time. She plays with Maggie and Will while I get some solid teaching time in with the older two boys. It is priceless. And thankfully, my tutoring at CC on Tuesdays pays me almost exactly what I pay her. How's that for perfect? She is going off to college next fall, so I am already beginning to mourn. She will be sorely missed.

If you made it this far, that's impressive. So what are we actually doing here?
Well, here's a quick run down for each kiddo:

Jon, Fifth Grade
Math: Saxon
Reading: literature based, novels that coincide with our history and/or science studies.
Spelling: Spelling Workout
Geography: Memoria Press Level 1
History: Classical Conversations (CC) and Veritas Press-Ancient World--Old Testament, Egypt, Greek and Roman History
Science: CC earth science and astronomy
English Grammar: Classical Conversations Essentials of English Language
Writing: Institute for Excellence in Writing
and more

Sam, Third Grade
Math: Saxon
Reading: literature based, novels that coincide with our history and/or science studies.
Spelling: Spelling Workout
Geography: Memoria Press Level 1
History: CC and Veritas Press-Ancient World (see above)
Science: CC earth science and astronomy
English Grammar: Shurley English
Phonics: Explode the Code
and more

Will, Pre-K

Math: Pre-K workbook
Letters: Handwriting Without Tears, Get Ready for School
Phonics: Get Ready for the Code A
Will also attends Classical Conversations (CC) with us this year and is learning about ancient history, earth science and astronomy, and much more. He LOVES it.

No comments:

Post a Comment