This week, the ladies of iHomeschool Network have asked me to list out the Top 10 reasons why I am excited about the upcoming school year.
And here are my answers in no particular order.
1. Change is a comin'.
2-10. See #1.
Ok...ok...so that is not a very exhaustive list. But the truth is, my excitement can be summed up in one simple word...
If you count a very academically inclined preschool year for Sweetie Pea, I have been homeschooling for the past five years. And although each year has been different simply because my kids have continued to graduate to the next grade level, much of our schooling has remained the same. I have been very pleased with our curriculum choices, school-day schedule, and extra curricular choices...but, sometimes a change is needed to add some "skip back in my step."
So I guess my list would be better entitled...Top 10 Changes for the New School Year.
1. Our co-op will be saying "adios" to the book club theme.We are in the very beginning planning stages of putting together a World Geography club. Geography has been something that a few of us, myself included, have put on the "I'll get to it tomorrow" list. Unfortunately, tomorrow has never come. We have hopes of incorporating some international flair with a bi-weekly look at different cultures, international mission fields, and map studies.
2. Spelling will have jazz hands.
Up until this point, I have used ABeka's spelling series. And although Sweetie Pea is at grade level for spelling, it is not a subject she even REMOTELY enjoys. I have never been the type to simply "jump ship" on a curriculum simply because my child does not enjoy it. If that was the case, I would be changing math curriculums every year. (What child truly ENJOYS long division?!) But, after I received her test scores from the annual achievement tests that are required by our state, I made the choice to look for something that would be more phonetically grounded. She excels far beyond her years in every other language-oriented subject. I have no doubt she has great spelling potential. I think we need to just "reboot" her spelling experience. After talking with a few veteran homeschool moms, I have decided upon All About Spelling. We shall see...
3. Science will be home-brewed.
I have ALWAYS used Sonlight science and have really loved it! But, since I choose to teach science as a "group" subject to all my littles, I need something that can be easily adaptable to a wide range of ages. The next level of Sonlight that we are approaching has an early physics/chemistry bent and although I think Sweetie Pea would do just fine, I KNOW the boys would be lost. I have opted to devise my own unit studies using an out-of-print series of science books called The Question & Answer Books by David Adler (one of my favorite living book authors) as our core material. We will supplement with many other living literature-style books from the library.
4. History will be historical again.
After doing two years of American History and Geography, we took a pause last year to do State History. Unfortunately, because I could not find a ton of age-appropriate resources on the actual HISTORY of the state, our curriculum was a little hodgepodged. I am anxious to get back to our beloved Truth Qwest History. We will be diving head long into Ancient Egypt. Bring on the pyramids!
And since we're talkin' history...
5. History and science will be rotated.
Up until this point, we have done history and science EVERY day. But, towards the end of last year with the arrival of the Newbie, we started an every-other-day rotation and really liked it. We were able to devote more time to a science project knowing that we didn't have to ALSO do history that same day...and vice versa.
6. I have pared down my commitments.
After spending the last two years feeling quite overcommitted. I have slowly stepped down from all but one leadership/ministry commitment. I, by my very nature, like to maintain a level of "busy." Over the years I have volunteered for several leadership and supportive rolls in various ministries and have been GREATLY blessed by and have enjoyed all of these opportunities. But, there comes a point when even the "ministers" have to be ministered to. I don't think it was by accident that God instituted a pattern of sabbatical rest in a seven year rotation. I look back and see that my first large-scale leadership commitment was for a local MOPS group when Sweetie Pea was a one-year-old tot...seven years ago!
7. I will have a crawler again.
And doesn't that always bring a level of "excitement"?!
8. I will go from 3 to 4 learners at the school table.
I plan on doing a very basic preschool with Greased Lightening. It will be interesting to see how many plates I can spin at the same time. I have no doubt he will do great!...it's me I'm worried about.
9. We will NOT have a Bible time.
Huh?! Well, before you all send me some righteously angry emails, let me clarify. We will not have our organized Bible time in the morning as we have always done. I am really trying to put more emphasis this year on personal devotion time. So instead of doing a group Bible time and THEN a personal Bible reading, we will begin our day with personal devotions ONLY. This will give us a chance to save our group Bible lesson for the dinner table when the Hubs is home to join in the conversation. He will no longer read a bedtime Bible story...which has been his habit but which was a bit of a logistical challenge with bedrooms on three different levels of our home.
10. You'll be joining me on the journey.
I started this little on-line conversation at the end of the last school year. Since then, each week, more mommas have chimed in to share their homeschooling happenings. I am looking forward to a year filled with great ideas and encouragement from moms all around the globe.
Even with all these changes, there's no guarantee that the coming year will be successful, but one thing's for certain...it's sure to be memorable one!
When looking ahead to next year, what is most exciting to you?
Linking up with more "excitement" at Many Little Blessings.