Lazy summer days allow for more time to dream. So I decided to begin putting my dreams on paper for our new school year, even though I only have a fraction of the books I need. I L-O-V-E to plan for school! I had the opportunity to send the boys to a day and a half of school this year, which has the exact same educational philosophy as I do, and they would simply send home assignments for me the other three and a half days. My husband helped me realized that I just couldn't get on board because I love to plan what we study! So, they are not going. It sounds crazy and control-freakish. But, it's not about control. I would love to give someone control of the many responsibilities that weigh heavily and swirl around in my head. No, the planning is the fuel that revs my home schooling engine. I'm just wired that way. It must sound crazy to those free-spirits out there, but I love a game plan.
So, I'm excited. Today I've planned what field trips we will take this year. I've planned Jaybird's history reading, history art projects, and our history read-alouds. Can you tell which subject is our favorite? (We are studying the early church and the Middle ages this year with The Mystery of History, vol. 2! So exciting! I have found historical fictions to read with almost every major person (mainly from the Veritas Press website and the Sonlight website). We are going to learn a lot and have a ball together. I found Jaybird's Apologia Astronomy book at a used book sale. But I am handing it over to Andy who will be teaching science to J this year. I firmly believe Jaybird is getting the best science teacher around and I'm so thankful!
I have also planned Toot's history/science unit studies for the year. He will not be tagging along with the Middle Ages and Astronomy with big brother. I'm following a strong conviction to let him learn other things. He will get one to two week snippits of all kinds of subjects like author studies, the weather, Reformation day, animal life cycles, Johnny Appleseed, the founding fathers, etc. I've planned his schedule down to the day, mainly using my old plan books from my days as a first grade teacher. We'll read a picture book on the topic and then do a hands-on project. It will be a big treat for both of us.
The most daunting and tricky task in my planning frenzy was making a schedule. I am flip-flopping from boy to boy like a frog. Next year I will not be combining any subject except Bible and our family devotions. But thankfully the boys are both strong readers and I have managed to have one doing an independent assignment while I work with the other one. I will be back and forth all day long! Lydie will be in preschool three mornings a week, and then in the mix the other mornings. She is very interested in learning her numbers, shapes, letters, etc. And she is playing independently with her vibrant imagination now, which will help next year.
Our school schedule makes my stomach hurt a little. I am going to be juggling many balls at once! But, we have tweaked our budget to allow me help with house cleaning. I am also going to get Tuesday mornings (boys taking extracurricular classes, Lydie in preschool) to be home alone. And, we are hiring a college student to come for three hours on Fridays so that I can run errands/ have time alone away from the house. I am thinking about meeting a friend for coffee once a month on Friday just to unwind and relax. So the busy schedule should be manageable as long as I have my time alone and help with the house. I definitely felt I was maxed out beyond my thresh hold for what I can handle this past winter and spring. I am very thankful that we can afford to modify things to relieve me of some time and responsibilities.
I am so jazzed about the year! It is never quite the way it seems "on paper", but I enjoy having an ideal to shoot for. So...back to the drawing board!
On the "planning" agenda next:
~Make a list of books we need (which means checking the library website for availability first)
~Start shopping with our garage sale money! Fun!
~Begin reading over "Prima Latina". Oh my goodness...we're diving into Latin. Yikes!
~Find a good geography cd-rom for Toot.