Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

It’s been over a month since I last wrote a blog post and with good reason. A lot has happened! I’m almost seven months pregnant and we started our basement renovation project. I’ve also reevaluated how we homeschool (again) and will be making minor tweaks to our process (again). Yes, our homeschool is a living, breathing entity that takes humility, honesty, and a willingness to admit defeat and start anew — several times a year if need be. That has been my experience, at least.

Here’s what my oldest sun has been up to over the past month or so:

  • He began the Hooked on Phonics first grade level and will be finishing it today. It only took two months to complete the entire level and would’ve taken less time if I was more consistent.
  • He reviewed and completed several math sections on IXL.com’s kindergarten curriculum. I started him at the kindergarten level because it reviews a bit and then picks up where we left off last year.
  • He has slowly been working through the first unit of Moving Beyond the Page’s first grade curriculum. We like the curriculum, but it requires me to work with him one-on-one, and I haven’t carved out the time like I should have.
  • He has been building with Legos and drawing a lot more than usual. I think his watching Minecraft videos on YouTube boosted his creativity. Hey, whatever works!
  • We’ve been reading Charlotte’s Web and have a few more chapters to go. He has enjoyed listening to me read aloud, and I’ve enjoyed reading the book again. I haven’t read it since elementary school!

Sadly, my phone’s camera hasn’t worked for the past month, so I don’t have many pictures. But, here are a few, and a mean a few, pictures:

As for what’s to come in 2015, that’s where I’ve been busy. Rethinking our homeschool approach has led to clarity which has led to one big change for me — getting organized, homeschool-style. Normally, being organized comes second-nature to me, but, baby, homeschooling has been a beast of another kind. It took being halfway through year two to realize that my approach needed to change to set us up for success. With that realization, I got planners (one for myself and one my sun), streamlined our subjects, and am scheduling breathing room throughout the year.

Here’s where we’re going in 2015, starting in January:

  • We will have school four times per week like before, but will begin using a five weeks on, one week off approach. This new approach will allow me to plan five weeks at a time, rather than planning much farther in advance, which I found overwhelming.
  • I will plan the next five weeks during the one week time off. The breather should be welcomed by all!
  • I’ll convert the plans I make into a daily to-do list for sun and add it to his planner. He’s big into knowing what is expected of him and using a simple planner should help with that, as well as teach him how to accomplish goals.
  • The subjects we will cover are math and grammar (4 times per week), Spanish and Moving Beyond the Page (3 times per week), art, science, and history (1-2 times per week), and mindfulness (yoga, meditation, etc.) and life skills (chores, cooking, etc.) (anytime).
  • Another change is that Dad is going to teach math, and for that I am grateful! I will prepare the lessons and he’ll be responsible for teaching them. Math is not my strong suit, so having him do it is a blessing. Plus, it gets him involved in the schooling and lets our oldest learn from another teacher besides me.

Having this plan is progress, people. I felt like we had one before, but, looking back, I was flying by the seat of my pants, which didn’t bode well for any of us. It left me stressed and not in the best mood for teaching or anything else for that matter. My goal is to have him ready for second grade work by mid-summer, even with a new baby on board. We shall see!

2015 holds a lot of changes for my family and our homeschool, and I look forward to all of it! I hope all is well with all of you, and we wish we the happiest of holidays!

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