Friday marked the end of week 1 of our 2010-2011 school year.
I know…we started on July 19. It sounds crazy, but I have good reasons; good reasons which all add up to we needed something to do.
First, the kids finished the summer swim team season. Without three hours spent in the water every day, I needed something for us to do. Second, stepping outside is like stepping into a furnace; the temperatures have been near or over 100 degrees. The kids can only play outside early in the morning or as the sun is setting. I need the option of sending my kids outside to play during the day, but the weather has made that nearly impossible. All five of us being inside almost all day means that we need something to do. Third, starting early helps me. An early start gives me plenty of time for needed breaks and to get our 175 days completed.
So we started.
I think the kids must have been ready to start, too, because they didn’t complain at all. One child provided one little episode, but that was dealt with quickly and we didn’t have a repeat.
If you’re a regular reader, then you may be interested to know that all of those things I was using to stay organized last year didn’t work in the long run. By the time January rolled around, those tools and helps only caused me more stress. For this year I’ve decided to go back to what I did the first two years I home schooled: a simple notebook with everything I need. A more seasoned home schooler gave me a great tip: make copies of each book’s Table of Contents pages and note the date we complete each lesson. This is so much easier than writing everything down! I wish I had thought of it years ago.
I didn’t make many changes in our curriculum this year. I was tempted to switch from Sonlight to Tapestry of Grace for history and reading, but decided that I didn’t want to learn a new system. Plus, Karl noticed that many of the teacher study notes come straight out of an encyclopedia. Why pay for something that I already own?
Shurley English has worked well for everyone for grammar, vocab, and writing. I’m not about to change now.
Saxon Math is still my favorite. Choosing Saxon may be the one decision I have never doubted.
Spelling Workout for spelling. This is a change. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone as I change spelling curriculum almost every year. SW is one that I used in the very beginning with Hannah. She liked it then, and I never should have switched. My children enjoy the word puzzles and writing assignments, and I like not having to make up my own.
AOP Horizons Health — this is one that the kids seem most excited about. They are also really happy about what I chose for PE this year: each day they can choose between jogging on the treadmill, jumping on the trampoline, or the 30-Minute Shred. Hannah is on the volleyball team this year, so we have also started enjoying bumping the volleyball in the backyard, too.
Another homeschooling friend of mine told me about LifePacs. We are going to try one of those for Science this year. Plus, we have dozens of resource books and field guides.
MCP Maps workbooks and Geography Songs are for map-reading and globe-trotting.
Rosetta Stone — EVERYONE is enjoying Spanish!
I’ll try to take some pictures of the kids doing their work this week and share them in the next recap.