The Way We Do Things: Homeschool Flexibility
I was sitting here this morning, looking over our school books, realizing that this is going to be a long year. We’ve pretty much schooled year around since we started, because I just operate better with a solid routine. Long breaks cause me to loose my *UMPH* which is exactly where I am right now.
The last couple weeks, my Mama was in town, and we really didn’t do much school unless it was “review school” with products I promised to use and review with the kids. Now that Mama has headed home, I need to get back to the books, but my goodness, is it hard to get back into the routine.
This fall, I’ll be packing up our home, and our kids, and moving all of us to the other side of the world. Then, Christmas will come, and our stuff will probably be on a boat somewhere in the middle of the ocean, and I will be in a hotel, or who knows where else.
I’m not even going to attempt to homeschool during that. Well, maybe I will, but if I do, I am going to be doing it with online programs, iPad apps, and other programs I don’t have to carry in a suitcase (if you have ideas for me, that will tide the kids over for about 3 months, let me know!).
In the meantime, I have to get down to work. Spring break is OVER y’all, and I am ready to rock school up until the fat lady sings (or, the movers come and steal my books).
That being said, I do have tentative plans together for “what’s next” on the agenda. It’s kind of funny looking at what I am doing now, compared to the kinds of things I thought I would be using when we started out homeschooling. My tastes have changed a little, but I am excited to see the evolution of the way we do things.
Bug will be moving on to the next level in a lot of the programs he is using now. He’ll be using Oak Meadow 4 as the main core (I am SO excited to be bringing you another review in the upcoming months). He’s currently using Teaching Textbooks 5 (which I said I would never use), and is thriving on it. We’re moving on from Prima Latina this week to the Latin Road to English Grammar, and we’re working on writing skills with Writing and Rhetoric from Classical Academic Press. Lastly, he’s working on Nancy Larson Science 2, which we both love. Now, we don’t *need* to do all these things with Oak Meadow, and I haven’t seen 4 yet, so we’ll see how the balance works out. Most of these programs are just a continuation of where we already are doing, so I am confident we’ll have a great year!
Mr. Man on the other hand, is a little harder. We’ve been using Singapore 1, and have made very little progress with it this year. I feel like we have talked about the same concepts again and again, and his motor skills just aren’t good enough for the workbook, and the instructions just don’t work for him. Which is a little sad, because I love Singapore Math! It’s a little frustrating because I know my little man is so smart, and so capable, but finding the right math fit for him has been very hard. I am debating ordering Right Start Math for him, or maybe using Saxon 1, which I already have on my shelves. Either way, I need something a little more scripted with more manipulatives. I don’t really know what I need. Maybe he just needs more time.
Language Arts are going really well for him. Logic of English Foundations is still an amazing fit. I’ve slacked off a little with the games and the fun, but I need to find a renewed since of fun, and get back on it. Both of us NEED the fun. He’s started doing copywork each day with me, which is how I started Bug on writing too. He just does 2-3 simple sentences a day, typically something like “Mr. Man is a cool kid.” or “Today will be a great day” or “Pluto loves to play with me” (Pluto is the cat). I try and pick things that will make him smile, and are simple enough to build his confidence. Most of the time, I let him decide what we want to write for the last sentence.
Now that Mr. Man is 6, I want to add in some more FUN, content subjects with him. For Kindergarten, we focused on reading and math, but he’s ready now for more. I’m considering Oak Meadow 2 as a core (we did Oak Meadow 1 loosely for K, so repeating it with more focus is also an option), and I think I am going with Nancy Larson Science for him as well. I have Nancy Larson 1, but I kind of think I need to get Nancy Larson K for him as a more gentle start.
Clearly, I have some decision to make about Mr. Man.
Little Miss is continuing with Mother Goose Time Preschool for as long as possible. Mr. Man tags along with her lessons too sometimes, and it’s SO much fun.
Mostly though, we’re just staying flexible. We’re doing reviews as unit studies as they come, and swapping out things that aren’t working for things that work better as they come to us. We’re having fun. We’re playing outside in the sun, and we’re traveling when possible.
And, that’s that for us. I have my fingers crossed that I can stay focused, and complete as much as humanly possible before we move, so I don’t have to feel overwhelmed WHEN I move.
Speaking of overwhelmed, one last question for all my homeschooling friends, who are probably experts about all these things. We’re moving to an area that requires portfolios and immaculate records and all that jazz. Do I need to start those records now since I am moving mid-year, or do I wait until I get there to worry about it since I have no requirements here?
So much to worry about, and so much to be excited about right now!
Good luck with your move! More wonderful adventures await you! I don’t know specifics about the state laws where you’ll be, but there’s no reason you would need a portfolio from now. When you move there in the fall, then you’ll file your affidavit and only then would you be accountable for the work.