I looked to our calendar the other day and realized that we are coming to the close of the school year soon, only ten weeks left. Most people will be done sooner than this, but we have to carry a bit more unconventional schedule around trips back home three times a year. So we are approaching our spring break in the first week of April, which will be followed by the final 9 week session. I would be lying if I told you that I was not anticipating the end of the school year. By the time we have been stuck inside our house for three months or so of icky weather or so-so social activities, we all get a bit of cabin fever.
This year has been quite the whirlwind. Beginning the year, we were still fresh in our new home, and adapting to the new addition of a homeschool room, as well as the new addition of our little girl. At the end of our winter semester, we also added a new pup to our family, making us first time dog-owners. It was a year of firsts! However, it was our second homeschool year, and I can say as of now that it has been a success.
I love how easily we can transition from something that is not working into something that does work for us. At times, I have been able to figure out the source of the issue, and address it myself immediately, or at least plan out a change, and other times I have had to rely on input from my husband or mother. Either way, we have been able to rid ourselves of most of the issues we have faced, and we have been able to make huge strides towards a better result for all of us. This year has been great as far as moving forward towards what works best for us as a whole. Our first year of school was tough mainly because we were not prepared as far as curriculum went, as well as financially. We went through the year having to use what we had, whether it worked for us or not, and finally, half-way through the year we bought a printer, which saved me from the inevitable carpal tunnel syndrome! This year began with a full curriculum, and even in that, I made some changed with the way that we did things as we went. There are still some things that I consider to be shortcomings, but I am researching and searching for a better way to handle those obstacles.
So far, I have everything planned out for next school year- all of our books are here already, with the exception of math. I do have in mind what I would like to do for math, as well, though, I just have not purchased it. I'm excited about the new direction that we will be taking. After two years of feeling swamped by homeschooling, I realized (duh) that I am doing too much on my own. What I mean to say is, I am not allowing enough independent work to be done without my instruction. Up until now, our curriculum has not allowed for independent work; I have had to teach each subject so the children could get what they needed information-wise out of it. Next year, I am happy to say, that each child will have their own Reading, Science, and English books. I've also chosen to go with Teaching Textbooks for Math, which is a computer based, self-led learning tool. I will still be teaching most subjects, but I will not be spending every living second teaching them, walking them through each step, etc, like I have been. This will solve the problem of too much ungraded paperwork piling up on me, since I can be checking papers as they come back to me, as opposed to having to wait until recess or after school because I have to keep going to the next subject, and the next subject, and the next subject, and so on. Also, the greatest thing of all, is that Teaching Textbooks is a self grading software! Can I even show the level of excitement over NOT having to manually check Math papers??
So here's to ten weeks left of school, and the budding potential of summer!