Thursday, July 11, 2013

School Thoughts

I rearranged my entire schedule so that today would be a free day.  Free from cleaning, free from errands, and free from .  I put dinner in the crockpot and hunkered down at the dining room table for a few hours of school planning.  

This coming school year has me in a mixed state of excitement and nervousness.   I'm adding a student this year.  Going from two to three students two years ago was a big adjustment (though I also had a 11 month old and had just moved to a new house).  Benjamin is excited about starting kindergarten, but he is such an energetic little boy who rarely stays still for more than a few minutes.  The thoughts of keeping his attention while I teach him to read and do simple math, while also challenging the mind of my 6th grader who is moving into longer, more complicated school days gets my heart thumping.  

While I fight back my nerves, I'm also really enthused about some new things on tap for our year.  I ordered new art workbooks that I know my kids are going to love and we're studying mammals in science like Maddie requested over a year ago.  I'm designing copywork sheets for Owen that tie into our study of US geography, plus I found a cursive copywork joke book for Gavin at a used book sale  that I know will be right up his alley! 

I get all jittery again, though, when I consider how to accomplish all I want to do. I want to be the mom who accomplishes much without losing my joy. I've been praying desperately for wisdom, peace, and clarity as I begin to plan our year which begins the first week of August.   I was inspired and challenged by another homeschool mom who wrote On Teaching From a State of Rest and I kept her words in my mind as I sat down to work today. 

As it turns out, about mid-morning we got heavy downpours and Brian came home from work early.  I mentioned to him that I had hit an organizational rut.  In the school cabinet in our dining room, each of the kids keeps a backpack or tote bag with their personal school supplies and books.  This year Ben needs his own bag and Gavin's books are too big to fit in his old bag and there is no way it will all fit in the cabinet space.  I told Brian that there was surely a solution but that I couldn't find it. He promptly looked at the shelves, offered suggestions, arranged a few things, and began a thorough afternoon clean-out of the whole cabinet.  We threw out broken crayons, old papers, a torn backpack, dull scissors, and completed workbooks.We decided to have the kids start keeping their bags in their bedroom closets and reserve the school cabinet for art supplies and books we read or study together.

By dinner time, I was not nearly as far along in my planning as I had hoped, but my mind is less muddled which is a good thing. 

Are you facing any challenges in your coming school year?  A new student?  A new baby?  Uncertainty or lack of direction? Let's encourage each other! 


  1. I'm feeling many mixed emotions with this upcoming school year. We'll be using Learning Adventures and moving away from HOD so I'm a bit nervous and equally excited about the whole thing. There is always that wonder about what will my kids learn, will it be enough, will I be able to do it, etc. Thank God, most literally, for His grace!!

    Have you settled on curriculum yet?!

  2. I have made my decisions now! I'll have to share it on my blog next week. :-) My biggest thing right now is deciding how to do it all. For example, I want to do a little geography AND a little history so do I divide it up and do one subject before Christmas and the other after or do I rotate days of the week or do I do short lessons on both every day?

  3. We're facing a new school year with a new student (and with a new baby). I think my biggest challenge is that I'll be compiling or creating most of the curriculum myself.

    The task seems a little daunting, but I'm starting with goals of what we want them to learn and then finding ways to teach those skills. Still a lot of work but I'm plugging away a little at a time.

    Many of our subject (besides Reading and Math) will be completed mostly through read alouds. That definitely helps since we'll also have a 3-yr-old, a 2-yr-old, and a newborn with us during school as well.

  4. The great thing is that once you create your own curriculum, you'll have ideas to fall back on each time you have another student in the same age range. We gather materials from all over and much of it is free, though I buy a good portion (of reusable items), too. This year I'm compiling our own book list for history plus creating handwriting/copywork sheets for Owen. Our Bible curriculum is from two different sources, both free. We've also had a new laptop for awhile now that I am having a super difficult time getting used to. However, Brian is catching on more quickly and he has discovered a treasure trove of educational apps that I'm going to be able to implement in what we are learning this year.

  5. Yep, I think every year has challenges. This year mine are as follows:
    Officially teaching 7th, 3rd, 2nd, K, PreK.

    Just had baby number EIGHT two days age.

    Child #7 has major medical needs that put us at many specialists each month plus doing therapies.

    It will all work out. I'll blog the ups and downs at


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