School Year Recap

Originally published May 21, 2009

So, we finished out the school year.  All survived, but thrived may not be my first description of how we did.  We dealt with a lot of curve balls this school year in the form of broken bones, new baby, heart failure, family problems, and job slow down (though no losses).  We have settled into a new routine that could possibly become a schedule, but don’t hold your breath.

I tried a nine week semester with a two week break between each break, not counting the six or seven weeks we took off mid-year for the baby.  It was a bit long.  Last year I did a six week semester with a one week break.  It was too short.  So, what’s the happy medium?  I liked the two week break.  It was just enough for some down time without losing too much momentum.  Due to the demands of my job, we usually move along at a pretty good clip when work is slow to make up for the interruptions when work is busy.  So, I think I’ll try 4 eight week semesters with two week breaks.  Texas doesn’t require a certain amount of school days, however most curriculum is based on a 36 week school year.  So, just to stay fairly current, we’ll have a fifth semester with just as much time as we need to finish up.  Maybe that will motivate us to finish early, but, again, don’t hold your breath.

I was pleased with most of our curriculum choices.  
            Phonics            Abeka
            Math                  MathUSee
            Handwriting     A Reason for Handwriting
            Grammar         Simply Grammar
            Geography      Rand McNally
            Spelling           Spelling Workout
            Bible                Grapevine Studies Old Testament
            History             Mystery of History Vol. 1

I tried Considering God’s Creation for science but couldn’t pull it together.  Don’t take that as a bad review.  It just didn’t fit my teaching style.  I lean toward more textbook.  I know. I know.  Too schoolish.  BUT it’s what works for us.  As much as I would like to do unit studies, I have to be able to pick it up and do it with little preparation.  You can’t do that with unit studies.

So, now I’m on my quest to purchase next year’s curriculum.  I’ve hit all the used book fairs in the area and only got one thing on my list.  I’m going to use Learning Language Arts Through Literature for my 5th grader.  Picked that up for $10.  The workbooks will have to be purchased new, but Mardel is having a 25% off sale next week.  Not a huge sale, but it’s better than paying shipping.  I also picked up Aplogia Exploring Creation with Astronomy ($15) and Answers in Genesis God’s Design Our Planet Earth ($10).  Here’s hoping we get a little science in next year.   

One thing my husband suggested to make our life a little smoother around the house is to schedule chores.  I’ve always had a chore time, but not much follow through as to when and how well they were done.  Usually what happens is that I reach the breaking point of clutter and grime, start shouting orders that would make an drill sergeant look like a whimp, get it all cleaned up, then leave it until the next time I can’t stand it anymore.  I love Steve and Terry Maxwell’s Managers of Their Homes.  While I don’t follow it to the letter, it is a huge help and very practical.  So, I want to try their Managers of Their Chores.  I hope to order it this summer and get it going before school starts. 

I’m not sure when I’ll start school this year.  We started in July last year because of the baby.  But I’d like to not start that early.  Probably August because, let’s face it, it’s just too stinking hot in Texas to do much outside.  Then, we’ll have some nice breaks when the weather is more pleasant.

My husband asked me last week if I would do homeschooling over again or if I was tired of it.  No way!  I love homeschooling.  While my patience isn’t always as patient as it should be, I love the time I spend with my kids.  I don’t mind some alone time, like maybe a couple of hours every week and an afternoon once a month or two, but send them away all day every day?  Absolutely not.  They’re mine, mine, mine.  And I LOVE them!!  I want to be with them, whether they like it or not!

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