We jumped back into school today with renewed vigor and determination. Yeah, right. Well, my kindergartner did, anyway. I heard her screaming because her older sister said she was going to get her books ready. The K-child flew into a rage demanding to go first. Why couldn’t they all have her desire to “do school”? Life would be so much easier.
Most homeschool curriculums have a 36-week schedule, five days a week. Our schedule is somewhat different. We do school three days a week, so I extend our number of weeks to compensate. By doing multiple pages in our workbooks and sharing some subjects, like science and history, we are able to cram in a little extra and still finish around the 38-week mark with a few breaks thrown in for sanity. And if we don’t finish every last page in grammar, no one is going to grow up to be homeless, you know.
In fact, we rarely finish the subjects like grammar and spelling. It’s no cause for heartburn because the material is often repeated and repeated and repeated. Math, on the other hand, is not quite as repetitive and builds on mastery, not memory. So, if some child is more than a week or two behind, guess what her summer plans entail. Math, and lots of it. One child, who will remain nameless, has yet to realize that dragging her feet only results in prolonging the pain. Last school year, she finished her math Friday, August 26, just in time to start the next grade’s math on Monday, August 29. Talk about summer vacation. She’s doing slightly better this year.
My plan is to be about half-way through most of the subjects by our Christmas break. We stayed pretty close to the goal. There is always some wiggle room there. We are still on track to finish by the end of May, except for my kindergartner. Miss Overachiever will likely finish late February. She considered reading the works of William Shakespeare and studying nuclear physics on her extended break, but I told her I would go ahead and order a few first grade books for her to work ahead. That seemed to satisfy her. For now.
Man, I hope she doesn’t turn into one of those brainiac kids who finishes school early, gets a full-ride scholarship to college before she can drive, and has multiple job offers by the time she’s 20. Really, what a waste of a good childhood. I’m kidding, of course. I am in no hurry to push my children out of the house. While I don’t want them loafing around into their 20’s and 30’s, we plan to have an open door policy while they complete any post-high school education/training. Anything we can do to keep them out of debt while paying for their college is worth a few extra loads of laundry. All other bills will be their own responsibility, though. Just saying.
While we’re not exactly in the homestretch, I feel pretty good about this spring semester. We will take our spring break the second week in March, which just happens to coincide with my 17th wedding anniversary. Then, we finish when we finish or when we can’t get through a morning without crying. Whichever comes first. Usually, the latter.
On a related note, as if looking at five more months of school isn’t tiring enough, most homeschool moms start planning NEXT year’s curriculum about now. Why? Hope springs eternal, I suppose. This year is turning into a grind, so let’s put on our rose-colored glasses and dream about how great next year will be!
Really, I talked to our piano teacher this afternoon about my oldest daughter taking the state music theory test next spring. We both feel she has a good chance at passing it and discussed a couple of options to study for it. I’m not ready to plunge into it right now, but will probably have her start reviewing the material in June. Then, her piano teacher plans to give her practice tests in September. I like the idea of having this type of “badge of honor” on her transcript. I’m not saying she has to run a full marathon to get a half credit for PE, but a little advanced accomplishment isn’t bad to have.
In a nutshell, we finished the first half of school. We started the second half. I’m beginning to mull over next year’s plans. Welcome to January.