End of the Year Thoughts

My mom and the kids

I am trying to prepare myself for the change in my life that is about to come. In February I will begin my student teaching. This will last until June, so I will not be directly involved in the kids homeschooling for the rest of the year. In fact I will be away from the kids longer than I ever have since they have been born. This thought scares me a little, for I am not sure how the kids will react. The twins will be fine, it is Decca I worry about.

My mom will be with them during the day, and she will be homeschooling the boys. Autry will be at school, so it will be a little easier for my mom. I am so happy and grateful that she is so supportive of me and of homeschooling. I don’t know what I would do without her help,and because of her, I am not as worried about the change in our routine. I do know that I will miss them terribly, and I am hoping I will be able to juggle all the demands on my time.

Thinking about homeschooling, I have decided to make some changes in the curriculum. In math both boys are working through Singapore, and we are going to stick with this. It is working for the boys, so I don’t want to change. For Tru I just got Life of Fred, so he will work through that too. In addition he is still doing Timez Attackz and Time4Learning Math. That may seem like a good deal of math, but he doesn’t do all of it everyday. For Language Arts Tru is working through his WP LA4 Worktext, and he is doing MCT Grammar Island. Decca has a few books he works on (including Explode the Code, Handwriting without Tears, and Queens Language Lessons), and we aren’t making any changes there. For science Decca is doing Little Lab Kits and watching videos on Science Castle. Tru will stay with Singapore Science. I added in Higher Order Thinking Skills workbook, so I think that will add to his lessons. Both boys have started back up with Latin. Decca is using Song School Latin, and Tru is using Latin for Children.

Our big change for the rest of the year is in History. I have slowly been changing my opinion about the Winter Promise curriculum, and I have decided we will no longer be using it as our main program. I enjoyed AS1 when we did it, and I thought I would love AS2. I did like it until we got through our study of the West (although I wasn’t crazy about it), but now I just am not as excited about it and either are the kids. I think the program lost its steam for us after the West. For me it was the book Gold Rush Fever. Although the kids and I loved the book, I  just didn’t think the Klondike Gold Rush was that important of an event in American History. I felt a need to redo several weeks in the schedule and to supplement several of the books. During this time my son got out The Story of the World Volume 4 and asked to read this. He loves SOTW, and he was eager to hear about the time period we were studying. We had just finished Dragon’s Gate , and the twins wanted more information on the history of China. We found several chapters in SOTW that dealt with this, and thus we began reading SOTW again. Then we all decided we enjoyed Story of the World so much that we didn’t want to give it up. Now we will be reading Story of the World and using several of the books from Winter Promise to use as a supplement. In addition we will continue reading The American Story as we all enjoy the stories, and I think this is a great age-appropriate spine book for Decca. As he is only six I feel much of modern history is too old for him. He is just not ready for the mature themes found in Story of the World, but he does enjoy the stories in The American Story.

I have also got the kids some other extras for the remaining year. They were looking for a new series on audio, so I got them all the The Mysterious Benedict Society audio books. They started listening to them yesterday, and they love the story so far. In addition I also got the kids Creativity Express Online. I don’t know if this will be a winner or not, but the kids are doing so little art right now that I thought I would give it a try. Since my mom will be working with them, and she is an artist, I hope the kids will get more art for the rest of the year. Hopefully that will make up for the severe lack of art in their home instruction over the years.

Overall I am nervous about the coming year, but I am excited too. I know the kids will be fine at home with my mom, and I am eager to finish my program and have my credential. I keep thinking about June, and how everything will be over in June. It may be a crazy few months, but by June I will have my credential! I can hardly wait!


~ by Jill Harper on December 19, 2009.

3 Responses to “End of the Year Thoughts”

  1. I can totally relate to your worries–I’m a gradschooling, homeschooling mom myself!

    But Susan Wise Bauer often blogs about how her mother takes over the homeschool while she speaks at conferences, goes on book signing tours, etc., and I like the “whole family” culture of learning she is creating in her home school.

    And remember–John Taylor Gatto decried the absence of old people and babies in the lives of school children who need to feel connected with older and younger generations, so just think of your student teaching as contributing to the cure! 🙂

  2. Many Blessings in your new venture!

  3. […] bit because I am working the kids hard. I am trying to get them on a good schedule so that when my mom starts schooling  them it will be […]

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