After a horrible start to the 2017 year, (my broken leg, a busted vehicle, daughters mumps and divorce, and I nearly quit grad school), I used the summer to refocus. I mean, who wouldn't need to after all of that nonsense, right?
In May, I began working on the next school year - because if there is one thing that grounds me, that provides solace on those "unsure" days, it's that I made the right decision to homeschool our children.
In the classroom, I pored over curricula, trying to decide whether we should continue with what we used last year, or risk something new. Was I capable of working with something new when I wanted the certainty of something I knew worked? What was making me consider a new curriculum? Would my goals for this homeschool year be the same as last year or would I update them to include better mini-goals?
After coffee, a little meditation and some much needed conversation with my confidante, Mr. Evans, we deduced the best approach would be to continue with what worked in the old curriculum, and change what didn't. After all, that's one of the best things about homeschooling, and in fact, sets us apart from traditional public school.
I decided that the English Language would most certainly change. There are so many great and wonderful stories, poems, and novels out there that reading only a minute selection was more damaging than not reading at all - what good is reading if you can't read the greats? I decided to create our own English Language curriculum for our 7th grader.
I worked for a solid week, linking his online readings, quizzes, vocabulary work, and videos into his syllabus. I then scheduled out his entire 42 weeks worth of lessons, and created the assessments he would need for each week/novel. When you homeschool, I'll admit, you do miss out on some of the peer-to-peer conversations, especially about books. In effort to thwart this "disadvantage", I created projects for him to complete based on the novels he is reading, and to increase his oral presentation skills, he'll do recorded presentations to host on his youtube channel, as well as the homeschool channel.
I'd be fooling myself if I said I wasn't jealous of this course. I've made certain to include 30 minutes of my time each day to go through this majority of this course with him. Not because he can't do it alone -- but because I want to enjoy it with him! Is that bad? I don't think so.
He'll be reading a variety of selections of poetry, short stories, and plays. The read alouds are from his online textbook. The novels he will enjoy this year are:
I believe these stories will intrigue him and hopefully increase his desire to read even more.
For our 5th grader, we are continuing with last years curricula, making changes only to the spelling, and language arts portion. I do not believe he is learning at the publishers level and I believe the new materials I have created will provide him with a more sufficient line of vocabulary, new spelling techniques and a way of memorizing the words through word-work that will help him to become a better speller. Of course, we are increasing the reading material to include trader books, relative to his weeks studies.
Our Kindergartener (and first to homeschool fresh out of the chute) has an entirely new curricula that we've never used because this is a first for us as homeschoolers. I never realized how in-depth K learning is, until I started looking at all the goals I wanted her to meet by the end of the school year. Whether she learns them all, falls short, or goes beyond, we'll progress at her speed.
Because we want to start the school year out on a good foot, I wanted us to have a change of scenery and a little more space. In doing so, we reclaimed the room orignially used for homeschooling (but had changed at the beginning of the year due to those aforementioned circumstances).
And we are back! Back to where homeschooling feels good. Back to where we can move about, hang posters, look out the window, gather in the floor for read alouds, stretch out for conversations, and sit comfortably for our Netflix learning days. Yes, we are looking at a productive and successful school year.
And in just days, we'll kick off our new school year! As a project for our older (7th & 5th) kids, we hope to include videos of our learning days - something for them to do in getting PC experience, and something to add to our website for your information and enjoyment!
So, here we are, the final countdown. We hope you have a great homeschool year (or continuation if you school year-round)!
Welcome! My name is LaVonda. I am the wife of Rodney, the mom of 5 remarkable kids (well, 2 are adults now), an avid homeschooler, blogger, and sociologist. I am blessed with the ability to spend my time sharing our homeschool and life experiences with you. It is my hope to provide you with motivation, ideas, and some candid stress-relief through my blog - Mom's Scribe! Grab a cup of coffee, sit on down, and make yourself at home!