My son has just been transported to my parents’ for a week. My daughter is heading off to church camp. Do you know what this means??? I get almost a whole week of planning time without distraction.
With my trusty gun at my hip, I am going to plan for the whooooole homeschool year. Shoot it down now. The time I invest this week will save me hours of tedious work each week. It will remove loads of pressure. I am so excited.
Our school year begins in July and ends in June. While this may seem a bit long, we fit 36 school weeks into this time period. This schedule allows us plenty of rest and flexibility. It is the no burn-out plan. We have those weeks off in the spring when our bodies just can’t stand but to be outside all day. And those weeks in which we need to rest our busy minds and bodies. We have family vacation and visits to family all fit in there. And did I mention the flexibility? We have room to morph out of those weeks when nothing seems to go right.
With all this room for flexibility, I know from experience that a plan is still in order. If I don’t set the weeks as goals, we will get bogged down in daily muck. The goal, the plan, keeps us moving along at a natural pace with future goals in mind. We don’t allow ourselves to languish, but we do allow ourselves inspiration. And our rabbit holes are addressed during our “off” weeks.
I’ve been enquiring a great deal, and listening to what my children would like to see for our homeschool year. What really helps them to learn? What really hinders them? Where is God leading their lives? What specific interests would they like to pursue?
My daughter sees herself as a future translator. For that reason we continue our studies in Latin. She would also like to learn a non-Latin based language, Japanese. She is actually saving now and praying for an opportunity to go to Japan in a few years. What a great motive to learn the language.
My son would like to immerse himself in Science. I have struggled with filling that thirsty sponge-like brain with enough “science” to satisfy him. This year he begins with Apologia General Science. We’ll see if this appeases his appetite. He also needs group involvement, so I am praying that God provide us the interaction his personality type desires.
We will be using Tapestry of Grace Year 1 for a well-rounded intro to history, great literature suggestions, worldview studies, and the excellent writing program that goes with the package. We will also be utilizing the Charlotte Mason method in attitude and form. This year we will delve deeper into artistic ventures and explore the many ways we can worship our Creator. My husband will also be training his apprentices in the fine art of videography as every opportunity arises.
Of course, much of this cannot be planned, but to free us to ride the roller coaster of life, I am going to plan all I possibly can! I am also of the thought that “school” never really ends. Even though we will have formal plans, life is a great schoolmaster which never takes a day off. We will learn even when I do not “count the hours” as required by our state. We will learn whether we plan it or not.