It's almost time to start a new school year, and I'm really getting excited!! I have all our books ready to go, and the house is almost set up for a whole new routine. (I'm actually hiring a babysitter to play with the kids next week on Tuesday and Thursday, so I can --hopefully!-- finish pulling it all together!)
Things have been wonderfully relaxing the last few days. The Chief's mother has been up from Florida for a visit, and The Chief has been recovering beautifully from his back surgery. Next Monday he has his follow-up appointment with the surgeon, and we fully expect he will be cleared to return to work the next day. We haven't been able to travel very far from home or do anything too strenuous, but the result is that we feel almost like we're on vacation -- sleeping in, taking it easy, doing simple, fun things together. I think this is our first real "summer off" since we started homeschooling! It wasn't supposed to happen, but with the bathroom remodel, the Chief getting laid-up, and the decision to change to a published curriculum, school just took a backseat the last two months. But I don't think I'll ever go back to a full-year plan -- this has been too refreshing!
And the bathroom is DONE!!! Only a few decorative touches still in the works, and we need new hardware for the door. (Special thanks to my "little" brother Dave, who came out for the day just before the Chief's surgery to help me paint -- and to his dear wife, Sarah, who let him!!!!) :) Oh, I love my new bathroom. Pictures coming soon!
I'm working on revamping my planning site, to make it more useful to me (and maybe even to someone else!). I think I'm going to just put all of last year's posts in a separate category called "2007-08 School Year" and only pull out ones I think are useful as links later on.
Then I hope to set up categories related to how (I hope!!) the school year will run this year. That's where I plan to post my basic curriculum, routines, approaches and special activities, at least in their planning stages; and maybe some progress notes, too.
I might even link my IHIPs (Individual Home Instruction Plans), in case anyone wants an example of how I approach it. We'll see how much time I'm able to devote to it.
Right now, I'm working on chunking up Sonlight's History and Science 3 programs, to make them work for both a third grader and a Kindergartener. I'm finalizing plans for this year's approach to routine. I'm thinking through art, music, faith/Liturgical Year, and other subjects that can be taught together; which subjects or parts of lessons Junie B. can handle on her own; which lessons can be taught side-by-side but with different subject matter; things like that.
It's exciting, and not a little overwhelming at this point; but I can actually see how it might fall all together!
I still need to develop a simple plansheet or two, to put all the plans and notes in one place (juggling planbooks makes me crazy), and then I think the only thing left is just to give it a go and see how it works!
We'll be starting up on August 15, with our traditional family visit to the nearby Fatima Shrine for Mass and either a picnic or lunch out at a restaurant, and -- if I get my act together! -- "School Picture Day." The children will get to look over their new books, and make their first journal entries for the school year when we get home; and we'll start curriculum-related read-alouds at bedtime that night.
Then we'll be ready to go full-swing into our new school year routine on Monday, August 18!!
Stay Tuned! :)