It’s that time again….time to start our new homeschool year! I love this time of year so much. I adore selecting curricula, preparing for the school year, filling out my lesson planner, buying school and office supplies. I know that I’m not alone in this!
Over 50 TOS Crew bloggers are participating in this month’s “Back to Homeschool Blog Hop.” I’ll be posting this week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I’ll have links to the 8 other bloggers in my group as well as to the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog that has links to everyone’s, in case you’d like to hop over to see what they’re writing about. I know that you’ll find fun and fascinating information from each one of these amazing ladies!
Finchnwren’s 4 P’s
Back to homeschool. After a summer filled with days at the pool, hanging out with friends, and unwinding from the previous year’s busy homeschool, I am always ready to jump back in for a new year! This year, Jackson is entering 7th grade (ack!), and our studies will reflect that. (I’ll talk more about that later this week.) I have been working, off and on, to compose a picture of what our homeschool needs to look like this year; what Jackson will be studying; what we need to focus on in scope and sequence; and what things we need to be working on personally. Here’s the process I’ve been involved with!
I have been praying, all summer, about what we need to focus on in our schooling this year. I am so thankful to have the Lord to rely on. He knows me, my son, and our family intimately; and He knows all that will happen for us! He knows the things I need to focus on both as a mother and as a teacher; and He knows all the needs that each of my family members has. How will I address these things? What will I be teaching, and how? God has given me some sweet Scriptures for the year that I believe will guide not only the work that we do but the hearts behind that work. He has also faithfully provided amazing curricula for us, much of that through products we’ve reviewed for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. What a comfort and blessing! I encourage you to spend time in God’s Word and in prayer as you prepare for your homeschool year. I am always astonished and delighted at what God shows me, and how He helps me plan. Which leads us to my next step!
As an extreme lover of office supplies, you might guess that I still use a paper planner….and you would be right! For several years, I’ve used The Well Planned Day Family Homeschool Planner to plan our weeks, months and daily lesson plans. It has enough room for 13 subjects per day (actually each spot for those subjects has two lines, if you’re needing to fit more subjects in than that!).
This planner also serves as a fantastic record of all the work we complete in a school year. That is absolutely vital for record-keeping, or for any portfolio you might wish to create. It has a spot for books read, report cards you can fill out for your student, and I also use one of the blank pages for our passwords and logins for the online work we do. (Because sadly I rarely remember those.)
I love to plan….but I also love spontaneity. And while there are definitely things I get done in advance, the last-minute adrenaline of the deadline is a fantastic motivator for me. I have to tell you, though, that does not work so well for me in teaching or homeschooling! In order to do my best, I need to know WHAT I am teaching, WHEN I am teaching it, and HOW I am going to do it. I love to involve creativity in my lessons….but I often find that I do best when some of that creativity is planned! My student deserves the very best I can bring to a lesson, whether it’s a subject I enjoy teaching or not. So many of the curricula out there include fantastic lesson plans and ideas….but we must take the time to know the lessons in advance of the time we’re teaching them! For me, that means working on the lessons over the weekend and trying to plan my days, meals and sleep accordingly. (When I can—I do get that as moms those plans don’t always go the way we’d like!)
This is something I’m learning that I need to remember during our school days. While I am Jackson’s homeschool teacher, I am also his mom. I don’t necessarily have to separate those two! I can teach in a firm and calm manner, and correct kindly. As someone whose personality tendencies can lean towards the Type A paradigm, it is absolutely vital that I don’t turn into a drill sergeant as I teach. (Okay, maybe that might work for YOUR household and personalities…but trust me, it’s an absolute disaster in mine!) My desire is to capably teach language arts, math, science, and art….and whatever else we tackle this year. But I want to do it with grace and love, in such a way that lessons are learned and character is built in a worthwhile way.
What are your patterns and paths as you prepare your homeschool year? Leave me a comment and tell us all about it….I’d love to hear more! 🙂
Here are the links so that you can visit the other awesome ladies in my blogger group!
Nikki @ Angels of Heart
Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Linda @ Linda’s Lunacy
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio
If you’d like to see more from the TOS bloggers, visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog!
And don’t forget to join us on Wednesday, for another Blog Hop post from Finchnwren!