Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Break or Summer Planning?

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I don't know where this summer's gone... Wait, I take that back.  I don't know where it's gone: VBS, baseball, ballet, swim lessons, ... on and on.  And here I find myself over a month into the summer and this homeschool Mama wants to make the most of what's left.  So while, I'm trying to soak up some rest and relaxation, I know that school is just around the corner.

Thus, summer planning it is.  I'm looking over the past year and reworking what's best for our family.  Just to get me started, these are a few things I'm working on:

  • Start with the Basics--For us, my non-negotiables are Math and Reading.  Any time we have a field trip, we try to hit at least these two subjects.  After that, my kids love Science so I work that in next.  And then we  add in History and Writing. 
  • Get into a routine and don't overwhelm in the first month-- I learned last year that we just went too crazy, too fast.  I have to remember that we're going from the lazy days of summer into 5 subject school.  Even I feel overwhelmed.  So this year, we're easing in, bit by bit, and finding our groove before we get in too deep.
  • Look for discounts and used deals--I'm spending a good chunk of my time this summer searching for used curriculum.  There are lots of curriculum exchange groups on Facebook and you can find lots of used books on ebay as well.
  • List some read alouds--We've had a read aloud list going this year with the kids.  So I'm planning ahead in case there's any unit studies I want to coordinate our reading with.
  • Determine priorities for your kids--Usually my kids so some kind of sport through out the year so I can count it as their PE.  But your family might have other priorities to work into your schedule: music lessons, art classes, co-op classes, language learning... now is the time to prioritize and see how they will fit into your fall schedule.
  • What do your kids want to learn this year?--Ask your kids if theres anything specific THEY want to learn this year.  For us, we're doing California history and my oldest has always wanted to visit the state capitol.  I'm thinking my youngest wants to learn more about animals so we're working that into our Science curriculum.
  • Don't compare--I have to constantly remind myself of this one.  I see moms writing their own curriculum.  Or other moms planning fantastic field trips.  Or even other moms who's kids are skipping grades, and learning third languages, and taking engeneering classes at 5 year olds.   I wouldn't compare my kids if they were in public school.  So why am I putting so much pressure on myself and them in our homeschool?  Part of homeschooling is having the chance to celebrate our time together and I'm not going to ruin in by comparing any of us to someone else.
So is anyone else back in planning mode yet?  How are you planning for the fall? 

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