Yep, it's the end of the year for us. All of our curriculum is finished :-D
See the picture of Speed Racer from Spring Break Circus Camp? Well he had a blast!
Our SCHOOL YEAR IN REVIEW
It was a hectic start. Our year started with a long school day beginning in July and ending officially the week before our Public Schools started Spring Break. I didn't plan it that way but as the school year progressed I noticed some things.
Are we doing it again?
YES! I plan to give my kids a choice to do this and they said absolutely.
About my kids...
They like doing schoolwork or something daily besides sitting around. If I make it fun, they will do it. Or even if it's interactive online - they will do it independently.
My kids are geniuses (not really but considering what their Public Schools told me about them they've doubled their capacity for learning) and enjoy learning.
They prefer Abeka Academy DVD style of Learning. Who would've thought it. Everyone on most of the boards seem to hate Abeka. But my kids...they LOVE it. I've thrown several other options at them. BJU - they said it felt weird that the teacher was looking at them. They say that Abeka explains things well and they feel comfortable with it because it's taped in a classroom and has been the best laid out curriculum from all the samples we've seen. Yes, my 13yrs and 10yr old told me this.
They love getting Report Cards. We use the report cards for them to tell me what I can do to help them better in the specified areas - not to 'grade' them. They've told me what curriculum they didn't like, which to keep, what's not teaching them.
My Speed Racer is a good kid. He really is. It was a rocky start. I had to create a CALM DOWN LIST for him and after 4 months it became part of his normal way he talked his temper down. And now that he is in a healthy free environment for learning - he is happy and free. Kids are wonderful little creatures that recover if given the right environment.
My Tiger Lilly is Artistic, Analytical, Creative, and Inquisitive. She has been a joy to teach. Also, she's blossom into a wonderful companion for me and her brother. I didn't realize this about her when I was working and someone else was teaching her. Oh and she loves going to plays with me. My husband even went to a few with her.
What I'm going to change
The schedule! We are going to a BLOCK SCHEDULE for Tiger Lilly. She will have her core subjects all year (MATH, SCIENCE, ENGLISH) and all other subjects will be broken up into 8 week segments like college courses. They will have designated Test Days set to Friday so that our Friday's are shortened. We will also do school 5 days a week (one day being Saturday as a makeup day since I don't know what my work schedule will be like). Also, we are taking 1 week a month off as a break for mommy.
The location! I'm re-arranging our school room and adding more light to the area. That's been their main complaint.
More Field Trips! This year we just wasn't able to get more than 4 in. Next Year I'm adding more.
Things staying the same?
Co-Teaching with my husband. He loves it and so do I!
Workboxes! Love, them. Thank you Sue Patrick.
Working full-time while homeschooling. I've even attempted to find jobs that would let me work from home. But that doesn't work well for me as it would be a big cut in pay and would tie me to the house (which doesn't bode well for my sanity). So by leaving my home to work, it makes my husband more eager to help out and gives us the extra cash to pay for College for my other two kids.
Curriculum. Our core curriculum of a DVD based and Interactive tools has been wonderful. It's taken the guess work out of teaching for me. Also, has been more thorough than I would've been - heck their their teachers at traditional school has been.
Tutoring. We used my older daughter as the kids weekly math and science tutor. She was wonderful. Also, for Writing we used Time4Writing.com and tutoring for this. Having someone else tutor them in these areas has been a great boost to their learning and relief to me.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOMESHOOLING AND WORKING
I love it and never want to go back to Traditional School. I'm ecstatic my kids want to do this another year. This is MUCH easier. This has given me the following:
- Control over my kid's learning
- Flexible Schedule - works better for us than the rigidity of traditional school
- I know what my kids are doing - when at school I had no idea what they were doing
- My relationship with them have grown deeper. Yeah, I had a great one before, but now it's even better.