- I feel like I am getting to the point that I am really comfortable with our home learning process, but KM is in the midst of her "middle school" years and I need to really let go a bit to allow her some more independence in her studies. I took her opinion into consideration when I made all of her curriculum choices and allowed her to make the final decision on which programs we would use. This will also be really helpful since I will have not one, but two little ones around my house this fall so she will really need to be a bit more responsible for her own time management.
- I am going to be more flexible with our schedule. I upgraded to the Homeschool Tracker Plus late last spring and I have spent all summer inputting lesson plans and outlines so that I can reschedule things with a click of the mouse! We are also getting to the realization point where it suddenly dawns on you that lessons really don't have to be only Mon-Fri. There have been times this summer were KM has opted to get her lessons done on a rainy Sunday so that Monday she can spend the day in the pool with her friends - and it has worked out FABULOUSLY!
- I am going to be strict about 3 Stay Days a week! This is for my sanity as well as KM's attitude, as she tends to get REALLY cranky when she is overscheduled. We will also really need to stick with this in order to stay on track with her lessons, as there will be times when we can't work on something with SC running around and wanting to be right in KM's space - see #4.
- Setting a routine with the little ones. Last year SC got really into coloring and working right next to KM, but as our summer has progressed SC has gotten to the stage in development where she wants KM to stop what she is doing and get right into what SC wants her to do - this is not going to fly come the fall! The tricky part to this is dealing with the newborn -GC- and my sister's rotating schedule so that I don't have the kids the same days each week. I think we are going to work it out where we will have a Week 1 Schedule and a Week 2 Schedule. On week 1 I will have the little ones Mon, Tue, & Sat and Week 2 Wed, Thur. Since our coop is on Mon I think it will work out that we will have the first day be our go day and the second our stay. So that Wk 1 Mon & Wk 2 Wed will be GO Days and I will plan somewhere - park, playground, library, museum something every other Wed and then the Wk 1 Tue & Wk 2 Thur will be STAY days and I will plan art and craft activities, backyard science things, and games for SC to do in the morning while KM works independently. Then I can work with KM in the afternoon during SC's nap. I am optimistic that GC will still be little enough, at least through the winter that I can have her either in the sling or seat right with us. Come next spring when she is starting to crawl we may need to rework a bit again, but for now I think this plan is going to go very well! KM has her lesson books in baskets on a shelf organized by subjects and I am thinking of setting up a somewhat similar system for SC - with like play-doh in one bucket, art stuff in another, instruments in another - so that she feels like she is doing the same type of thing as KM.
Our homeschooling experience has brought so many wonderful changes to our family and our lives. As each session goes by and we prepare for the next it is so exciting to see how our lifestyle has changed since we began this journey and how much we continue to grow with each passing season!
What will you be doing differently this year?