Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A New School Year

Yesterday was the first official day of our homeschool year! It was a fairly good first day. There are always some kinks to work out, but overall I couldn't have asked for a better start. 

Our whole crew 2012/2013 school year!


Our 4 homeschooling babes on the left...Addison 4yrs, Gabriel 7yrs, Ty 9yrs, Alexis 12yrs. 

Silly faces of the morning...except Lincoln...he was sad. :( 
Everyone received new notebooks, pencils, stickers, and clip boards for their goal charts!
    I awoke on Monday at 6:45am and realized I hadn't even bought pencils! Yikes...how do you do school work without pencils?? Good question...you don't! So Miss Shelby and I headed to Walmart at 7:30am and had to do a bit of a scavenger hunt through all the left over bins. Since most normal people do their "school supply" shopping like a month or two ago. :/ Oh well, I scored some great priced supplies. It allowed me to get each kiddo their own supplies, without breaking the bank! They had fun martian, back to school, and animal stickers that were $1.88 for $0.50. And everything else was about $0.50 as well. Each child has their own graphic design pencils (that way there is no arguing over who has whose pencil). Everyone has a fun notebook, a mini clipboard to track their "Goals" for each day, and pad of stickers. And everyone was pleased with Miss Shelby and my choices. :)

  I did make a HUGE change in my curriculum this year! We went with the School of Tomorrow, ACE Paces. Each child has 4-6 subjects per pace. And there are 12 paces for each school level. They are self lead once your child can read, until then you need to be by their side teaching, but for the two older kids, they can for the most part set their daily goals for how many pages they are going to complete, and then just have me check their work when the page prompts them to. Can you say...RELIEF?!?! Ahh, I can!! A Beka was so good, but so detailed that I would have been swallowed up whole and spit out, by the end of the year. 6 hours of school is not my ideal homeschooling experience! It was so traditional that it was almost impossible to complete in the home setting with more than 2 children. This ACE Paces program I am praying is my answer to prayer for the last year. Only time will tell how much we do, or don't like it, but for now the kids are excited, and I am too! I want our children to grow up and desire to homeschool their children as well, and keeping it fun and exciting is one way to help that. If you are dreading getting up and schooling your children, and your children are dreading school work on a daily basis, then I suggest #1. Pray about it. #2. Think about changing your curriculum. You will obviously have good and bad days, but it shouldn't be more bad then good. If you find it is that way, somethings got to change. You will get burned out, your kids will be burned out, and you are failing at the whole point of homeschooling. I was. The entire last year was just "put on a happy face and get it done", and that does nothing but make you crazy, and your kids are more perceptive than you think...they notice. So change it up. Just because you started with one curriculum, doesn't mean you are stuck doing that forever. A change can benefit all involved, occasionally.

So cheers to a wonderful and inspiring homeschool year!