I can’t believe it has been almost 2 years since I began homeschooling, and almost 1 year since we decided to make an official thing that we will continue to do.  I sat down the other day to began planning out next year’s curriculum.  Wow!  It is just so hard to believe how fast the time has gone.  In any case, I am working on new goals for myself as manager of my home (when Dad is away) and as the main teacher of our homeschool.  I am also working on new goals for each child. The biggest challenge next year is that M will also be starting school.  She will have only basics, and it won’t take long each day.  However, she will be introduced to schooling so she is ready for next year, and hopefully get a bit of a headstart.  My personal goals include:

  • Daily “Bible class.”  We already do family worship and Bible time with Daddy, and although we started that this year with a class time, I allowed to drift for several legitimate reasons I was trying to work out in my head.  I think I finally have it all worked out, and a better understanding of what the intent should be, so I hope to re-introduce it with the new year and the new schedule.  Rather than Bible reading, I think the focus will be learning songs, signs for some songs, and scripture.  This is something which we have begun doing in our family worship time, but I think it takes up a lot of family time to teach.  It seems it might work better to do the teaching as part of our school day, and just have Daddy do the reviews.  Plus, if they already know the songs, they will be able to participate more in the worship time.
  • Teach M to read.  She has been begging for a few months now, and I have done some limited work with her.  However, I need her help more with the younger kids during JR’s school time.  So, I am planning more activities to keep the babies occupied so I can actually sit down with her and work through “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.”
  • More reading time.  This is becoming a big issue.  I allow myself to get too busy with “busy work” some days.  Some of the work is perfectly legitimate like house-cleaning and food prep, but other stuff is not nearly as important.  Day after day goes by, and I feel like I have spent little time focused on the children.  I began looking at a way to remedy this, remembered how much I enjoyed sitting down with all the kids and reading our way through the Moody Family series a while back, and realized that might be the perfect solution.  I plan to pick up the next couple of installments of the series next month.  Since we have already finished our science book for the year, and JR’s computer lessons are getting a bit too advanced for him, I think we are going to go ahead and start some daily reading this year and get into the habit.  Then we’ll be ready for some classics next year.  Thus, part of my busywork involves researching appropriate books.  Some of the traditional classics we do not feel are appropriate for the children right now.  I am on the search for some wholesome, moral and upright, Christian character books that will aid in their spiritual and character growth as well as their reading comprehension and education.
  • Actual curriculum.  I’m still working on this one, but I think I will go with Abeka again.  I truly enjoyed the already-planned curriculum and textbook system.  I have learned to adapt to make it fit us, and I love the way the prepared lesson plans reduce my work load.  However, there were one or two areas I felt could have been improved, so I am researching better options through other curriculums for those areas. 
  • Potty-training.  Ok, so it’s not really school related for the big kids, but I think we are looking to start the real potty-training with A after we settle into our new home this summer.  I am hoping it will be as easy as JR, as I have never attempted homeschooling while potty-training.  However, the desire to get down to just 1 baby in diapers will likely spur me on!

I think most homeschool moms would agree that the ordering the materials for the following year is almost like getting presents at Christmas.  I am already getting so eager to check out the new stuff.  Unfortunately, with the move, I may have to wait (depending on when we actually move) to order our things until we re-locate.  Time will tell in that area.  In the mean time, I am going try to set some new habits now to help us out next year.