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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Plans? Plans?! What Plans?

Or, “Let’s just throw those plans out the window, shall we?”

I am in the midst of completely re-planning my school  year.  I seem to recall doing this last year at about this time…except it was just for my oldest who had decided that his independent work was not structured enough for him to actually get it done.

Try as I might---a daydreamer doesn’t magically become an driven achiever overnight, ya know?

Here’s a tip:  teach the kids you have, not the ones you think you want to have.

throwing plans-001

But this year it seems that I’m re-planning for everybody. Rolling on the floor laughing

It has been a weird year.  It’s been hard for me to get into a groove and every week it seems like something needs to be changed.

First I had to completely dump a math program that I thought was going to be the perfect thing for all my elementary children.

The replacement for the 5th grader still leaves a lot to be desired, but we are limping along.

The K-er finishes every math program I throw at her---I think I finally found my overachiever.

I keep overthinking the younger son’s math, because it just seems too simple.  I need to learn not to fix what aint broke.

Then I had to dump the oldest child’s Algebra book.  Because it taught precious little actual math. 

We switched to an old classic (Dolciani, which he doesn’t really like, because it’s hard, but hey, at least it actually teaches math).

Math.  Bah!

Then I dumped the geo program I was going to use for oldest.  Because in spite of the publisher assuring me that it’s appropriate for high school…well, we’ll just say that I disagree. 

And so does my son, which is saying something (remember, he’s not the overachiever type?  If he says something is too easy, it is!).

Winking smile

I had originally planned to beef it up anyway, but after realizing it was inadequate, I decided that if I’m going to reinvent the wheel anyway…well, why not invent my own wheel instead of reinventing someone else’s pitiful wheel?

So I put him in short program that is only a couple of months long (Philosophy Adventure) and then tried to wrap my head around creating a full history program (working title---World History:  Makers of Science).  I’ve got all my resources together and I’m trying to fit them all together into a coherent schedule.

Oi!  I wish I had a few months to read every single one so I could magically fit them together like a jigsaw puzzle…but life is short y’all…

I won’t go into the intricacies of that here---if I ever end up with something other than my hastily scribbled notes, maybe I will post it here.

While all this was going on…

My oldest daughter decided that she had been mistaken when she thought that she wanted her studies to be completely removed from those of her siblings.

Turns out that she misses learning with them.

And that she thought their Five in a Row learning was cool.  Who knew that cork is a type of tree bark?

She thought she wanted to learn from textbooks instead of the living book we’ve taken in the past.  She was wrong.

So after driving myself crazy trying to put together a completely-for-her course of study this year…which meant lots of extra preparation in the science, history, and lit departments…well, I really do have to throw those plans out the window.

Wink.

Things have gone pretty well keeping the two youngest together, in spite of their age gap (5 and 9), with Five in a Row.  In fact, our Five in a Row studies have been the best part of the school year.  I really wish I had used this with my older kids earlier in my homeschooling career, but I thought it wasn’t “rigorous” enough. 

Live and learn.

Peter (the 9-year-old) has matured academically in the past few months, though, and I just know that he’s ready for Beyond Five in a Row in a way that he wasn’t in September---this kid has consistently fallen right between 2 grade levels at the beginning of each school year, which kind of makes me wish that we started our calendar in January instead of September (sticking the local school year does make it easier for portfolio reviews and my husband’s university schedule). 

He has a late summer birthday, which means that he does not make the local cut-off and would be in 3rd grade this year if enrolled in PS.  He wasn’t quite ready for 4th grade materials in many areas due to maturity and math abilities, but now, almost halfway through the year, he is more like a 4th grader.

I would have loved to have set him at grade 3-1/2.  Ninja 

Instead I waffle between grade 3 and grade 4---it may not matter to me, but it seems everyone wants to know, from the homeschool monitor to the random adult who meets us at church. 

Can’t he just be Peter who doesn’t fit into a particular box?

But I digress.

So, the current plan  is to put him and his older sister (11 in a few days) into vol. 1 of Beyond Five in a Row, but continue to do Five in a Row with their younger sister (on a slower schedule than we had been), which the older kids will likely sit in on.

And that’s what I’m working on now, getting it all together so we can restart on Monday.  Here’s hoping I can pull it off.

Are you at midyear or beginning a new homeschool year?  What changes have you made in your plans?

2 comments:

  1. Yes. :) I have had to take some long, hard looks at our school year, and I even put on my glasses! Our math program as well, turned out to be a flop. My oldest son is in his senior year when our umbrella school let us know that our state requires 2 specific credits to graduate, so we had to add those in. We have been looking for gaps and praying, asking the Lord where he would have us go back and things he would have us review. This has brought the most peace. I have to meet certain state requirements for academics, but our homeschooling accountability is to the Lord. I would encourage you to pray and thank the Lord for new mercies and all consuming grace. :)

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  2. Thank you, Charlotte! Yes, I agree 100%.

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