Aaahhh! We are entering our final two weeks of this “official” school year and it’s like my boys and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! We’ve had a lot of fun, but I think we are all ready for a well-deserved break! For the most part, we follow the calendar of our local schools, with a few extra breaks built in. We will finish up school about a week after everyone else. I do this mainly because my boys have a lot of friends who go to regular school, and we spend a lot of time in the summer hanging out with them and their parents, so it’s easier if our schedule mimics theirs.
Now that I’ve completed my first full year of homeschooling, I’m realizing I’ve learned a few things. First of all: know when to let go! I made a lot of great curriculum choices this year, but I also made some not-so-great ones too. At first, it was hard for me to admit that something wasn’t working, especially if I really wanted it too! However, one of the key freedoms of homeschooling is FLEXIBILITY! When something doesn’t work, you can change it. So we scrapped our initial history plan and went with just the Time Traveler’s CD’s and library books and it went great! I realized that part of the problem was *me*. I had this idea in my head about how things were supposed to go, and because I didn’t want to let go of it, we were all miserable. Lesson learned, sometimes you just have to step away from your original idea and make a new plan!
I’ve also learned that I need to not let the little things get to me so much. This is hard, because having been a classroom teacher for so long, I am all about a schedule!! However, as we all know :), life doesn’t always go on schedule, and there are days when the “schedule” has to be scrapped altogether. I realize now, that even with these unplanned interruptions, my kids are still getting way more school than they did in a regular classroom, due to the fact that we really don’t have “sick” days, we just do the work another time. So, if you have your year all mapped out, and you get a monkey wrench thrown into things, don’t sweat it, it’s really not as big a deal as you think.
I think the most important thing I’ve learned this year is that I CAN do this and do it well. I was nervous about the idea of teaching my own kids full-time, I mean, that’s a LOT of responsibility. It’s different from being in a classroom. I was part of a team of teachers and together we were all responsible for the education of our students. At home, it’s just me! But then again, it really isn’t. God led our family to homeschool, and I have learned throughout this year, that if I just trust in Him to lead us, He really will provide for all the big (and small!) things we need. That knowledge in itself is a HUGE relief for me!
I am going to enjoy a vacation with my family this summer, and after taking a little “mental” break from school myself, I will plunge back into planning for next year (I am a planner by nature 😉 ). I am a little stressed because it is the end of May and we have NO curriculum for next year yet!! But I have to wait for a couple more paychecks before we get it, which is bad in a way, because it gives me tons of time to think, and then rethink, my choices!! Choosing curriculm is by far the most difficult part of homeschooling for me, but that’s a whole different post!