This will be a different kind of school year. Not all my children will be in my homeschool and I’m not doing any larger classes with other kids (besides our continued mini co-op with another family).
My oldest will be taking a full load at the community college with their dual enrollment program. He’ll be out the door (driving himself, praise the Lord) at 6:30am.
My youngest has been baby-stepping into school routines and will continue the next few baby steps into responsibility. She’s 6 and will be 7 in early November.
So all told I will be educating a ninth grader, a sixth grader, a fourth grader, and a first grader. Approximately, of course, because grade levels are arbitrary divisions.
We’ll keep up our mini co-op for “Elementary Lessons” – and Geneva and her 7-year-old partner will join for half. So this is the last year of “Fun School” for younger kids – because there are no more younger kids!
My second son is starting high school and this year I chose to go with more video instruction and not do a literature class for his peer set.
But my primary teaching focus will be on teaching writing to my own set (my own set includes my friend’s kids). They don’t need instruction so much as they need practice and personalized feedback and revision. So that’s what they’re going to get this year.
Morning Time got a makeover with poetry added back in and a new, non-binder routine.
But if things are working, don’t mess with it. Our checklists are largely the same. I changed the fonts to make them seem fresh and new. Our daily routine will not be much different, really, even with my oldest gone. Most of our books and plans this year are just cut and pasted over from previous years – I’ve done all these school years before, and I’m not going to make a new plan when the first ones worked so well and were full of such good books.
I’ll be fleshing out each student’s plan in more detail this week and next, so stay tuned.
However, I’d be remiss not to mention a tool that has kept me on track for years, and came again to my rescue this year in a fresh new way.
Knowing I would likely change very little from my previous years’ plans, I used Pam Barnhill’s Put Your Homeschool Year on Autopilot course to write out (by hand! on her handy-dandy redesigned planning pages!) the vision and goals steps.
Pam’s guidance in those videos is the best. They was super helpful and clarifying and after working through that process and putting those goals down in writing on paper, I was able to cross off some things on my lists with confidence and also switch around some people’s work so that it emphasized the goals I had rather than just “stuff they should probably do.”
It’s tempting to skip the foundational steps, but if we want a rock-solid plan and confidence as we put it into action, we’d do best to have our vision and goals in writing, in our face.
Pam’s the best person to help with that process.