April 30, 2013

Winding Down

We have finally reached that point in the year. Our homeschool is winding down, we are tying up loose ends and looking forward to summer vacation. Every year, I go through the same routine to gauge how our year went and begin plans for the fall.

First, I see what is left to complete. I usually do this around mid April- early May. Since we start school in mid-August and don't take as many breaks, we finish earlier than public school. I have found that if I have a plan for the last few weeks of school it helps move through at a smoother pace. I go all out, assigning their pages for each day through the rest of the school year. It also gives my older girls opportunity to finish a subject early if they choose.

Second, I review what worked and what didn't. With no question, we will be doing Apologia science again. Math is kind of up in the air. Bob Jones is working great for the most part but how do you not check out a free, online, comprehensive math curriculum?! I try to not judge the curriculum by the grades by children are getting because that's not the most important thing for me. I want them to be grasping ideas and concepts in a way that they will retain for longer than it takes to fill in a bubble. English, history and character/Bible curriculum are judged on a similar scale. Did they learn new topics and ideas thoroughly? Did we struggle more than we enjoyed? Were we so frustrated we never even finished the lessons?

Third, I start peeking around at curriculum choices for the fall. I take stock of what I have on hand and what we will need. I realized we have a full history curriculum we never really used this past year. A friend has a science book I can borrow so I'll only have to purchase the workbooks. And so on. Once I know what I have, I can decide what subjects will need to be filled in with new curriculum.

And last, we make some plans for summer. We sit down as a family, with our calendars and brainstorm. What do we want to do? What fits into our budget? When will Josh have time off? What family events are coming up?

And then I make a glass of iced coffee, grab a book and relax! I do love summer.

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