Seeing as we’ve been back to school for two weeks, it’s a good time to have a little chat. I know what you’re thinking, ” But Jana, it’s the middle of summer! What are you doing, starting school again?!” Today, we’re going to talk about how we homeschool.
Here, we take a little time to discuss the new trend in homeschooling… the ‘year-round school year’. Tada! This is a trend that I only dreamed of 15 years ago. Maybe some, more adventurous homeschool parents, were already putting the year-round school year into place, but I was not one of them. I only wished I could do it.
The kids and I have been year-round schooling for the second year in a row this July. We loved it last year, and I’m positive it will be the same this year. Basically, we start in July, and finish most subjects at the end of April. This gives us plenty of time to take a week off here and there, (some parents have it down to a science with exact spacing, etc.) when needed. It is awesome. Also, I used to feel so guilty taking time off for certain visits or activities, because I felt we’d get behind. Not anymore. Now, when we move to Alberta, I believe we’ll shift our school year a little to make the summer months the time off. But I feel we will still start a little earlier just because we can’t go to the lake every day, you know.;)
The second thing I wish I had been brave enough to implement is the four day school week. We do school four days a week, and get every Friday off, to either go get groceries, or do something fun. I love this. So do the girls. It actually encourages us all to work a little harder those four days, because we know that Thursday is coming. Yay!
It does help that I have found my dream curriculum. The Good and the Beautiful is tailored to a four day week, which is awesome. This curriculum is well worth checking out if you are hunting for a some new school work this summer. The Good and the Beautiful incorporates spelling, reading, art, art appreciation, grammar, geography and writing all in one open and go book. This is our second year of using this curriculum, and we all love it. I’m not lying. Our kids actually enjoy doing their school work since using this curriculum.
The Good and the Beautiful also offers a cursive writing course at different levels, and creative writing books that my girls love! Occasionally, I will suggest we skip the cursive writing and creative writing in the morning to get done sooner. They will have nothing to do with it! And I’m so glad. Thank you The Good and the Beautiful for all you have to offer.
The Good and the Beautiful also offers a four year history program, which is ‘family style’, meaning the lesson is taught to all the children at one time, and then they have separate worksheets and activities to do. Their science is also taught this way. As a mom of six, I do enjoy the fact that we can do history and science only once. And. They recommend doing these subjects approximately twice a week, which works amazing with my four day school week!
We’ve chosen some new curriculum for math that I’m in love with, but I won’t write about them yet. Let’s let the h0neymoon stage end first, and then I’ll give an honest opinion. I will say that I’ve never used anything like it, and I have taken a brave step of faith to have ordered one of them, especially. Wow. Worth it, though.
The only motto I have for new homeschoolers is this. Just do the next thing. Just keep going. It’s basically the biggest lesson I’ve learned in my almost twenty years of homeschooling.
I hope you’ve been a little encouraged to try the ideas you have in your head. Don’t wait like I did. We would have been so much happier if I would have went with my gut way back when about four day school weeks, etc. Happy homeschooling!
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