Thinking Ahead

The snow is gone (for now,) the birds are twittering, the air is warmer and the frogs are croaking, you know what that means, don’t you? Time to think of school for next year.

When I first started homeschooling, for financial reasons, I started buying curriculum for the year during the previous year, so I was always thinking about what we were going to be doing and what curriculum we were going to be using. Then a few years ago the opposite occurred, I didn’t start thinking about the coming year and the resources that we needed until the summer. I didn’t need to buy as much curriculum then but I still needed to buy books and look into some other resources. Leaving things to the last minute is not my style so that just added more stress onto already existing stress. I told myself this year that I was going to start planning before summer; I was going to get my planning mojo on. So the two olders and I sat down and planned out what they were going to do for next year. I hauled out the catalogues that were of interest to us and let them look through it to see what stood out to them. This went a lot easier that I had anticipated. (Insert sigh of relief here.)

My goal for Emma is to have her take some courses in which I am not the teacher. We are a little restricted in our options here because, due to unreliable internet, online courses are not an option for us. Emma has decided to take a few courses through Tree of Life. She is hoping to take a Canadian History course and a worldview course from them. after listening to the podcast at Read Aloud Revival by Julie Bogart, I realized that it was important for Emma to be in a group setting for literature so, depending on the book list, she has decided to sign up for the Boomerang book club in the fall. The rest will be the same as it has been for this past year. I still need to search for a history spine for her but she will, again, be doing a Great Book study for books written between 1600 and 1850. She will continue to use Lost Tools of Writing and then, depending on how things proceed, she will move into LToW 2. She will also be using Ambleside Online (Yr.11) for the other subjects.

For Caleb, well, this is going to be another story.  Even though I am fully aware that each of my children–oh goodness!  every child–is different, it has taken me awhile to come to grips with that in my planning.  I have become painfully aware of late that I have been teaching Caleb in the same vein that I have taught Emma, even though I know that Caleb is nothing at all like Emma.

Silly old bear.

So I have had to re-think my plans for my only boy.  I have always been of the thinking that Caleb would not do well with a Charlotte Mason type learning but I am starting to think that I have been wrong about that.   He and I have talked about next year and he is willing to try a full AO year next year.  I have used bits and pieces of AO  but I have never used their history.  When we first started homeschooling  we used Story of the World for history  and we absolutely loved it.  Also at that time, we were following the Well Trained Mind which has a 4 yr. cycle for history.  I liked the 4 yr. cycle and didn’t want to forgo it when we turned to AO.   Another reason I didn’t want to go whole hog with AO is that I could not fathom doing three separate years, two of those years would be with children who are not strong readers.   I liked doing history together as a family.  Now that they are older, though, they are doing their own history anyway so it doesn’t really matter. Emma is doing most of her work independently now so I have more time to spend on the younger two. Hence my reasons for doing full years of AO.

I am hoping that in doing the AO readings as slowly as they do that this will help Caleb’s reading comprehension. I think we need to slow our learning down a bit and I think AO might help us in this area. The amount of reading, though, that is involved in each year has me a bit concerned but I think we are just going to jump in and try it and see how it all plays out.

So as it is looking now Caleb will be doing Yr. 8 of AO and Tessa’s year will be Yr. 6.

And let the book buying begin.

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