Let the Preparations Begin!

Can you believe our first homeschool year is coming to an end within a couple months!?!  It’s bittersweet really.  We have had a fun year of learning, but a chaotic year as well.  We’ve had one great week of school, followed by one no existent week.  However, we somehow managed to hold it together throughout everything and keep moving forward.  It really is amazing to see how much Sassy has learned and improved this year.  One of the reasons I’ve come to love homeschooling is because we get to run on our schedule and end up finishing “school” early in the year.  Now this doesn’t mean we take off until August.  We are going year around, baby!  So by the end of April Kindergarten will be gone and we will take a short break and get back to work with brand new first grade material.  Isn’t that exciting?!  It is….yet it is quite daunting as well.  That means that over the next few weeks I will be doing major prep for the new phase of schooling.  It means lots of research into curriculum, lots of organizing, tons of printing, and cleaning up and clearing out.  If you’ve ever been a new homeschool family, you know how scary it can be trying to choose between hundreds of great looking curriculum.  I can honestly say I’ve been very overwhelmed with it, but after hours of work this afternoon, I feel better.  I was able to narrow it down and organize my thoughts, and even put together my rough draft of the curriculum I’m interested in purchasing.  Hopefully within a week I will have my mind made up so I can share with you what I plan on doing for first grade.  (I keep wanting to say ‘next year’, but it hasn’t been a year yet.)  Most people would tell me I’m no longer a rookie at this homeschooling stuff, but really I am.  It has only been seven months.  Not to mention is was Kindergarten and a curriculum I designed myself.  But now that we are in first grade and I’ve seen how much time away from my family my planning takes, I’m buying the curriculum this year.  At first I thought I’d just pick one and do a big boxed curriculum and viola it would all be there for me.  However, once I started looking into the curriculum a little more I found that I liked this programs ELA materials, another programs Math and History, and a totally different one for Science.  Thus began my many lists and endless research to piece together the “perfect” curriculum for Sassy.  Over the last year or so I had heard of many families doing this ‘piecing together’ of their curriculum.  I didn’t understand why they would do that when you could just buy the boxed ones and have to do virtually no work.  Well…boy was I wrong!  The biggest perk to homeschooling is that you can teach to your child’s specifications…literally.  If in five months Sassy needs 2nd grade math and science, but is still working on 1st grade reading and history, that’s fine.  I can order our materials accordingly from as many different publishers as I so choose.  There is just so much flexibility in it.  And of course you want to pick things that will work best for your child.  You wan them to succeed.  So, needless to say…I need prayer!  Prayer for guidance in choosing our materials, in setting our schedule for next year, in getting it all organized and together, and for the strength and wisdom to be the best first grade teacher to my baby.

If you have any suggestions/advice…I’m open!!

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