Planning for the new school year

I’ve been doing some planning. Going through the book list on Ambleside Online and downloading the free Kindle versions of some of the books I need. For awhile I was planning on buying a spelling program despite the fact that Charlotte Mason says we don’t need to teach spelling as its own class. I thought the spelling program looked like something my son would enjoy. Then I decided to trust Miss Mason, and so I’m not buying the spelling program although it’s a great temptation. I did buy a keyboarding program that came almost free with my handwriting workbooks. Miss Mason has nothing bad to say about keyboarding:)

I’m signed up for a lot of emails that offer homeschooling advice, advertisements, freebies, giveaways. It’s almost too much. I like the good advice. I like being directed to a really helpful free website. I don’t enjoy being offered all sorts of sales on ebooks, bundles, and services that are supposedly designed for a Charlotte Mason education. It’s supposed to make my life simpler, but it doesn’t. Ambleside Online’s website and forum are fairly time-consuming in themselves. I don’t need more companies to distract my attention away from what I really need to teach my children. I’m working on trusting Miss Mason, and trusting my own instincts about what is worth the time and money.

What do I really need right now? I have to figure out how I’m going to teach Bible every day of every week. I’m supposed to read right out of the Bible, and I will, but my children do not do well with that. I need a plan.

I also need a foreign language plan. It makes sense for me to teach Spanish. It’s the foreign language I learned. But I don’t have a passion for it. I’d rather teach them German or French, and learn right along with them. I’m not sure. And I have not found a curriculum I like for any language. I might hold off on foreign language until I get that sorted out in my mind.

I am stubbornly holding with the Delightful Reading kit I purchased a couple years ago. The results are dreadfully slow, but that is probably because my children are not ready to read yet. I cannot rush human brains. It will do no good.

Then there’s the handicraft challenge. We do crafts quite often, but they are not the sort Miss Mason has in mind. She recommends the sort of crafts that they can learn now so they will be useful in their future adulthood, such as knitting, weaving, sewing, etc. These things take a large amount of ambition on my part. I might be expecting too much from myself. I need to take it easy, play it by ear, be inspired at the spur of the moment rather then fretting about a scheduled project. I think I’ve just decided I need to plan less for handicrafts.

I know my kids love spontaneous adventures. Some things have to be planned, and that’s why I like AO. They do a lot of the planning for me. But there is room for lots of spur-of-the-moment excitement. So I’ll keep those emails coming, ignore them most of the time, and occasionally let them lead me down a new and inspiring path. How’s that for a plan?


4 thoughts on “Planning for the new school year”

    1. Thanks Sarah. I just checked out duolingo, and yes, it will be quite some time before we’ll be able to use that. But thanks for reminding me of starfall. We’ve done some of that in the past, and I think the girls in particular will enjoy doing that during their brother’s school time.

  1. Let us know if you come up with a Bible solution you feel good about. My boys and I have done a variety of things from reading small sections each morning, to more indepth, answer questions type approach to randomly discussing things in the car. But at least two of mine sound signifcantly older. One is only four. We take turns reading from his picture Bible. I am still searching for my favorite way to incorporate Bible study with the kids.

    1. Week One of our school year went quite well. I decided to follow AO’s Bible schedule for Year 1, which involved reading sections of Gen. 1-3, and then the kids drew a picture of what they heard (did you know Eve is a princess?). This lasted four days. Then on Friday I wrote an easy Bible verse on four small squares of paper, repeated it a few times, and then all four of us decorated the paper with doodles. I got this idea from BlessInks (which is a link on my sidebar). The kids responded well to this. We’ll see how they feel about it a few weeks down the road. For now, I have a plan, so I’m happy.

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