Monday, July 30, 2012

I Love the Excitement of a New School Year

About this time of summer I start getting really pumped about the upcoming school year!  Even though we basically school year round, a new year always gets me really excited.  Maybe it's the school supplies that line the aisles of my favorite stores?  It's possible, especially since I am slightly addicted!  ~Smile~  I love prepping notebooks and folders and getting my our personal binder set up.  I always tweak something each year to fit our every growing, changing kids.

Something that I do around this time every summer I start evaluating how the school year went.  What did we do well?  What we didn't do so well?  How can we improve the process?  What are the goals for the coming year?  What things can be done as a group despite the age/grade differences?
What projects will each child work on individually?

I have already made the decision to drop one of Makiah's electives, Bible.  I know and before you hit the panic-I-am-shocked-at-your-choice-Valerie button, let me explain why.  Even though I love the curriculum we use, I am not a fan Bible portion for her age.  There is nothing wrong with it in theory, but all it is, is reading a passage and answering questions and there is nothing wrong with reading and answering questions.  My problem with it is that it doesn't explain the passage or offer practical life application.  She's going into middle school, this is a pivotal time in life and practical life lessons and explanation are very important and needed.  This is Principle Things Academy and these are the most important principles I will ever teach!  So I have decided to put together and teach my own program.  All three will be taught the same lessons, adjusted to their age.  We will have two months to complete a unit with a total of five units for the year, done in notebooking style.  The other two months of the year (next summer) will be spent reinforcing what we learned already.  I am very excited about this venture and I think we will all benefit from it.  I look forward to documenting the Bible notebooking for you all!!

Another decision already made is that Makiah and Samuel both will do two large academic projects this year.  I'm talking project boards and oral reports on their chosen subject.  One science project and one social studies project.  Makiah will also have a large Bible project that she is doing based on a book, called the Girl in the Dress, Uncovering the Mystery of Modesty.  I want this to be a project that she keeps and is able to look back on, so it will be done notebooking style in protective sheets.  Sam most likely will have a Bible project too, I just haven't landed on just what yet.

Makiah will also be involved in an art class once a week for the first semester and I think it's going to be fabulous!  She is excited and I am too.  It is going to be taught by an art teacher and they will complete 14 projects, one weekly based on what they learn about the masters!  This class is through our homeschool group.

I am tweaking our daily goal folders slightly and our daily schedules.  I will do a photo post when they are all done and ready for viewing!

Above all, going into the new school year prayerfully is the most important part of this process.  The Bible clearly states, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."  James 1:5  It is important for the homeschool family to do so as being led by God.

Praying also keeps me from pulling my hair out and rushing them to the nearest public school and enrolling them, because not everyday is fabulous.  But most days are pretty fabulous.  ~Smile~

FYI:  This is one of the first things we will make this year coming school year!!  

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