For when you accomplish more than you Expect – Homeschool

When we started our new homeschool year in August, I wasn’t
quite sure what to expect.  Sure, I had
all the books; I planned our scope for the year, the projects that I wanted to
work on.  I made adjustments knowing we
would take a long homeschool break during the holidays.  I guess I wasn’t prepared to accomplish more
than I originally expected.
You see, this was the first year we didn’t go with our
normal curriculum instructor’s guide. 
Don’t get me wrong, I love the instructor’s guide, but there were so
many things I was planning on changing and stretching out, that I didn’t think
having the instructor’s guide would be a good thing.
We were in a bit of a limbo as far as the scheduling of our
year would go.  What did I do?  I had my high expectations and we worked
hard, one of the benefits of homeschooling I think.

Yet, we got to the end of February, and when I was sitting
down to do a rough plan for March, I realized that we were essentially
Now, I don’t think you are ever really *done* with learning,
but we were done with what I had planned for the year…and we still have a few
months left to go!

I thought about backing off from school, not necessarily
taking a break, but doing more review, free reading, projects, and less actual
math books and reading/language arts/English curriculum.
That thought process didn’t last long for me.

Part of what I love about homeschooling, and more
specifically year ‘round homeschooling, is that we can just move on.  There is nothing stopping us from starting
the next thing.
With the realization that we could just keep going, I
decided to sit down and look at the catalogs and online for book resources to
continue our year.  I talked a little bit
about my plans a couple weeks ago.

We have been using the Fun-Schooling books that each of the
kids got several weeks ago, but I knew that I needed a little bit more to fill
out our time.
I decided to go ahead and place an order for new curriculum.
We are still set with our “core” of history/read-alouds/science,
but I knew that I needed to order new readers for Emma, new handwriting books
for both the kids, new math books.  I
didn’t want to wait.
This past Saturday the first order of books arrived, and we
started with a whole new set of books yesterday after our little spring break
last week!

There is nothing like getting new books to breathe life into
your homeschool year, at least that is my experience.  Emma and Jack were so excited to do school
yesterday, they moved through everything quickly and efficiently, and we were
done by lunch.
Those are the days that I love, when everyone is in high
spirits, we accomplish a lot in a short amount of time, and we still feel
refreshed at the end of the day.
The whole point of me homeschooling is to work at the kids’
pace, so I shouldn’t hold them back when they move faster through work than I
expected, and I shouldn’t speed them through concepts to get to the next thing
if they need to spend more time on it.
We did start yesterday with these new books, but I know I
need to sit down and really read through the books to get a good sense of the
direction we are going.  And while I
talked about not buying the instructor’s guide this year, I did end up
purchasing it with the new readers, because that is where I can get the readers
schedule and some of the questions to go along with the books.

What do you do when
your kids don’t follow the normal “schedule?” 
Are you always thinking about “the next thing?”  What do you do when you accomplish more than you expect to?

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  1. I am truly in awe with so much respect for the families who went with the home schooling route. I know it is very challenging and I have thought about it too many times. Might still do eventually. Thank you for sharing this to us.

  2. I am a firm believer that every child will learn on their own time. Some subjects children may grasp right away and other subjects make take a little longer to learn and understand. If your children are learning at a faster pace, that is great! Continue on and let them keep going!

  3. I feel like the moments you don't have plans for are the bonus moments. Schooling reaches far beyond text books. A lot of social and emotional education happens too. That's the perfect time for field trips or to get together with another family for nature hikes. I think learning is fun and we never stop encouraging our kids to ask questions no matter where we are.

  4. I give you a lot of credit for homeschooling. Will you send your kids to school later on? I work with my daughter a lot at home, but for her being an only child, being at school is super necessary.

  5. I love that homeschooling allows for working at the kids pace. It allows extra time if they needed… and the ability to propel forward if they are done! My 13 year old lacks focus so we can jump between subjects when I see she is losing focus.

  6. I only wish I had the patience for homeschooling. My girls definitely learn a lot more easier in the school systems here. We do however have a schedule for when they do come home and have to finished up homework and do there daily chores.

  7. I sometimes wish that homeschooling was prevalent during the time I was raising my kid. I probably would have gone this path. There weren't that many (that I know of) resources. I think a definite challenge for me is keeping my kid on a schedule…because even today when she goes to a regular school it's like pulling teeth trying to get her to do her homework first…LOL!

  8. I think that you have a system that works. I admire you because as much as I love my kids, I don't think I'd want to teach them all day. I work in the public school system as a school counselor. Kudos to you!

  9. Home schooling is a foreign concept to me. I like the idea for certain situations, but being from Ireland, it wasn't anything that every happened… to anyone. The laws there state that a child MUST attend school or be taught for the same amount of hours by a fully qualified teacher. At least, back in my day they did, so no one ever bothered. I love that there are alternatives now, not every kid does well in mainstream. and it doesn't suit every family.

  10. I have been doing a low-key kindergarten year with my 6 year old to dip our toes in the water (handwriting without tears, Life of Fred math, read-alouds that I selected, and some other enriching things like piano, Scripture memory, poetry reading, nature walks, knitting/cross-stitching, etc) and had the same revelation a few weeks ago… I kind of accomplished all of what I wanted to get through this year and I have six more weeks planned for "school!" What to do? I decided to add extra handwriting practice, continue with read-alouds, add swimming lessons, add cooking or other kitchen science projects, try to do a few more fun art projects that I never had time for earlier in the year, and garden-outdoor time. I don't have the money to get all our curricula for next year's grade 1 yet but I love that you just went ahead! Are you using Sonlight? My mom taught us with SL and I loved it but have settled on Ambleside for us as a more direct Charlotte Mason type of education with similar living books covered. This looks so great and I remember when all our books came we just couldn't wait to dig in!

  11. Homeschooling is something I wanted to do in the past, but my busy schedule wouldn't allow it! 🙁 I do have deep admiration for those who have the time and patience for it, though. 🙂

  12. That's so amazing! I'm always impressed when I read about parents who home school, because to me, it's such a testament to their patience and diligence as both parents AND educators. I love it!

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