This last season has reminded me that Spring is busy!
I have extra work-related responsibilities in the Spring, and then there are parties and playdates and field days and park meet-ups. So, so much fun stuff, but also–we have not yet truly regained out rhythm after our rough start to the year.
Still, Bubba has made some fantastic progress this year. He’s only in TK per his charter school, but he’s finishing up Kindergarten work and we plan to “do” first grade skills next year.
Over the last several months, I have really decided that I like Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. I don’t know that we will fully embrace her principles, but I have to say, the more I read, the more I think she knew what she was talking about!
Mason would say that Bubba is in a pre-school year, too young for formal lessons. This both grates on me and relieves me: I feel a little bit like Don’t tell me what to do with my kid and also Right, that’s why he doesn’t want to sit still! I think in most areas, we have kept lessons more play-like than formal, and Charlotte would probably approve. I know she would say we should spend far more time out of doors together as a family, and I’m not sure we will live up to the lofty hours she sets as goals. Still, I know that much of the time the kids spend with my parents while I work are out-of-door hours, and perhaps they are outside almost enough.
This year, we really focused on reading skills and math skills. For reading, we played with a few different phonics readers (like Bob Books), and worked on phonics as we went. We kept it simple and low-pressure. We used Handwriting Without Tears for copywork.
For math, we’ve been alternating (on a whim) between Dreambox, math games from Right Start and others, and work sheets from Math-U-See and Singapore. I don’t think it’s normal or necessary to use so many different companies! We just happened to have a lot of different pieces based on some things I’d received to review or secondhand from friends.
We are working right now on a review to an online piece that supplements both reading and math.
Anticipating a busy Spring next year, I think we will begin our first official CM year by using Sabbath Mood Homeschool’s Scheduling Cards , with books chosen from Ambleside Online’s schedule, as well as a hodgepodge of other sources. I appreciate the scheduling cards because they really help me to reign myself in–I don’t have to read ALL of the books with Bubba next year, and in the short amount of time CM recommends for literature, it will be hard to do too much! I do think we will probably reduce the 20 minute slots a little as we ease into the practice of a more orderly day.
Have you started planning for next school year? I keep joking that I need a week alone to mentally prepare myself, but I know that’s silly, because I’ll change everything a few weeks into the new year!