We have had a couple of weeks since out homeschool year has come to a close. I’ve been contemplating how we did this year and what we can do better next year. This past year I had a 9th grader, 7th grader, 5th grader, 3rd grader, Kindergartner plus the boys (4 and 1).
Our 9th grader took Algebra and Biology with a co-op. It was a good thing for her. She really enjoyed spending time with kids her age and found she really liked Biology. (I was really glad that she got to dissect frogs and other things somewhere else 🙂 ) For our family it was a rather difficult thing, however. The co-op ended up being two days a week and one of those days it was 30 minute drive instead of a 5 minute drive. It was really difficult to get a good routine going with all of the driving I was doing between co-op, piano lessons and 4H activities. The other trouble we found with this schedule is that she really only focused on the work for co-op and didn’t get my assignments done. She is now having to do “summer school” to get my work done.
For the 3rd, 5th and 7th grader we used the Easy Peasy curriculum from www.allinonehomeschool.com , Teaching Textbooks and Always Ice Cream. Overall we really liked the independent work everyone was able to do. The kids missed our read alouds and doing history together. We did add in some read alouds towards the end of the year.
Our Circle Time was very inconsistent due to our crazy schedule this year but everyone was able to get a few poems memorized, drew a bit with a Draw to Learn Proverbs, sang some hymns and did some devotionals.
We worked through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with the Kindergartner. She has finally got her sounds down but putting them together is still a challenge. She enjoyed working on her Rod and Staff workbooks. She also loved using Always Ice Cream.
We used workboxes for the Kindergartner and Preschooler pretty successfully. We used quite a bit from http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/letter-of-the-week and materials we already had like sewing cards, counting bears, shapes, etc…
Overall I felt like this was a survival year but we made it through and learned some strategies that will help us in the future. Every year has its strengths and weaknesses but we keep on pushing through and God teaches us what we need to know. I am so thankful he loves my children even more than I do and he will fill in the gaps. Next time I will let you know my thoughts on next year.