Kicking off our 11th year of homeschooling has been so bittersweet. It's so hard to believe where we started, where we are, where we are going, and just embracing each day! Hard to believe that I only have three years left with my oldest and we are just really getting started with my youngest.
This year, I've completely changed the direction of our education approach. I just felt like God has been leading my heart in a different direction and needing me to get more hands on and invest MORE of myself into what we are doing. That approach was "crazy" to many since life is more hectic than ever, especially with having two young toddlers in the house (currently 12 months and 13 months). My head screamed go simple, but yet my heart knew it was time to go deeper.
I spent the entire summer choosing curriculum, budgeting, ordering, and creating lesson plans. Pinterest and other internet sites and I became attached at the hip! I spent countless hours: planning, stressing, planning, and stressing some more. Eventually I relaxed and enjoyed the process, but I can't say it was that way all along! When I finally finished lesson plans that will take us all the way through Columbus Day, I literally squealed, shouted, and cried. SUCH a huge relief and excitement all wrapped up into one. I also gathered EVERY needed supply and boxed them according to each week/topic/child so that they are completely ready to go. THAT is what is saving my sanity!
One of the biggest struggles I have had in lesson planning is that we ALWAYS get off track. When that happens, my entire lesson plan book is off and I get frustrated beyond imagination (even to the point of stopping planning and that leads to DISASTER!). I was so excited to find an idea on pinterest that literally made life so easy.
Planning with post-it notes! A teacher posted how she used them by drawing grids in a notebook and then moves them around as needed. I loved that idea, but hers needed a little bit of tweaking to work for our family (more subjects, needing more on a page). With a little bit more research, I found one that used smaller post-its and it works perfectly. Each subject is color-coded and can be moved around when we miss a day or don't finish. It was a life-saver during the planning process!!!
Once those pages we're filled, I was ready to go (this particular page we have Friday off)
The absolute best part of the first day of school are the REQUIRED pictures in my book. This year we put a different twist to them and I loved it! (We are all wearing new homeschool back to school shirts purchased from Great Products!)
And we started the year off with an end of summer/back to school weekend with treats and a fun trip to Starved Rock State Park for some hiking.
(Adriana says the boys are "Scary").
Ready for a new year! New goals. New ways. New inspiration. Ready to tackle things in the way God is leading.
I may feel like a ping-pong ball bouncing between my three kids, the two babies I take care of, household responsibilities, volunteer roles, keeping connected to God in powerful new ways, and keeping my husband is top priority..........BUT God brought me here and He has yet to leave me. He will equip. He will guide. He will provide rest and comfort. He will be there on the days that I pull my hair out! :)