Fitting Big Business into your Little Homeschool Planner

We’re baaaaaccccckkkkk, at least for a brief moment!

We had a tremendous time, and experienced God’s “blow-your-mind” blessings as described in Ephesians 3:20.     Then, during this past weekend, our older two participated in an academic competition.   Given the trip to Memphis, we literally went almost around the clock preparing in the last minute-effort to give the kids a chance at winning.    In just five short days, we’ll leave again for the Titus 2:1 Conference in Sterling, VA.   I am pinching myself that all of this and more is transpiring in these few weeks, but I’m also glad to settle down into a blog post for moment.   Writing gives me some sense of normalcy.

It’s been a long while since I’ve been to a conference–on either side of a booth.   It occurs to me how overwhelming the choices are for someone who is just entering this season of parenting and educating at home.   One of my customers, who had homeschooled for 17 years, shared that when her family began homeschooling, it was the choice of a small few who embraced homeschooling as an extension of God’s will for parenting.   Now, as she observed, it’s big business. 

In making this big business somehow fit neatly into our home, I’ve been think about next school year and what we’ll do, where I’ll focus, etc.   Here are my thoughts as of right now:

1) Courses for the oldest will be driven by her choices of college, and what is required to close the gap between where she needs to be versus where she is.   Regardless of her plans, her course load will be some combination of high school and college courses as we continue to take advantage of Texas’ dual enrollment opportunities, chipping away at her college requirements while we wrap up high school.

Amazing that her schedule is the simplest of all three kids–WOW!

2)  Our son is continuing through his third stint in the classical cycle, studying medieval history this year.    There are books that I didn’t think our oldest would enjoy, but I’m looking forward to sharing them with him.    He also wants to study Swahili, so I’ve had fun pulling together sites for language study; what remains is to find a few living books to compliment our work.    I’m also looking for living books to accompany our biology studies.    I’ve struggled with how to approach this year, when he should study biology.   He has no long-term interest in science, and I’ve slowly, but surely,  steered away from our household staple, Apologia, at the older levels.    Yet, I’d bought their (allegedly) elementary level Anatomy and Physiology text for the youngest–a failed experiment.   So, in the effort to not waste precious dollars, we will use this same text as a spine and then add much to it in terms of labs, outside studies, and again, living books.

I’m already thinking ahead to his final year with us before moving on to higher studies.  He is our one child that skipped a grade.   If we stayed with our current plan, he would leave home potentially as a very young 17-year-old.   We could keep him here and slow down his high school progress, but I am sure that would be discouraging.    So, early indications are that he might take a gap year, in which he’ll complete any remaining high school courses and perhaps get a jump on his higher education at a local college.

3)  The youngest and her studies poses a true dilemma.    Our current methods of study with her have her longing for the yellow school bus, and leave me frustrated with her for being frustrated.   I reconciled within myself (or did I?) years ago that I can’t make every day fun for the kids.   Yet, I can remember when our older two were her age, and our homeschooling day looked markedly different.   We were far more active in a group; we cooked; we took more field trips.   We took a legitimate recess with a swing set in back and a pool.  We worked very hard to make our home kid-friendly for kids who had to spend all day there.   Now the swing set rusted, and the dog poked holes in the pool.   Even our soccer and basketballs are all deflated.   So, she will definitely be a focal area on next year.

I’ll share more as our plans begin to solidify.   How about you?    What high-level changes do you envision in your school day?    What will remain the same?

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7 comments on “Fitting Big Business into your Little Homeschool Planner

  1. Angi says:

    I sometimes wonder if my younger children will notice that they didn’t do some of the “fun” things my older ones have done. Loved the post!

    • Yes, this is definitely a different season for the youngest. I sometimes feel bad for her, but I also realize that my own feelings of guilt, etc., probably add to her own frustrations about what she doesn’t get to do. Of course, on the other hand, she’s more active in the evenings than the other kids ever were! It’s just during the day when her options are more limited during school time. I just need to back up 20 yds. and punt, you know? We’ll get there.

  2. Dawn says:

    Awesome post! I have a feeling more field trips and playground equipment are in your future. I really need to start thinking more about next year. My thoughts are still in the early stages. I don not think we will be making major changes.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  3. tuzor says:

    Good to hear that you enjoyed the conference. I wanted to attend the online conference but I couldn’t and I was not sure if I could purchase the mp3’s from the site. I am curious about hnow you plan your CM education for your children? That is the big change for us next year is implementing CM ideas into our WTM like school.

  4. Ty Thomas says:

    Definitely adding more physical education and emphasis on their musical studies. We’re thinking of going back to private in home music teachers. With the oldest away in college, the learning “personality” will now shift to a different kid leader…our 2nd son. He is definitely more independently focused and a stickler for details. This should be VERY interesting as the other children tend to fall in line with the oldest in the house. I’m kind of looking forward to it!*wink*

    Also we’re trying out a curriculum for intro to veterinary studies that we purchased through 4-H…and starting our own 4-h chapter to get deeper into the animal and agricultural interests of son #2 and #4. I’m REALLY looking forward to that! Oh…and now that the boys are about done with scouting (Eagle ranks just about done)…we’re returning to FOOTBALL in the fall with a homeschool football league/team. THAT I am totally stoked about…I LOVE FOOTBALL!

    Keep us prayed up…and I’ll do the same for you!

    • Yes, ma’am, we certainly need the prayer cover! I know that there is always a good bit going on over your way; I’m just happy to get a text or blog comment every now and then (smile)!!

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