Back to School!

Posted by Jill,Tags: ,

Yea!  Back to school!  I always loved this time of year as a kid.  By the time August came each year summer had long been boring and I was ready to see friends again.  And the best part, we got to buy new school clothes.  That probably sounds totally silly, but choosing a new outfit from our new wardrobe for the first day of school was one of the most exciting parts.

Anyway, school is here!  I’ve decided that “back to school” feels a little different when you’re homeschooling, but it still has some excitement to it.  It feels new, like a fresh start.  The kids have all moved up a grade, they have their new books and materials, and we’ve tweaked the schedule to make room for some new things.  (Namely exercise and piano.)  They are now in kindergarten, 2nd, 2nd, 4th, and 5th grades.  (My baby is in kindergarten!  So hard to believe!)  Between the 5 kids, here are the subjects for this year:

  • Math
  • Reading/Language
  • History
  • Geography
  • Chinese (speaking, reading, writing)
  • Gospel study (Religion)
  • Science
  • Art
  • P.E.
  • Typing
  • Read Alouds (reading novels to the kids, usually done just before bedtime)


Yes, it’s going to be a good year.  I promised a while back that I would post our homeschool schedule.  So, if anyone is interested, here is our fall schedule. And if you can decipher my craziness, you’re good.  Real good.  It took me a while to figure it out myself! :)

This is the second homeschool schedule I’ve made; the first was for the spring.  It is a definite process.  First, I spend hours getting everything to line up, making sure to mix up independent work with dependent work.  If I put too many dependent things in the same slot, everyone gets short changed.    Next step, I implement it and find out very quickly what works and what doesn’t.  (For example, having all the kids do language at the same time was a disaster.  Had to switch that around.)  Then, after 2 or 3 weeks of testing and tweaking I feel comfortable enough to use precious paper and toner and print the hard copy.  We just completed our 3rd week and I’m feeling pretty good about it.  So good that I printed it on Friday.

I should probably give a brief explanation for those who may be scratching their heads.  My column on the left tells me who I’m helping with what subject.  For example, “MK: Language” means I’m helping Michael and Kaylee Ann with language.  The asterisks just mean they’re computer-based activities.  The bolded subjects in the kids’ columns are ones that require my help.  I know it’s a little redundant, but I added my column as an afterthought because it was hard to look through all the kids’ columns to figure out what I was supposed to be doing when.  *”Rotation Station” (see below) and “electives” are different for each day of the week so they’re listed at the bottom by day.  Take Monday for example.  I teach art on Monday during Rotation Station.  Then, Michael would do science during elective time, Kaylee Ann would do computer, Jasmine would do her art project, etc.  (Electives is listed twice for each child because sometimes it can take up to an hour.)

*”Rotation Station” is the “fun” sounding name we came up with to describe the classes I teach on a weekly, rotating basis.  I originally called this block “Mom’s Choice” but Michael and I decided that was a terribly un-fun sounding name.)

One of the things I’m most excited about this year are the two new things we’ve squeezed into the schedule.  I’ve found that if it’s not on the schedule, it doesn’t usually happen.  For this reason we have piano practice and exercise in their very own time slots for each of the kids.  And so far, they’re both happening!  Yea!  And no, that’s no typo.  The kids will be exercising 3 times a day this year.  More about piano and exercise will have to wait for another post. :)

- Jill

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