Thursday, April 12, 2012

a little contemplation about school

My oldest child will be in SEVENTH grade next year.

That is JUNIOR HIGH people!!

Okay, so I know that they don't call it junior high any more... it is middle school in the public schools around here, but I don't care, it still feels like junior high to me.

Just for the record, I am terrified.  There are many reasons I could give you, but the two preying heavily on my mind these days are curriculum and creating goals for next year.

If you homeschool, you know that choosing curriculum can be an overwhelming task.  When I started out I had no idea how much was available and I daresay that there are even more options now.  I have already decided that we will do Mystery of History and that we will continue with Math-U-See, but I am still struggling with Language Arts and Science.

I have to admit that I have been lax in teaching grammar and writing with my kids.  With that in mind, I really want a more comprehensive and structured program for next year that will help get them on track.  I am leaning toward using Learning Language Arts Through Literature.  I like what I have read about this curriculum, but I don't know anyone who has used it, so I am still a little nervous about actually ordering the material.

When it comes to science, I have always used, and been very pleased with, Apologia courses.  We have done several and my kids love them.  As a matter of fact, I had planned to continue the Apologia elementary series with the boys and begin with General Science for LB.  However, I recently heard about the Answers in Genesis science curriculum and after reading the description on their website, I think it is definitely worth considering.  If I go that route, I am leaning toward choosing the Physical Science curriculum.  The upside would be that I could use one course for all three kids and just tailor the activities to their individual abilities.

(Okay, this is the part where I stop and ask all you homeschoolers out there to give me your opinion on science and language arts ... any good ideas that I have missed?)

Back when I was a new mother and home educating my children was just something I planned to do one day, I never even considered curriculum.  Back then, in the dream world I lived in, there were no questions when it came to schooling, everything would just fall into place the way that it was supposed to.  And, in that same dream world, nothing would compete for our time and my children would beg to do their school work and I was an incredibly fun mom and teacher ... now go ask my kids how much of that dream came true ;o)

Back in the real world ... I want things to be different next year.  I don't know exactly what I want things to look like, but I want them to be more organized and less hectic.  I want to remove the distractions and keep only the good things.  I don't know exactly how all this will play out with curriculum choices and activity choices, but I am fairly certain that I had better start planning now if I want it all in place by the fall, 'cause change doesn't come easy to my kids ... or, ahem, to their mother.


Rie said...

I'm emailing you.

Greg and Donna said...

ANYTHING you can combine for all 3 would be a great thing! Science and History are 2 great subjects that can be taught once and then activities tailored to their ages and skill levels. We aren't using a set English curriculum ~ they are doing research, writing short reports, reading lots, etc.