Every summer I get this feeling of panic. It only subsides when I figure out what we’re doing for next year’s homeschool.
I can’t relax and enjoy the summer, the summer free of school, until I get the school stuff out of the way.
I’m not an obsessive type person, but I know how the summer tends to swoosh past. Next thing you know it’s August, and you’re frantically researching, selling and buying homeschool curriculum.
Wait, you don’t do that too?
It starts with an inventory.
This morning, caffeine-fueled, I decided to attack.
I pulled out all the books off bookshelves, under the sofa, from the car, out of bedrooms. I listed them by category (for me this works better than grade level, since much of the curriculum I use doesn’t have a neat grade level).
Stacks of books on the table are lovely, no? Good thing my table is 8 feet long. In a pinch, we could do surgery on a very tall man on it. (That’s what the Gilbreaths did in Cheaper by the Dozen, only they created an operating theater in the kids’ bedrooms and removed everybody’s tonsils at once. That’s what happens when your parents are efficiency experts.)
Where was I?
This time I was smart. I actually typed up a document called Homeschool Curriculum Inventory and saved it in Google Drive (I use Drive for everything, do you?), so that I can see, at a glance, what I have each year, instead of having to drag everything to the table. When I sell or buy new stuff I’ll update the document.
After creating this list, I think about what worked for us last year and any changes I want to make. I get input from the kids on this. What did they like, what did they dislike, what do they want to keep, what do they want to learn next?
They sometimes surprise me. I also have two new things: a child turning 5 in August (yes! a new student! fresh meat!) and a graduating 17 year old who is now officially employed at his first real job. (It starts….)
Next step in getting ready for the upcoming school year? Figuring out what each child will be doing and creating a list of things to purchase.
(So far, the only purchase I’ve made is an Oak Meadow 4th grade syllabus for my 9 year old. I’m leaning heavily towards Oak Meadow for her this year, and only for her. I’ve never used OM before. It’s Waldorf-inspired and I think it would be a wonderful fit for a child like her. Anyone used it? Thoughts appreciated. After reviewing the syllabus, I may decide to scrap it, so I ordered early so I have plenty of time to review.)
Then I can relax and enjoy the rest of my summer, which so far has consisted of taking the kids to the neighborhood pool once, twice, even three times a day. I’m happy I’ll be able to strike this task off my summer bucket list!