Friday, July 18, 2008

Getting Ready

It seems like yesterday that Teacher let the monkeys out. But in three short weeks this teacher will be calling the monkeys back in for school. We are starting earlier than ever this year to finish up by April 24th. I learned my lesson last year while dragging the kids through May. After being inside for months, none of us wanted to sit still once the Spring weather hit. I don't want to do that again and neither do they.

Sean and I have decided to try some different things this year in regards to curriculum. Up until this point we've been using Sonlight to set the atmosphere for our homeschool. But it has become apparent that our children are individuals who learn in such different ways. Thus, we need different approaches to really inspire them to learn. So we've branched out and purchased a year of Abeka to add to our library. Lydia will be using it this year while Hannah continues on in Sonlight. It will be a great resource to have as needed for the pupils coming up behind them.

In my dream world I would order our curriculum new directly from the company and it would arrive at my door within the week. The reality, however, is that homeschooling does cost something and we could easily spend upwards of $2000 to get all that we would like to have. But just like all things, there is always a way to save. I've spent the last few weeks on ebay and online classifieds wheeling and dealing. Thankfully, we've been able to get what we need for about 40% of the total retail cost and hopefully helped some other homeschool families purchase the things they need. It's been fun getting some packages at the door filled with new-to-us books and the anticipation is building.

My next step is to clean out the school room and try to sell those things we won't need again. Sean has mentioned giving me some time away in a hotel to work on getting the lesson plans ready for the year. I really want to take some time to pray and lay down some concrete goals for myself and the kids in the coming school year. Whew! Here we go!

When do you plan on starting school? What kinds of things do you do in preparation?


Heather L. said...

Let me know if you found a way to get ABEKA for a good deal.

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

I'm excited for you! :)
I have some Abeka things; did you get everything you needed?

mom24 said...

I know how you feel about the planning! I have had to wheel&deal, beg, borrow & steal with dh and family to try to get chunks of time WITHOUT kids around so that I can plan. I just can't seem to think straight enough with them around to get it all done in one chunk. And in the piecing plan together, I'm afraid I'm going to miss something. OY!

I haven't (although I have greatly considered) gone with Sonlight yet. We'll see how my 1st year teaching 2 students goes. I am nervous about teaching R (5yo dd with slight learning difference) but your progress with Miriam (it is she, right?) has encouraged me!

Since we don't have a packaged plan, I am using Homeschool Tracker Plus this year to plan and checklist and print daily assignments for the kids.

Yikes - I feel like the new year is RIGHT around the corner, don't you? It makes me nervous but at the same time, we are ready for somegood structure again! Hope you are able in integrate Abeka well - I've heard it's a good choice!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

I have no clue what I'll do to plan and get ready...our FIRST year of homeschooling begins this fall. ;)

I have purchased much, like a eager newbie will...HAHAHAHA! Can't wait and looking forward to it!

Tisha said...

Good job getting such a deal on those books!!! I wish I can say the same. I paid full price for our stuff this year... ouch.

We are starting THIS THURSDAY...

I have cleaned out the playroom/school room and I THINK I am ready to go. No alone time for me, but I have made it work and have involved them in the organizing process! :)

Saralyn said...

We're going to start mid-August and I'm really excited to get rolling again.

I really freaked out this year about curriculum, second guessing myself about everything. We're very eclectic and use a textbook only for math, phonics, and grammar, so I've been pouring over books, deciding what we're going to read and if we're going to buy them or borrow them from the library. After praying a lot and once my husband peeled me off the ceiling, I placed three book orders and now I'm trying to organize them into some sort of schedule.

As for Abeka, a lot of folks put Abeka material on If you've got some stuff you're willing to get rid of, it's a great deal.

Cindy said...

Hang in there sis. I know that new stuff is hard at first, but once you get started you will feel great about it. Sometimes we can be really be tough on ourselves, especially when our spouse is busy. I'll be praying that you will find some margin to get away and plan. I found a planning calender in the front of my language arts teacher's manual, which I am finding to be quite helpful in my planning this year.

Anonymous said...

Dear Monica,

I also will begin the school year in August. We would like to finish by the end of April of next year.

The preparations are extensive. I have to give an affidavit to the school board every year, with our goals, objectives and what our courses will be.

Then the fun begins, creating the curriculm. This is where I am now.

You mentioned that you have been able to get some bargains, that is wonderful :)

Thank you sharing.


Kate said...

Good luck with the planning! I hope that you are able to get away for the prayer and planning that you desire!

Saralyn said...

Another one--check out for Abeka resale.

Donna(mom24boyz) said...

We did the same thing--ebayed all summer for stuff--mostly abeka. But I think next year I plan to buy new and then sell--it is just a lot of work bidding on the books and trying to win and decent prices. I found no matter what I did I still paid about 1/2 price for Abeka--so my thinking is, if I buy new and sell it...then I will get back about 1/ what is the dif, except I am not straining my brain and spending a ton of time ebaying trying to win the items.
I like the hotel idea.....I just came up with an excell program I plan to use to lay out my 170 lessons for each kid's subject. Now I just need to get to plugging the info in....I like things all written out. You need to do A,B and C and you are done type curriculum. With a little creativity and spontaniety thrown in on the side...
Another tip for all.....get what you need to get done now then stop....We have set projects that we are working on around our house--a bathroom remodel, some decluttering and rearranging etc. I have a set date (in late August) and what is not done by then will be put wayyyyyyyyyy back on the back burner till next spring. Having this date has motivated my husband and I both to get crackin' and moving on these projects. When school time is here--that will be my's the only way I can function. I can't have stuff scattered about the house for project A and B--I need those done and out of the way. So I can focus on school work and housework and family/Got time. So set a date....get what needs to get done and stop.