I am really liking this schedule though. The months they have off are known for being rather nice, weather wise, around here. It also gives them the month of December off. Which is great for planning trips to visit family, or making freezer’s full of Christmas cookies, or decorating. They also won’t have enough time off to become completely bored and drive me insane! By the time school starts up again they will just have started running out of fun, disastrous things to try! We also will not spend the first two or three months of a new school year re-learning everything they forgot over the summer. It also keeps ME sane.. I know that in just a few short weeks, I will get a break too! I think it will help guard against burn out. I pray it will! Last year was a bad year for me in that area. I think a lot of it was that I didn’t really have a curriculum and so had to spend a lot of time finding things to teach the kids, without having the money to buy anything! It was really hard!
I have stretched it out so that each Sonlight Curriculum can be used for two years rather then one. That way, this year, I can buy a new curriculum for the older three, then next year I can buy one for the younger two, ( I am not counting Putter’s in this count! :o) and I am not buying TWO $900 curriculum sets every year! To do this I do the Reading, History and Geography one Monday and Wednesday, and the Science and language arts on Tuesday and Thursday. We do Math and Bible every day. We take Fridays off for doctor appointments, field trips, or grocery shopping. I use Horizon’s math, I love the way they revisit learned concepts continuously through out the year. It makes it hard for the kids to forget a concept that way! I don’t buy the entire year’s Math books at once, but I order them as needed. I find them on Ebay or Amazon for about $14 each plus shipping.
I did find this year’s Sonlight curriculum on Ebay for $300. I plan out school years from tax return check to tax return check, so that is why our school year just started, when others are finishing up! The curriculum I bough used on Ebay included everything except Language Arts. I have the teacher book for the LA but not the kid’s worksheets. So far I have been able to use a different LA book I was given and just teach about the same concepts as are listed in the Teacher Book. Then use the teacher book to teach a few things they need to learn to follow the curriculum, such as Dictation.
The kids grandparents are pretty supportive of homeschooling and the ones that don’t live here send up a large box of supplies every year, that includes things like pencils and crayons, to back packs and lunch pails for field trips, to paper and printer ink. The grandparents that live here help out with taking over lessons now and then, to helping on field trips, buying supplies we run out in the middle of the year, and being there for me to send the kids to when I get frustrated! I also use our local dollar store A LOT! I find packages of paper, pencils, erasers, rulers, sharpeners, and more there for $1 each.
All in all, with 5 kids that are school age, I think we spend less money homeschooling then we would spend if we sent them to public school, where they would each need school cloths, new backpacks, lunch boxes, and supplies!
While the older 5 do school, Putter’s will usually color, sing to herself, play with blocks, take a nap or watch and educational cartoon. Color on the walls, unroll and entire roll of toilet paper, cut off the dogs hair, or her own, find the sharpie I left out and decorate her brand new outfit, or dump out an entire box of cereal… as you can tell I am still working on keeping her safely occupied while we have school time. Any ideas?