I’m not sure why, but for some reason, every time January rolls around, I begin mildly obsessing about curriculum.
I have already been thinking about next year for quite some time, since my oldest will be a “big” First Grader, which is essentially the age where traditional philosophies (read Charlotte Mason and Classical instruction) recommend beginning a more intense type of study.
We are already in possession of several of the materials we will need for next year, because I mistakenly believed that my girl would be ready for them this year. I mean, she could have completed the assignments, but not without excessive prompting and handholding from me, which 1) is impossible considering our other little people; and 2) seemingly besides the point.
So we made the decision to get her reading, first at all, and then independently, and also to strengthen her basic math skills, so that come next fall, I can actually hand her the folders of prepared materials, and she can get to work, literally.
However, I declined to select a language arts program, because I was hoping that we could follow the Ambleside Online literature. I’m not sure whether I will abandon that plan or not, but I have been increasingly looking at Learning Language Arts Through Literature, (thought I’m not sure whether we would go with Blue or Red), and Writing With Ease. I am also very interested in this critical thinking program, and a spelling regiment.
This year has really served as a learning opportunity. While my girl loves to be able to choose things, in the end she really flourishes when I give her limited options that I know she is capable of doing on her own. We are struggling to boost her confidence so that when something appears challenging she doesn’t immediately feel overwhelmed and incapable of trying. And her confidence is really improving, it is heartwarming. For example, in completing some reading comprehension exercises, she used to merely answer the questions with the one word answer. However, after one or two times, she started answering in complete sentences on her own fruition. So neat!
Lastly, I am incredibly looking forward to a major “school room” reorganization. The layout of our current house is funky, wherein we essentially have one very large room, within which to accomplish schooling and daily living. It is also, therefore, incredibly inflexible. We are planning on moving within the next few months, for various reasons, and I am keeping an eye out for different ways of setting up/organizing our space, and attempting to anticipate what our changing needs might be–as my younger daughter will be starting K next fall as well.
Anyway, new year brings exciting anticipation. Cheers!