Planning for next year

I had an hour in a coffee shop all by myself the other day and I used it to begin a list in my journal in regards to school for next year.  Before the list-making, I prayed that God would lead us, that He would order our steps and make my time effective; that I wouldn't plan or invest time in what we won't end up doing.  I prayed that He would give me wisdom to discern what we can do, what will work for us, and what is important.  I prayed that He would reveal His desires for our school year to me and that He would show me where we can grow and how we can manage our time better.

Then I began jotting things down, focusing on what we missed this past year (or did too little of or things I just want to do more of) and what I see as growth areas for us.

Here is the list I made, with any notes in italics with further explanations:

-picture study  We made it through exactly ONE artist this year, to my chagrin.  This is due to poor planning on my part.
-classical music/composer study
-nature study/science  I'm ordering some Apologia for next year.
-narration  We do a lot of informal narrations, and Ella and I worked on written narrations once a week, but I want to continue to grow in this with all the kidsIt's one of my goals to read up on this in our off-season and get re-inspired.  *Any and all narration tips welcome.  :)
-read-alouds (more reading with little girls); and be more purposeful in choosing books.  I've found this year that a lot of the books in our book bin are our history-related picture books, which aren't of particular interest to the girls.  We own many wonderful books and I just need to put them out.
-more directive time w/ our history read-alouds: discussion, projects
-memory work and retention  Especially retention.  I'm contemplating this system or something like this.
-prep ahead of time: any coloring pages for the kids to color during our reading time
-devotions- work on developing habits for the older kids to be reading the Bible on their own
-handiwork diligence (for Ella)- to see a project through to completion
-Shakespeare
-piano practice- (for Ella)- move to earlier in the day
-Ella- girlhood stuff  I've been perusing this book and trying to figure out how to work some of that into Ella's schooling next year.
-compile a list of classics with Mark that we'd like the kids to read before they leave our home
-read inspiring books myself: good literature/classics and homeschooling encouragement.  Right now I'm reading both A Thomas Jefferson Education and A Charlotte Mason Companion (both excellent!) and have been reminded again how important it is for me to read books that encourage and inspire me in the education of my children.
-compile assigned reading lists for Isaias
-schedule less read-alouds for me to get through with the kids- Now that we're nearing the end of our school year I'm realizing that I have way too many history read-alouds to get through.  Better to schedule less and then add on as we go.

So that's the list.  This list will surely be added onto and then eventually will morph into another list, than another... and eventually it will become a TO DO list that I'll start checking off.  Mark and I already had a long conversation about the above list, me sharing with him what I see as our growth areas and asking him to think and pray about these things with me [and help me find solutions!]

* * *

Regarding one of those list items, read inspiring books myselfI would love to hear some of your favorites.  Many of you who read here are also homeschooling mothers.  Are there books that you keep going back to for homeschooling inspiration or encouragement?  Also, what books do you recommend for young moms who are either newly considering homeschooling or beginning their homeschooling journey?  Let's get a good list going in the comments.  I know there are readers who would appreciate this!

19 comments:

  1. I'm so inspired, as always, by you! Thanks for sharing and so fun you got some good planning time! I want to start using the index bible memory system. Great idea for reviewing the verses we have memorized! I'm looking forward to reading books to inspire and give me vision as I start our homeschooling journey

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    1. Thank you, sweet Allie! Love you!

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  2. My very favorite book to read, re-read and recommend for new homeschooling moms is For the Children's Sake, by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. It gets me excited and inspires me every time to create a lifestyle of learning for my kids!

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    1. It's been several years since I read that! Thank you for reminding me of it.
      Blessings to you and yours,
      ~Stacy

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  3. Have you read "When You Rise Up" by Sproul?
    Or "A Charlotte Mason Companion" by Andreola?
    I love both. :)

    Amara

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    1. YES! When You Rise Up is a great one, Amara! I read that at the beginning of our homeschooling journey and have thought of it several times since.

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  4. And zoinks. :) You just listed Charlotte Mason Companion. Ha. :) Note to self: Work on the habit of attention.

    Blessings again,
    Amara

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    1. It's okay! It's so good it's worth mentioning again! :)

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  5. Yes, The Charlotte Mason Companion and For the Children's Sake are two that I reread every. single. year. And in the last couple, Educating the Wholehearted Child has really challenged and grown us in this homeschooling life, and as our children get older.
    Thank you for sharing what you've been thinking- it's inspiring to think about planning for next year already- now's a good time to start those thoughts! :)
    Love you.

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    1. Love you, too, Elise. Praying for you and that baby girl to make her appearance SOON!
      Yes to Educating the Wholehearted Child, too. That is a favorite- and so comprehensive.
      (((hugs)))

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  6. Thanks for the reminder! I need to re-read For the Children's Sake this summer as well! I also really appreciate the reminder to pray over things like what books to order. Sometimes I forget to ask God for his guidance in things like this. I get to busy in the planning and excitement of new books. Again, thank you! Rebecca

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    1. Rebecca,
      Yes! I've already put For the Children's Sake on hold at our library!
      Love you, sweet Rebecca. Looking SO forward to seeing you NEXT month! ~smile~

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  7. Planning time...quite possibly my favourite time of the homeschooling year? Or would that be opening the amazon parcels as they arrive and just having to quietly pre-read all those marvellous books as I simply cant wait till they are scheduled?!
    Many of your list of things to work on struck a chord with me. I also love noting what worked well, and for my 9yr old's devotions she has been simply retreating to her room, reading a passage of Matthew and writing down a verse or two that struck her in her special book. For Girl Time we have also started "A Girl of Beauty" (Carol Fiddler) in a café once a month, it is a lovely time together! And after all these comments I am inspired to get down my copy of For the Children's Sake and glean some more wisdom from it. Happy pondering and planning!
    Hevs

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    1. YES! Opening the boxes of books is WAY fun. :)
      I'm really glad you shared about your daughters devotions. That's a very practical suggestion- just reading a passage and writing down a verse or two. Thank you for sharing.

      AND: I love your idea to meet in a cafe once a month- combining that focus on girlhood with a special date with mommy is a PERFECT idea.

      Blessings to you and thank you for your comments!

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  8. Two more books that I've thought of that haven't been mentioned yet, but that I own and have read more than once:

    Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home, by Elizabeth Foss

    Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit, by Teri Maxwell

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  9. These three are my favorites (in addition to The Charlotte Mason Companion that you've already mentioned):

    Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home, by Elizabeth Foss
    Lessons at Blackberry Inn and Pocketful of Pinecones, both by Karen Andreola

    :)

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    1. Thanks for listing your faves! :)

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  10. A friend recently recommended I check out your blog and I've been so encouraged by it, thank you! I'm in my first year of homeschooling, and LOVING it. Two books I'm currently reading and enjoying are "When Children Love to Learn" by Elaine Cooper and "The Faithful Parent" by Martha Peace & Stuart W. Scott
    ~Whitney

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  11. Aww... thank you for your kind words, Whitney! And thank you for the recommendations: I'll definitely have to check into them! (I think I may have read When Children Love to Learn before, but if so, it's been years.

    Thanks again!
    ~Stacy

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