Okay, I’m working through the stacks and stacks of books, packing for storage what we will not use in the next year.  I promised myself I would not even look at the new books (nope, not even open them) until I was completely finished with last year, but now we are and I can hardly contain my childish excitement.  Following is the developing skeleton of this year’s schedule.  It may change as time and ability require, but it looks pretty solid to me right now.  We’ll see how my 2 year old twins feel about that in weeks to come!

Jaelah & Selah:
Bible – Greenleaf Press Guide to Old Testament History
Bible Memory
– Sing the Word & Sonlight Core B Memory
History & Literature
– Sonlight Core B
Geography
– Trail Guide to World Geography & Notebooking
Spelling/Phonics
– All About Spelling Level 3
Reading
– Sonlight Grade 3 Readers
Handwriting/Copywork –
Queen’s Pictures in Cursive Primer & Lessons in Manners
Grammar
– Shurley English Level 2
Composition/Writing
– IEW Student Writing Intensive Level A
Mathematics
– MUS Beta
Science –
Apologia Exploring Creation with Botany & Notebooking
Drama/Speech
– IEW Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization
Art
– Atelier Level 1

Chavah:
Bible – Egermeier’s Bible Story Book
Bible Memory
– Sing the Word & Sonlight Core B Memory (as interested)
History & Literature
– Sonlight Core P
Phonics
– ETC Books A-C & Developing the Early Learner Books 1-4
Reading
– All About Reading Level Pre-1 (almost finished) and Level 1 (slow pace)
Handwriting/Copywork –
A Reason for Handwriting Level K
Mathematics
– MUS Primer (slow pace)
Science –
Sonlight Science A (read aloud books only)
Drama/Speech
– IEW Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization (as interested)
Art
– Artelier Level 1 (as interested)

Twins:
Listen to Mom read aloud to big sisters
– Make plenty of messes and as much noise as possible
– Together, invent new ways to find off-limit household items

In glancing over my list, it looks overwhelming.  However, the actual time devoted to each of these categories is more than sufficient, and we will not be sitting at our desks for more than 3 hours each day.  Some veteran homeschool moms have told me that the best-laid plans can often end in miserable disappointment if I am not careful to have attainable expectations and realize that at the end of the day, the children’s character development is the most important “education” they will ever receive.  I am thankful to have such advice, for I admittedly struggle with perfectionism.  I need to remember this year that my children are young and we have plenty of years of learning ahead of us.  In the same way, I will not allow myself to shy away from this monumental task.

There are some areas lacking in my current schedule.  I have not yet come up with a plan for PE other than swimming lessons this summer and gymnastics in the fall.  As much as the kids love to run and play, I am not ready to put boundaries around their physical activities yet.  Team sports would be so fun but most games take place on the Shabbat, which obviously would not work for us.  I’m still at the drawing board on this one.  My dream would be to have piano lessons for the older two especially since it helps with math, but that will have to wait until our budget can make room for a piano, which probably will not be in the immediate future.  Maybe next year.  We do not have any plans to begin technology or typing yet as I think the girls need to grow quite a bit in their handwriting and reading first.  We also do not have a place for foreign language studies as of now.  While I see the value in beginning language studies young, there is not a way for us to incorporate it this year due to time constraints; I can only ask so much of the twins.  I am considering it an unnecessary elective for now.  Since Pete is fluent in Spanish (most likely our family’s foreign language of choice) I will depend much on his talent when we begin our studies later.  Besides, I have not yet found a program that seems to be efficient, affordable, and will keep us committed for the long haul.  Guess I’ll have to keep researching that one too.

Keeping school exciting, interesting, and enjoyable this year will be key, but I also want to instill in the girls an understanding of diligence, perseverance, and hard work.  The point of school (and of life) is not to have fun all the time, but to understand that anything worth pursuing is going to require a great deal of effort.  A love (or at least an appreciation) of learning and growing is a vital part of a child’s development.  We have had such richness in our education journey thus far, and I aim to keep it that way.  As difficult as it is, life as a disciple of Yeshua will all too soon affirm to them that we often have to do things we do not necessarily want to do.  Prayerfully, education will not become a burden in this way.  I will strive to help them keep their eyes on the prize of accomplishment.  How much that will build their confidence – they can do challenging things and do them well!  It probably will be years before they can understand this kind of personal fulfillment, but starting young will help cement the process in their hearts.

Now to continue entering all these lesson plans into Homeschool Tracker.  My wrists and elbows hurt from so much typing, but I soldier on.