I can breathe.

As in relax.

Mentally.

For a moment.

You see, this week, we officially closed out the school year with evaluations, and turned in our portfolios to the school district. PhotobucketAlso this week, both boys ended their baseball season. Having 2 boys in two different leagues is a little…hectic.

So now I can breathe.

And while I’ve been breathing, I’ve been shopping for curriculum. I’ve always purchased my curriculum new; buying extra workbooks for the younger ones so that I don’t have to worry about future new editions that wouldn’t match my teacher’s editions. Anyway…this year, I’m shopping ebay and the HSLDA Curriculum Market for as much as I can. So far, so good. I’ve already saved $200! Photobucket I can’t believe I never thought of this before! I should’ve started sooner, but it took all I had to finish this year. Next year, I’ll try to start sooner. Photobucket

I’ll give it another few weeks, and then start ordering anything else I need. The trickiest thing is finding the latest editions of books that were just updated last year. I know that’s not critical, but since my youngest will already be getting 6 year old books when it’s his turn to use them, I want to start with the latest editions. It also makes finding any “extras” like tests and extra workbooks easier to find in a catalog now.

The first books arrived today. Guess I should start putting away this year’s books. Photobucket

Alrighty then…I’ve neglected this blog (and pretty much all of them 😳 ) for far too long.  And you guys still visit!  You like me.  You really, really like me!  😉 Since this started as a homeschool blog, and we are officially in full swing of the new school year, it’s about time I get back to it.

We started last Wednesday, but including two summer days of school, that leaves us 175 days to complete to make the state happy.  Woohoo.

Changes this year: DD12 and DS10 are both using Apologia; General Science and Astronomy, respectively.  We went back to BJU for history this year, after a less than stellar year with The Mystery of History last year.   I know it works for many people, just not for us.  One of the many beauties of homeschooling: you can switch when something doesn’t work for you and your kids.thumbsup.gif  DD12 has started Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra, and is already happy with the reduction in busy work that Saxon gave us.  DS10 is still using Saxon (and will until 7th grade unless he hits The Wall), but I’ll be reducing his busy work myself once he shows me he doesn’t need it.  DS6 is thrilled that he has started first grade and can’t wait to tell his Sunday School teacher tomorrow.  He’s so cute!  I will be spending part of today revamping his curriculum, though.  I can tell already that he’s bored with the review of letter sounds.  Time to skip ahead.

I purchased the CDs for notebooking our Apologia courses from LiveandLearnPress.  We’ve never done notebooking/lapbooking before, and my daughter is already frustrated with it, after putting together one mini-book.  I’m going to make her finish at least one module with them to see if she can get into it, but I have a feeling we’re going to go back to just writing the answers in a regular notebook.  DS10 didn’t complain about his yesterday, so maybe that’s a good sign.  I do know, that when the time comes, DS6 will love doing this.  He loves cutting things out and gluing things together.  In fact, I may do a couple of lapbooks with him this year.  He’s definitely the kinesthetic learner in the family.  DS10 is very visual.  DD12 is….difficult to pin down. 

Something else new…I’m using Homeschool Tracker Plus this year for planning.  Last year was actually the first time I ever planned things out on paper, thanks to the forms from Donna Young.wub2.gif  It worked very well for me for the first quarter. (As far as I had gotten.)   Then I had some issues with a relative that sent me into a tailspin for a couple of months, and I never got back to planning the rest of the year.  I did weekly assignment sheets on occasion, but it was pretty much “do the next lesson” until the end of the year.  I type much faster than I write, and being able to change things easily and have the database print out reports made HST+ very attractive to me.  What a learning curve, though! icon_eek.gif  I’m glad I stuck with it.  I hope I stick with it for the rest of the year.  (Bad habit of mine…starting off with a bang, only to fizzle out.)  I am having a bit of trouble getting past the paper “safety net” of having something to hold on to, though. 

That’s about it with school for the moment.  On a personal note, I’ve had a sinus infection since the third week of July.  (Ploy for sympathy. 😉 )  I have an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat specialist on Wednesday.  

Time to start thinking about reorganizing the blog…better categories, updating curriculum list, etc… And catching up with all of you. 🙂

Ahhhh, the smell of new books.  Our first shipment of new curriculum arrived today from CBD.  Yahoo!  New books = fresh starts = new learning. 

Ok, first I have to get all the old stuff put away. 

One of things I’m excited to play with is the History Through the Ages CD of timeline figures.  I already own the pre-printed pages of Creation to Christ from using The Mystery of History Vol 1 last year, but we are not continuing with MOH this year.  DD will be studying world history from 1100 to the present, and DS will be using studying 20th century world history.  Rather than buy two more sets of pre-printables, I went for the CD of the whole shebang.  Lots more flexibility that way, too.  OH, I guess it would make sense to mention that we use these with the History Through the Ages Record of Time.  Those notebooks were the favorite part of our history class last year.  The kids loved using them.

I’m also looking forward to Apologia science for both DS10 and DD12, and Teaching Textbooks for math for DD.  In short, I’m excited about all the new stuff we’ll be trying this year. 

Are you looking forward to trying something new this coming school year?