This last few weeks, my nights have been spent planning the upcoming school year. First, I had to finalize the broad strokes - what subjects to cover, what topics to cover in each subject, what materials to buy. Once I got the broad strokes finalized, I started working on the detailed plan. We use edu20.org to have an easy way for all of us to access the plans for the courses, the online resources for each, etc. I use it for most of their courses. For each course, I add links to all the online resources I want them to use (listing less as they get older & better at online resource), list the activities planned for each topic, list the DVDs planned for each topic, and any other required resources for each subject/topic. So, they can check their online courses to see what assignments they have & what resources they need for each assignment. I have also set up some of Dea's courses as full online courses, with online tests, online assignments, etc. so she can get some experience with online courses, though there is no longer a need for that, as she is doing online courses elsewhere. This has really made things easier for us, since it allows me to keep it all somewhere we can all get to it regardless of what computer we are using, even if more than one of us needs to access it at one time, and it is private. We had been using a wiki for this purpose, but this really has been easier.
So, I've been working on setting up Jay's courses on our school site. I can't do all the detailed planning right now, but I can get some of it done. I'm hoping to finish what detailed planning I can do this week. Then, I can spend the next few weeks focusing on my schoolwork, trying to get as much done as I can before the new materials to show up. Once the new materials show up, I will spend a week or two finishing the detailed planning.
Anyway, working on the plans for the upcoming year has me thinking about our homeschool journey. When we started this journey, Jay was an infant. Dea had just finished Kindergarten & was starting 1st grade. Jay was a handful, sleeping only 20 minutes at a time, eating every hour, and needing special stretches & exercises several times a day. He was about 5 months old when we started homeschooling, and had only been home about 3 months. Dea was convinced being smart was a bad thing and was determined to hide her intelligence. She was refusing to pick up a book, despite being a voracious reader prior to starting Kinder. She complained about everything I had planned for school, not wanting to learn anything (her public school experience was rather traumatic).
Now, things are a bit different. Jay turned 8 years old about 2 months ago, and is finishing up 2nd grade. Dea is in 8th grade, heading into high school. She is a voracious reader again and really only fights about doing Math. She's got more confidence & hides her intelligence less than before, though she still isn't ready to totally accept her intelligence. Jay is flying through his schoolwork, plenty proud to show what he's capable of. He is outgoing, talkative, self-directed, and confident. They have friends of varying ages. Dea seems to be more comfortable with adults than kids her own age. In fact, she's in contact with one of my friends more often than I am & spends time with the mom of one of her friends several times a week. She is social and quite stubborn.
In some ways, they are very much the same as they were when we started this journey. In other ways, they have changed much over the last 8 years. It's so strange to think that we're finishing up our 8th year of homeschooling. The time has simply flown by.