Thursday, August 18, 2016

Kicking off our 2016-2017 School Year

We started school this week, even though I wasn't completely ready. My elementary students were begging to begin, so I let them start with their independent subjects. For us, that includes handwriting, grammar, math, and science.

When my daughter flipped to today's lesson, she showed me this heart doodle in her textbook. At first I just laughed, telling her it had to have been there since one of her older sisters used the book, since I was pretty sure her two brothers hadn't drawn it.

But the more I thought about it, the more meaningful it became. This textbook was bought used, probably for about $25, since that is what most of my Saxon textbook sets cost used before the high school years. I've already used it with five students, and now our sixth student is using it. I think that was $25 well spent.

We don't just have hand-me-down clothes in this large family. We also have hand-me-down textbooks. We have been making the transition from Saxon to Teaching Textbooks for our upper level math programs, but this particular textbook will likely be used by the next three students.

Starting our 18th year of homeschooling, I have to be honest that sometimes it feels like drudgery. The excitement of the early years has faded. Even some of my favorite curriculum seems boring (to me) when I'm using it for the 6th or 7th time, but I still wouldn't trade this for anything.

There are days I'd like to put them on the bus, days when I feel inadequate, or like a failure. But I look at my oldest two children, and see that they're making it in college, and realize I didn't mess them up too badly. (wink)

At the end of this school year, we'll have three graduations. Our oldest will graduate with her B.S. in Elementary Education. Our second daughter will graduate with her Associate degree in Business. Our third daughter will graduate from our high school. To add to the mixture, we'll also have our first grandchild by then. It will be a busy year, but a blessed year. A year of seeing the reward for all our hard work, and our children's hard work. I can't wait!

Do you have any hand-me-down textbooks? Do you have any tips for recreating excitement in yourself, as a homeschool mom?

April E.