I have a tentative starting date for our school year 09-10. July 13, 2009.
We should have the rest of our supplies by that date, so why not? It is too miserably hot to go outdoors. We don't have a pool. The kids are bored. Our classroom is in the nice cool basement....
We went yesterday to a materials display where we ordered the rest of our materials and I was told it would take 2-3 weeks for them to come in. I guess over the next couple of weeks I will be clearing out and scheduling and getting ready for day 1.
We will be using Abeka this year for most everything. I came to the realization that while I enjoy using "real living literature" as they say for teaching science, social studies, etc, I really dislike the non-organized structure of that method. While some can make it structured enough for their family, I can't handle being given an inch of disorganization...I take 10 miles every time! So, we have our "workbooks" which will give us a timeline and scope/sequence and I will add to it with literature and projects.
We used Sonlight last year, which was a complete literature perspective. All the lesson plans were done for you. What I did not like about it was being stuck with those lesson plans. It was also difficult to find a happy medium between their Language and Reading levels. If I put Katie in the 1st grade material then the reading was entirely too easy. If I jumped to the 2nd grade material then the language portion was too advanced. I was able to look at the entire year of 1st grade reading/language from Abeka at the materials display and it seems to hit exactly what we need. The reading portion is challenging without being too difficult with the language and spelling.
Katie will be doing first grade this year with Abeka, and Noah will be doing K5. I know this seems like the same exact grade they did last year, but it really isn't because Abeka averages about one year more advanced than any other curriculum. The Kindergarten Abeka that Noah will be doing is pretty much similar to everyone else's "first grade" material.
I even ordered an Abeka math workbook for each of them, though I will use all my other resources to teach the concepts, just using the workbook for practice.
The only thing I will not have ready for the very beginning of school is our art. I love learning about and doing art projects/pieces with the kids and they love it too, but that is next on the wishlist and will wait until later. Maybe we will try to start it for the second half of the year. I kind of plan to do a year round schedule anyway, so we can throw it in whenever.
I am really excited about starting fresh! It will be nice to have almost four months of school done before our trip. Then, after that, who knows what exciting projects we will have on the horizon ;)