In our homeschool, summer isn’t over until Sparkler’s birthday at the end of August. We even made trip to Hersheypark, Pennsylvania, for an end-of-summer fling. We all rode the rollercoaster The Comet. It was a family bonding experience.
But on Monday, August 31, the Jones Homeschool will commence its 2015-16 school year. This year is significant: this is the first time that all four of our children will be in school together.
Bookgirl launches her high school career with, among other things, HSLDA Online Academy’s English program. This is the year that she’ll read Romeo & Juliet, Silas Marner, and a Tale of Two Cities. Why, yes, you can pray for us. Chocolate works too.
She and Gamerboy, who starts eighth grade, will study history together. Darren wants them to choose a theme for extra research as they go through the 20th century. Gamerboy chose… games. From parlor games in the early 1900s to the board games of the 1950s to computer games starting in the 1980s, we’re going to learn a lot about 20th century entertainment! Or maybe read an obligatory paragraph or two on the subject.
Sparkler is in fourth grade, and typical for her, is excited about everything. New math! New reading! Critical thinking skills workbook? Awesome! This enthusiasm will last about 34.6 seconds into the first assignment that she thinks is boring. But her geography course is a small cookbook with recipes from around the world, and she and I will both enjoy that.
And Ranger, our kindergarten/first grader, will sit down with me to master reading and early math. Well, I use “sit down” loosely. I will sit down. He’ll crawl over the back of the couch, drape himself over my shoulders, and pretend to fight off ninjas. As long as he gets his phonics and addition, I say bring on the ninjas.
The mastermind behind this whole educational plan is Darren. He’s waited anxiously for the day that he could break out all the books, sit down with a planner, and start writing out assignments. I watch him in a kind of fascinated bewilderment. I don’t like planning and can’t turn big chunks of information into manageable pieces. Darren can do both without breaking a sweat.
Next Monday, it’s my turn. He’ll hand me the planner (color-coded by child). I’ll take over, making sure the older two complete their assignments, and guiding the younger two through theirs.
School is a long haul. June 2016 looks pretty far away at this point, and I admit I’m anxious about leaping into another year. But there’s a lot to look forward to, with one child learning to read, another child learning multiplication and division, an almost-teen dipping his toe into good literature for the first time, and our oldest beginning her journey to young adulthood.
Really, it feels a whole lot like when The Comet started climbing that first hill. Not much to do at this point but hang on tight and enjoy the ride.
Photo Credit: All images by Sara Jones, edited by Charity Klicka.