10 Reasons I’m Excited About the New School Year

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If you’re reading this, it means we survived our first day of school and are on to Day 2…or that I got this post written and scheduled before the chaos that ensued. I’ll let you know on Friday.

This is our first attempt, after nine years of homeschooling, at year round schooling. I’ve thought about it many times, but one thing or another has kept me from giving it a shot. Now that we’re using Trail Guide to Learning, though, with it’s six week units, it seemed like the perfect time to give it a go. We’ll be doing six weeks on/one week off with a longer break for summer and Christmas.

With our school year already begun, I thought I’d share with you what I’m excited about for this year because, believe it or not, I am excited.

1. Year round schooling. That has to top the list since it’s such new and uncharted territory for us. I got some complaints the last couple of weeks when the kids realized that our summer break was almost over…already (I admit – I thought it myself), but I think it’s going to be a good thing for us, especially when those breaks start rolling around.

If not, hey, next year we’ll take an extended summer break and go back to a more traditional schedule. You’ve gotta love the flexibility of homeschooling.

2. Lexercise. I am really excited for Josh’s first day of online dyslexia therapy tomorrow. After having him evaluated this past spring and having my suspicions of dyslexia confirmed, I knew I wanted Josh in therapy. I just feel like this is something out of the scope of my ability to help him because we’ve exhausted all the methods I know over the last several years.

I love that he can get therapy from home. There’s no travel time and juggling schedules. He can just get online and work with his therapist. I thought that finding a good time might be difficult, with our non-traditional schedule, but the day and time that I knew would be perfect for us actually worked wonderfully for his therapist, too. I am so excited about the possibilities for Josh!

Prom 09

3. Homeschooling a senior. Okay, the feeling that comes with this one might be more “panic attack” than excitement, but wow! Where did the time go? I can’t believe my baby is a senior. In adjusting to her work schedule last year and having to re-do some work after her computer crashed the previous spring, Brianna did get behind. We’re thinking she’s going to have at least one more semester to finish after this year, but we’re both okay with that.

We both agreed that she will benefit from a productive gap year between high school and college, but still…the last 10 years have passed incredibly fast.

4. Trail Guide to Learning. After having finished a full semester with Trail Guide this past spring, we’re still absolutely crazy about it. I’m excited to be finishing up Paths of Settlement during our first semester this year and preparing to move on to Paths of Progress in January.

Our first unit this year covers the Civil War, something I’ve never covered with Josh and Megan before. We’ve got a lot of Civil War history in our area, so that should provide for some good field trip material.

Paths of Settlement

5. Celebrating our 10 year homeschooling anniversary. It was 10 years ago this August that we began homeschooling. I searched through my paperwork, trying to figure out the exact day, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I’m pretty sure that either August 12 or 19 is the anniversary day. Since we’re off the week of the 19th and the 12th is on a Sunday, we’re going to celebrate on Monday, August 13, because you know what? I think 10 years of homeschooling deserves some recognition.

6. WriteShop. I have decided to incorporate the WriteShop curriculum in our homeschool this year and I’m really excited about it! Megan will be doing Book D, Josh will be using WriteShop I and Brianna will be using WriteShop II.

We were using and enjoying Institute for Excellence in Writing year before last, but the kids started getting really resistant to doing the modeling after awhile. Then, we had some outside classes start to conflict with our schedule, making it very difficult to get everybody together to watch the DVD.

When we switched Brianna to Switched on Schoolhouse, we let IEW fall by the wayside. Then, the younger kids started using Trail Guide last year and it included writing, so I didn’t pick IEW back up for them.

This summer, I read a review of WriteShop and it really intrigued me. Long story short, one of the writers, Kim, gave me all sorts of great information about WriteShop and worked closely with me to pick out just the right levels for each of the kids. I can’t wait to get them started – after I give them a couple of weeks to get back into the routine of school.

7. Having a clean slate. The start of a new school year is sort of like New Year’s Day – it feels like a new, clean slate. It’s at this time of year that I can imagine that this will be the year that I really do incorporate all those fun extras that we really enjoy, but seem to let slide, like nature study, art, artist and composer study, more field trips, and more “rabbit trail” chasing.

And, you know what? Every once in awhile, a few of those New Year’s resolutions really do stick, so, you never know – this may really be the year that I keep my momentum and keep all those fun things that we really do enjoy going for the duration of the school year.

homeschool mom fitness

8. Getting back to routine. The kids will never admit it, but I will – I miss our routine when it’s not in place. Sure those first few weeks of more free time are fun, but then I start feeling antsy. I find that I get more done when we’re on our routine.

This summer, my workouts have suffered, housework has suffered, and even my Bible study time has suffered. When I’ve got a time that I have to get up every day, I do better with all of that, so I’m ready to get back on track.

Speaking of getting back to my workout routine, if you’re ready to make changes to your health and fitness, be sure to check out my guest post today at The Kennedy Adventures, Becoming a Healthier Homeschool Mom. (Edited to add: Oops! {ahem} That would be next week. So, um, check out my post next Tuesday (July 17). And, now, I’ll go back to thinking I’ve got it all together.)

9.  More focused Weekly Wrap-Ups. This year, I’d really like to do what I’ve intended to do all along – and what I used to do – which is have a more focused Weekly Wrap-Up. I want to post specific ideas and activities that we’re doing for different subject areas, rather than getting to Friday and trying to remember what we did all week.

Um, yeah. We’ll see how that goes.

10. All those breaks! Hey, I’m not going to lie. I enjoy our breaks as much as the kids do. I’m already looking forward to our first week-long break, which, incidentally, is the week of my 21st (how did that even happen??) wedding anniversary. Didn’t that work out nicely? And, I didn’t even plan it that way.

What are you looking forward to for the upcoming school year? When do you start?

This post is linked to iHomeschool Networks 10-in-10 blog hop and Top Ten Tuesday.

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  1. I just had to share…we are celebrating our 10th homeschooling anniversary this year, too, and my husband and I also celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary this September!

  2. Aaaaaaaaiiiiiigh!
    (Just had to get that out of my system.)
    We’ll both have a senior this year. That means you’ll talk me down when I’m the edge, right? And I’ll do the same for you? 😉

    Actually I’m looking forward to it but it is kinda scary. {deep breath}

  3. Hey Kris! I wanted to let you know that the link to “Becoming a Healthier Homeschool Mom” takes me to a different article on the Kennedy Adventures blog…I was so disappointed! I am (more than) ready to be inspired to start feeling (and looking) better :0)

    1. Um, yeah, that would be because I got my dates wrong. My guest post will be up next Tuesday (July 17). Shhhh…don’t tell anyone. It will totally ruin the appearance of having it all together that I’ve been trying to fake. 😉

  4. Just wanted to tell you that I am enjoying your blog. Stumbled across it via a friends facebook page that had you as one of her “likes.” I’m now following you. Wait, that sounds kind of stakish, lol. We are doing our first official year (for us, not the state) of homeschooling. My little one is only 4, but we wanted to get a head start and she loves doing “schoolwork.” Happy Anniversary!!

    1. Thanks! We’re excited. Even the kids were pretty amazed and impressed when I pointed out that it’s been that long.

  5. We are officially starting 4th grade next week! I am SO excited since it will be our first full year of home school and we are starting Paths of Exploration (thanks for your awesome review of it BTW). My daughter is not as excited as me (go figure) but I think that POE is so different from what we had been doing, that she will really enjoy it.

    1. I hope y’all enjoy POE. We didn’t get to try that one because we had already covered so much of what it covers by the time we discovered Trail Guide. We started with POS, but I really want to go back and at least read the books from the last part of POE. Hope you have a great homeschooling year!

  6. Congratulations on your 10th year homeschooling Anniversary! That is wonderful (we are in year 9). I wish I had known about the dyslexia therapy on line when my son was younger. Would have been so helpful. We struggled through it though.
    I can see why you are so excited about the new year. So many new adventures. Really enjoyed reading your post today. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. I’m really excited about the potential for Josh’s therapy. It’s starts today, so I’m a little nervous (hoping we’re done with our other schoolwork before time for therapy, that there aren’t any technical difficulties, and that Josh enjoys it…or at least doesn’t hate it) and excited.

  7. Congrats on having a homeschool senior. I love homeschooling high school best of all, but senior year is so powerful with academics, life plans, and many memories (I’ve been through it 4 times now). Praying that you guys have loads of fun.

  8. You make Trail Guide sound so good that I’m going to have to check it out! I love looking into new curriculum. Even if we can’t try it all, it’s still fun to read about it. Guess I truly am a curriculum junkie!

    Congrats on having a senior this year. She looks like her mama. Pretty!

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