Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Seven Year Itch: Finding our Direction Again

I am still in the process of finalizing our school plans for next year, but I have to say I am experiencing a wave of excitement about homeschooling that has been missing over the past year or two.  I guess I would have to say I have been experiencing the "7 year itch" in our homeschool, feeling burned out, un-inspired and just plain tired.  I moved through the past year in a frantic deadline mode, just trying to make it through the next obligation or responsibility, and there have been a lot of them.  In January, I recommited to making life simpler, and named this the Year of Less.  With a completed family mission statement as my guide, I have tried to evaluate everything in my life - our home, the things we own, the commitments I already had, and current and future activities.  Organized Simplicity serves as the inspiration for simplifying the home as I am slowly moving through each room and reducing and finding a place for everything.  I have stuck to my promise and not commited to any new activity or project without careful consideration.  This coming weekend fulfills the last of my major responsibilities for the year outside of my duties as a catechist I feel as if a huge weight is being lifted.  Ultimately, the computer problems have been a blessing - it has greatly reduced my online time (I hate to surf the web on my laptop!) and apparently one of the casualties of the crash was my email inbox.  While I know there were things in there I will probably regret losing, my inbox is practically empty, so a clean start there as well!  I am now itching to get my hands back on all of my planning files, which thankfully were NOT lost, and as the new school year unfolds before us, I look forward to making it a year to remember.  I hope to have an outline of our studies up soon with our book selections and plan for the year - and look forward to hearing what others have planned for the school year.  Until all of the programs have been reinstalled on the computer, here is a peek at where we are headed.  We will be diving into an ocean of exploration - following the path of the great explorers in their journeys across the ocean with books such as The Brendan Voyage and Kon Tiki.  We will be diving deep to learn about the creatures living under that ocean pathway to new worlds, as well as other aspects of physical science that affect water travels.  We will soar over the ocean for another perspective, and when we finally land, we will explore that new world and its exciting beginnings .   Artists and composers have been selected to compliment our travels, as well as a selection of poetry and memory work.  If anyone has a favorite book to recommend that would go along with our studies, please share, and I would love to hear from anyone who is planning to follow a similar journey this year!


Craig said...

Anna, I'm a little bit speechless. In the time I've been blogging I have met, both in person, and through their blogs, the most amazing mamas I have ever met in my entire life. And that's a long life :-)

And the homeschooling moms – they are the absolute cream of the crop. I've read already some of what you've done in the past – and now I look at which are planning on doing – and I just stand in awe. Your babies are so, so, lucky to have such a good mama. God bless you, Anna, and God bless and keep each and every one of yours this day.

vicki said...

Hi Anne Marie ! What an exciting year you have planned! We are on a simililar wavelength...Apologia Marine Biology ans Modern History with History Portfolios!I am still brainstorming ideas but will incorporate the North American saints into our studies as well as a tour oF THE 50 States! Looking forward to a fun year!In Christ, Vicki

Anna said...

Craig - as always, you find the words to inspire and encourage! Thank you

Has said...

For your ocean studies, I highly recommend the "Nature Storybooks" series by Walker Books!!!
These are beautiful and captivating. Here are the links to some (there are more in the series, not all ocean though.)

Gentle Giant Octopus (Karen Wallace)

Surprising Sharks! (Nicola Davies)

One Tiny Turtle (NIcola Davies)

Big Blue Whale (Nicola Davies)

vicki said...

we loved this book last year...Around the world in a hundred years : from Henry the Navigator to Magellan / Jean Fritz ; illustrated by Anthony Bacon Venti . Hope it helps your study!