We’re a term in and I wanted to share our lessons learned in the first 6 weeks of our first official school year. You can read our original plans here where I cover John’s 1st grade and Mary’s PK curriculum choices. Mostly what I’ve learned is that I’m not very disciplined. In kindergarten it was really easy to have a reading lesson, go on a nature walk, read a Bible story and call it good, but things are slowly getting more serious and Mama needs to step up her game a bit.

First, Our Wins

The kids are having a blast and learning tons so even though we’re a little behind in… every… subject… I’d say we’re totally owning this homeschool thing.

The Japanese materials I’ve found make me feel like a total rock star. We began the Hiragana alphabet (free) which was pretty boring so we added Rapid Japanese and I am now the best mom ever. A few days ago I asked the kids if they wanted oatmeal with breakfast in Spanish, John replied in Japanese and Mary signed in agreement. YES! I did something right. It might be the only thing I’ve ever done right but at least it’s impressive. We are also using a Hiragana ANKI deck and a vocabulary ANKI deck with audio so we’re not limited to my Japanese abilities.

They continue to love all of the materials we were using last year including Reading Lessons Through Literature, Hey Andrew, The Al Abacus, and Explorer’s Bible Study. Story of The World, Apologia Astronomy and Artistic Pursuits are all working well but not completely adored. Loop scheduling was a success but our Sabbath scheduling wasn’t necessary due to the aforementioned lack of discipline on my part.

This is John’s independent reading loop. I mark what he does on the line for the day and record everything at the end of the week. I have loops for John’s seatwork, Mary’s seatwork, group seatwork, the arts, independent reading and our book basket. Sometimes I’ll write down a page number for assignments or simply a dot to mark that that category has been covered.  Black means English, Red signifies Spanish and eventually we will include green and blue for Japanese and Greek.

Lessons Learned & Changes Made

Despite the fact that both pupils have a desire to learn Japanese I need to set them at different paces because John was irritated at my lack of willingness to let him move forward. I have moved both of them back to Ray’s Arithmetic because it’s just better than anything I’ve found. The Fluent Forever pronunciation trainer was just too much for them so I am now teaching reading using La Pata Pita.

And Finally I need to read aloud more. My strategy so far has been to read at meals and during drawing time, have my husband read after dinner while I clean up, and assign John read aloud time.