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Monday, August 17, 2009

Hark! The New School Year Approacheth!!

Cristina at Home Spun Juggling is hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling this week. She has asked me to write an article for her edition. Since she is one of my favorite bloggers, I am glad to oblige. But since she is always going on about how funny I am, I feel a little pressure to be funny in this post. Since I am not sure how funny it will be I will tell one of my favorite jokes and then move on to the actual content. I am putting the joke in italics for the humor deprived.

Two guys walk into a bar.

You'd think the second one would have ducked.

Oh, well let's move on. Back in the days when I was working outside the house, my oldest daughter started a tradition. As we were sitting around the dinner table, first thing after we prayed she would ask "So, Dad, how was your day today?" Then I would go ahead and tell them about my day. When I became the home school teacher last year and Amy became the leave the house work person, "So, Mom" replaced "So, Dad." in my daughter's nightly tradition.

Amy works in a local school district as a School Bob Newhart. (For those who only know Bob Newhart from Newhart and not the Bob Newhart Show, this means she is a School Psychologist, not a School Inn Keeper.) As such, she gets the summer off. Sometimes now at dinner as a joke, my daughter will ask Amy what she did today, even though they spent the whole day together.

When I think of going back to school after Summer Break, I always think of the old "How I spent my summer vacation essay." Asking that question would be equivalent to my daughter's joke, as I know exactly how they spent their summer vacation.

Our Schedule for the coming year is as follows.

Sunday Evening

For about an hour each Sunday between dinner and bedtime we will be doing some of the "funner" activities from our curriculum as a family. This way Amy can participate with us and I think it will help us segue from weekend to week.


On Mondays we have CWF (Christian Workshops of the Fox Valley), which is our home school co-op. I will be teaching two classes on the Chronicles of Narnia which I am very excited about, and I am sure I will be blogging about in the future. The kids' other classes (the oldest 2 are in a Narnia Class) sound good and I will probably talk about those in the future as well. Monday is also our AWANA day. So, Amy and the kids will be busy with that in the evenings while I decompress and prepare for the remaining week.

Tuesday through Friday

The rest of the week, will be rather uniform aside from the various appointments that will creep their way in the schedule. We are doing a multi-level unit study this year as our educational main course. It is produced by Konos. This should incorporate all the subjects except for math where we will be using Horizons, by Alpha-Omega again this year( and also for handwriting). We are using the Notgrass Company to combine bible and art with their Draw to Learn/Book of Psalms (click here for sample page). When I give Emma some reading time, Charlie, Lucy and I are going to be working through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

I am introducing a bit of change this year. Last year, we would have school from 9am to 1 p.m we would then have lunch, no school afterwards. This year I plan to start earlier, and have lunch at a convenient breaking time, rather than always at one, and work a half an hour or more after lunch.

I also plan to be a little less structured about some things this year and more structured about others. One thing I will be more structured about, is quiet time. For one hour a day, I plan to put all the kids on their beds have them quietly read or look at books while I have time to myself.

This year will also be my first year of home schooling a 1 car family. This means that if we need (As on Mondays) or want the car we have to get Amy to her school at 7:30 a.m. and pick her up at the end of the day. It will make our regular visits to the library and whatever field trips we embark on less spontaneous, but that could be a good thing.

School begins on August 24th. Emma and I are going to Six Flags: Great America on the 23rd. So on the 24th we will just do our regular Sunday Evening stuff before we start our first full day on the 25th.

It's been a great summer of swimming and biking and blogging and spending time with the family. I am looking forward to my second full year at the helm of the good ship Izola Becker Home Scool. I am thankful for Amy being able to work but will miss having her home every day. I am thankful to God for giving us our family, and another year of home schooling.

For more great ideas on "juggling" home schooling into your day, head back over to Home Spun Juggling.

Next Time: Pennies


  1. Sounds good fella :) I'll miss you all when I go back to work, but I am thankful for all the fun we had this summer. You're a great father, writer, and most of all, husband. :)

  2. Good to see a Dad that's doing the teaching! Hubby does a lot of impromptu teaching at our house - leading discussions on history, watching film with the kids, exposing them to contemporary music, etc. I think it provides a good balance when both parents contribute to the mix.

    I hope you enjoy Konos! One of the ladies here used it & speaks very highly of the curriculum :)


  3. Wow. Did I really just find another full time, stay at home, homeschooling father? This is a blog I've got to follow! It's like being the last Dodo and finding another. Yep, by way of an introduction I just referred to you as a Dodo. I hope that's not bad form. From the clues on this page I'm guessing you live just north of my old stomping grounds, the greater Chicagoland area, which is pretty cool, too.


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