Friday, February 24, 2012

Going a Little Crazy...

I have not been able to fall asleep the last couple of nights, despite going to bed far too late. As soon as I lie down, my brain starts spinning, turning over a million different things in my head, and it seems to take forever for that to stop long enough for me to fall asleep. On the one hand, not a lot of is going on at the moment, but on the other, I've got a TON of prep to do for this year ahead.

I'm really very excited about homeschooling, and I've got nearly everything decided on, curriculum-wise. Except math, which is by far my weakest subject. Everything else, I'm feeling confident about, and I'm starting to order the materials we'll be working with. Math, though, ugh. Every time I feel good about a program, I read about another one that sounds awesome, and I suddenly don't know anymore which way to go.

I keep telling myself to just pick something and see how it goes, but then I just freak out some more. My background in math is weak because it was neglected by my parents, so I'm determined to give my own kids the grounding I lacked. So, every math program I look at is accompanied by my concern that it isn't thorough enough, or won't be the "best" way to teach them, or that it will end up not preparing them for high school math as well as it should. Plus, some of these programs are exceptionally pricey. Nothing like throwing down a couple hundred bucks for something you end up hating three weeks later... Luckily, I have a  couple months before Wyatt is done with school here before I have to decide. Hopefully, I can get myself to take the plunge and order something before then.

I don't have this problem at all with the other subjects because my background is far stronger. I actually paid a good chunk of my way through college by working as a writing tutor, so it gave me a good look at what kinds of issues there are in kids fresh out of high school. There is no way my kids will not know what a thesis statement is or how to write one by the time they enter college. I feel similarly about things like history and social studies. Science is not a huge thing for me, but it doesn't hold the same mystery and frustration as math does, so I've found that one fairly easy to plan, especially at the elementary levels.

I plan on schooling year-round, with breaks throughout the year as needed or when they coincide with Oliver's leave opportunities. We're going to start some time this summer, after I give Wyatt about a month off, I think.

At least, that is the plan right now. The orders situation is in massive flux. We have hard orders, but his command is most likely not going to release him on time for them. So, he needs new orders but they have yet to be worked out. This stresses me out because we're fast approaching the window of time that the actual move will have to be arranged if he is actually leaving on the orders he has. I am trying not to worry about this, but it has made it impossible to really make any concrete plans.

Mostly, though, I'm ignoring the date issue, planning on getting all our school stuff ready anyway, purging our household goods for the two moves ahead of us this year, and all playing it by ear. I have clearly finally learned how to do this military-life thing because, for once, I'm not actually all that worked up about the uncertainty. I'm just going with what I have, and trying to make sure we can change mid-stream if we have to.

But, I still am having trouble sleeping. I guess that's how the stress is finding an outlet right now.

3 sonar pings:

Tressa said...

I am not getting much sleep as of late either. :) What did my friend call it again? Brain drain? I don't remember.

Anyway, I am excited for you as you begin your homeschool journey. My best advice for you is to remember that it is a journey. Not everything has to be done perfect in the first year. I am in my 9th year and still figuring stuff out.
You will also find that almost all homeschool parents are strong in one subject and weak in another. My weakness is writing. I sweat bullets over their writing. Praying it is good enough. I am strong in math and science. Having said that, I will tell you my best advice about math. Pick something and stick with it all the way through. I have seen kids whose parents switch math programs 3 or 4times because they aren't sure it is working. This is a problem because, while all math problems to some extent are good, they each have their own sequence. When you jump around you miss something.

I love Saxon math especially in the early years. It explains everything. It doesn't break the bank. It isn't flashy and teaches math the old fashioned way with old fashioned algorithms. We have used it from Grade 1. But that is me, and there are many people that hate it as much as I love it.

Nothing gets homeschoolers fired up more than math programs. I am not sure why that is. After you pick a program avoid all internet discussions and other places that will make you doubt your decision. :) If your son is doing well and learning his math facts, it is working then there is no reason to switch.

Whew! I know the decisions that lead up to homeschooling can be daunting. On the moving note, we finally received our orders with a move date a month away. Always good to wait until the last minute. Homeschooling sure does come in handy at a time like this! :)

Tressa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jamie said...

Waiting on orders is hard. I hope you get some concrete(ish) answers soon.