One Step at A Time

Ah… That feels good. Three weeks of our “school year” are under our belt and things are coming together. Why are they just now coming together? Well, for the last several years, the kiddos and I have tried something revolutionary in our learning year. Instead of tackling all of our subjects the very first day of school, we take one step at a time.

Yup; you read that correctly. Rather than bog down our children with masses of subjects the first day out of summer, we take things nice and easy; gently returning to our regularly scheduled program.

The first week back to school, we usually focus on all areas of ELA (English/Language Arts). It’s not until later in the week that we introduce their new Arithmetic books and do a quick page to wet their appetites.

One Step at a Time

Our second week back, we keep up our ELA and Arithmetic and add Geography and History to the mix. Even with these two included, we can usually breeze through school in about two and a half hours; not bad! Probably because we are starting off with mostly review work (as the curriculum books assume you haven’t been doing summer work and are ready to pick up right where you left off).

Now for the fun part… week three! During this week, we add in Science and personal projects such as video presentations. Whew!

So far things are running pretty smoothly and we are all handling things well. Hopefully this is a good example of how the rest of the year will fit together. Oh, I’m sure some days will be more challenging than others, but that is to be expected.

With all our subjects now plugged in, it’s time to get moving full steam ahead.

What’s your take?… Do you dive right in or test the waters?

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12 thoughts on “One Step at A Time

  1. Already 3 weeks under your belt! Good for you! I’m starting next week with my kids on Monday. We also will start with about half of the subjects: math, science, and some English. We’ll pick up everything on week two. I’m planning on starting at 9:30 and finishing at 12:30 for the first week. Then gradually we’ll starat earlier.,

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  2. We don’t follow the state’s school year slavishly. We ease in and ease out–more so now that my daughter is doing high school-level work. She works to mastery in math and until done with a book or series of lectures in other areas. She studies continuously in music, art, and PE, and she volunteers all year as well. She takes breaks at logical intervals. In the process, she puts in more than enough hours to satisfy our state’s requirements and studies subjects in the required five areas in a sequence for her “grade” level.

    I noticed lately that our public high school is giving a silver cord at graduation for students who volunteer a certain number of hours in the community. Do you make volunteerism part of your homeschool philosophy of education?

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    • Great question! Yes; volunteering will certainly be a portion of their learning experience. At their current ages, it is a bit hard to find organizations who allow them to participate though. We try where and when we can. As they come into high school years, this will be a regular part of our routine.

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  3. Great idea! I used to use the first week for just core stuff…language arts and math and then add in history and science the week after. But I’m feeling the pressure as they get older. It’s just tougher to get through all everything! We’ll probably start everything the first day, but I’ll keep the assignments light and pretty basic the first week.

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  4. You’re not the first person I’ve heard who takes it slowly at first. I think that’s very wise of you! I jumped in the deep end this year and it backfired! My kiddos do so much better with a slow transition. Why do I keep forgetting that, lol?

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  5. Same with us, the last couple of years we’ve used the “one-step-at-a-time” method and it works so much better for all of us I think. I think it eases up the likelihood of burn-out too-don’t you think! Great post, as usual!

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  6. So glad someone else does this, too! There is no reason to make kids hate learning. Giving them too much to do on the first few days is a sure way to make them dread the rest of the year. Thanks for a great post!

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