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    School Year Expectations

    Hi Gang!

    This is not a question...but rather a response that probably no one will ask for but which might be helpful nonetheless.

    It's been on my heart lately that there have been so many questions for K, 2nd, and new families with older children. It seems to me that there are a lot of newish folks coming on board this year. There have been great questions being asked - from big picture, to placement, to nitty gritty details. It has given me so much to remember as I think back to different stages of our family's journey with MP. We are starting our 9th year with MP this year, which by itself is amazing to me, but is made even more so by the pleasant satisfaction of having one child beginning her post-homeschooling life. I had to catch myself from making up a planner for her! Ha!

    I spent a great deal of time this summer thinking how this new school year could go...with more questions than answers, really, because our life is as unpredictable as ever. And yet when we "started school" last week with the four elementary kids, I was reminded yet again of something that I have had to perpetually accept as the years have gone by and that I thought might be helpful for any of you new folks to keep in mind too. So I thought I would share - which means, take it if it helps, or leave if it doesn't!

    Here's the thing. MP is so well-planned, organized, thorough, and challenging that it provides everything you really, truly need to homeschool your children well. The type-A part of my nature LOVES the boxes to check off as we move along. I love that I do not have to do any prep other than checking out my TM sometime before opening my mouth with my children. And I love that the work is challenging to my children's character. They have no choice but to develop virtue through the discipline that is necessary to follow this curriculum well. All of this is beyond great.

    But there is a reason that MP publishes their magalog, archives their articles on the website, and offers training each summer. There's a reason that there are a ton of resources for parents in the shop, too. On the one hand, MP is about curriculum, but on the other hand, they are JUST AS MUCH about what all this curriculum is for. That this whole "classical education" thing is about helping our children become excellent people, not just excellent students.

    What that means for us parents/teachers, is that as you get rolling into your year, don't forget the small things. Don't forget to say prayers together. Don't forget to take breaks - to go outside, to splash in puddles, to look for the insects they are studying, to join a friend for coffee while the kids play. Don't forget to balance their "school day mom" with their "regular old mom" whom they can laugh at. Because I can tell you two things from experience:

    1) The school work will always be there. There's no rush. There's always another day to pick back up where you left off, and there are things that can be shortened up rather than completely finished.

    2) All this time goes by so much faster than you think right now.

    I used to start out our school year really hoping for some solid days to set a good pattern and get the ball rolling. I always set what I thought was a realistic goal of getting the whole week done by the end of the week - regardless of whether things were done on the right day. Our first week this year? Well, I think we only got one day behind for each one. The young me would have felt deflated and frustrated - and would have been even more determined to "get us on track" so that we caught up and finished the next week strong - no matter what. Which may have worked, but probably caused all of us a lot of unnecessary stress. The current me? Didn't even bat an eye. Gave everyone hugs and reassurances that I was proud of how well they had each started. And then we went to the park.

    Did I think about what would happen if we were a day behind every single week? Sure. Of course. Did I think to myself, "What about next week when we will have a guest here and there is a holy day to boot?" Yep. And did the whole thing make the panic butterflies start to roll in? Absolutely. But I shooed them all way and reminded myself of the same two points I included above.

    Your school year can truly be what you make of it. You can take the good, helpful things like schedules and check-boxes and use them like a sort of drill sergeant barking orders at you all day. But I don't recommend it. There will be stress - that's for certain. Everyone learning new things all at the same time? Definitely stressful. But part of your job as the mom (or the dad!) is to be the adult; to model for your children the sort of person you want them to become. Remember the big picture of why you are doing this and what it's all for. Make use of the things places like MP and Circe offer to fill your tank so that it's not just about flashcards and speed drills. All the things we do are important, but if we don't keep in mind why we do them, they can quickly become dry and boring. Keep yourself filled up so that you have what you need to offer to your kids each day. And then have a great, great year everybody!!!

    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
    DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
    DS, 16
    DD, 14
    DD, 12
    DD, 10
    DD, 7.5
    DD, 5.5
    +DS+
    DS, 18 months

    #2
    :clap::clap: Thank you for the encouragement!
    N - 3rd grade at HLN
    G - 1st grade at home
    A - 1st grade at home

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you for this note of encouragement!

      Sincerely,
      Your overwhelmed and ambitious, stirred to motivate, yet already tired, mother to 2nd Grader and Kindergartener, and two youngsters.
      In our second curriculum school year. Husband and I were both homeschooled on a more traditional/CM level.
      2017-18::: Mom of 4 Little Kids
      Boy 6, in First Grade
      Boy 4, Preschool (just does 1st Enrichment with Boy 6), in another workbook and play
      Girl 2, Tagalong
      Boy 5, mos Tagalong

      Comment


        #4
        Just golden, Sarah!

        Festina lentē,
        Jessica P

        SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
        @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
        S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
        D · 8th
        D · 5th
        S · 2nd

        Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you for that. And I really mean it.

          We may be facing a life change where hubby may be gone 28on/28off rotation overseas. I can't plan on it until we know and I won't know for a while. Or, we may be moving. Or....sheesh.... Actually, that rotating schedule would be so good for our family as we would - surprisingly - get so much more quality time together as a family. It's just...when Dad is home, we don't do school. He's had a 9/80 work schedule (which is laughable because he worked so many more hours) which means he's off every other Friday. I planned everything so that those Fridays he was home, we didn't do school, and the Fridays where he went in, we had a short day and a window for catching up anything that needed to be completed.

          I JUST finished getting my entire upcoming school year for all kids looking perfect (checkboxes - oh yeah). The individualized schedules are printed, bound, and gorgeous. And potentially totally useless. So you can see why I needed to see this. Your words put it all back into perspective and that helps.
          Melissa

          DS (MP3) - 9
          DS (MP2) - 7/8
          DS (K) - 6
          DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

          Comment


            #6
            Aye. So true. Thank you!

            Comment


              #7
              Great post Sarah!...Very encouraging, thank you!
              Tahara

              Homeschooling two boys
              DS -19 (9/4/00) Homeschool graduate, 2nd year in college
              DS -15 (9/9/04) (SN) MP Year 8 w/ FF Latin
              DS -13 (7/3/06) MP Year 8 w/ FF Latin

              Comment


                #8
                Beautiful Sarah! Wisdom gained and passed on, thank you!
                -Amy

                Nine babies, 6 graduated, 5 married, 16 grand babies 6 and under!
                2019-20 MP 2nd, 5A, 10th MPOA, College student. Starting 7th year using Memoria Press
                Director of Coop 412, a Classical Christian Coop using MP and based on Ephesians 4:12.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Sometimes I feel like "Saving Western Civilization One Student At The Time" is a great sales pitch... but it tends to provoke a teensy weensy bit of performance anxiety

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thankful to read this as I'm up late prepping for tomorrow!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Mrs. Bee,

                      You think you feel performance anxiety? We are with you there! Maybe that's necessary though in order to keep pushing on as hard as we need to. That's what I tell myself anyway ...

                      Tanya

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Sarah,

                        Thank you for posting the encouraging reminder. I am sure many will benefit from reading it. Home school mom was the toughest job I ever had. It was so important to have others who walked alongside me on that wonderful journey with words of encouragement!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by tanya View Post
                          Mrs. Bee,

                          You think you feel performance anxiety? We are with you there! Maybe that's necessary though in order to keep pushing on as hard as we need to. That's what I tell myself anyway ...

                          Tanya
                          I have to admit, I had not considered your side of the fence I don't know what I'd do without MP, so you just keep the pressure going, and don't you relax!
                          Jokes aside, that's why it's so hard to find the balance and equanimity Sarah talks about. But I happened on a quote from St. John Vianney just this morning, and I think it's perfect for our shared mission: God commands us to pray, but He forbids us to worry (Il nous commande la priere, mais il nous defend l'inquietude - sorry about ignoring accents).
                          I'll have to remember that when "the panic butterflies start to roll in", as Sarah put it!!
                          Last edited by Mrs Bee; 08-20-2019, 12:42 PM.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Oh my! So don't relax, but also don't worry? I'm going to work on that!

                            Tanya

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by tanya View Post
                              Oh my! So don't relax, but also don't worry? I'm going to work on that!

                              Tanya
                              Yeah, I mean, if one can swing it, it's a great attitude!

                              Comment

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