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    I love how well thought out MP is. However, I am overwhelmed. How do you wrap your head around this much new teaching material before you begin?

    What makes you feel overwhelmed?

    I found it overwhelming when we first started, too. We're now in our second year. It takes trial and error and sometimes just jumping in. I find that it helped me to read the manuals and review them closer to starting school. My day isn't set like the manual. I'll have it to use it for at least two more children so I don't make changes or even check it off. I'm in a state where I have to document hours teaching, and I can't quite do that in the manual. I consider the manual more of a general plan. I keep another "planner" where I make notes on what was accomplished each day and the time it took. I plan to accomplish the "musts" each day - math, Latin, review, etc. and I rotate the other subjects. We did nearly all the material in the last year's manual (our second grade) but we didn't do the crafts. I started that and I just don't like craft projects. But we did do a different style of art. And field trips, lots and lots of books, etc.

    This year we're in third grade and another one in phonics (not MP). For most subjects, we do lots of review and pretty much the next thing in the subjects. So we're way off going by the manual. HA! That being said, we're much further in some subjects. (I bought the nonaccelerated third grade, but I think we're going at an accelerated pace in most subjects.)

    Here's what I would do: pray for confidence or the ability to fake it a bit. Write it out in a journal your thoughts about starting school. The real concern you have may reveal itself to you through writing or prayer. Ask your children for a little grace and be sure to practice it with them. I think you've posted before about starting (maybe?) - you seem to be on the right track. Keep going! You're going to be great!


      How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. MP is famous for saying this to its students, and even though MP is no elephant, for those new to teaching, they have an idea in their heads of what a child's education is supposed to look like. It does not need to be as polished as it would be with a veteran teacher. No one is keeping track of eye contact, umms, or task transitions. Look in the manual, open the teacher's manual to that page, and start reading at the top. Bumble through it together. It's okay. Your child loves you and will be much more forgiving than of a different person who is supposed to know how to do this as a job. Finish each subject with some kind of encouraging compliment, and figure out if your child needs a break or looks ready to move on to the next subject. Tell her how excited you are to get to it.

      Humility is so important in teaching. No one knows everything. Part of the idea of the lifelong learner is that there is joy in discovering some of the mysteries of this world, be it our historical connections, the predictability and unchanging nature of math (2 + 2 is never anything but 4), the spelling of a word that preserves its Latin derivative meaning, or the variety of God's creation in the plant and animal kingdoms. All of us parents have been surprised that we've learned along with our children, and this joy is contagious. Share that joy, and it will drown out the fear of tackling something bigger than you imagined.
      Mama of 2, teacher of 3
      SY 22/23
      6A, teaching TFL & CC Chreia/Maxim w/ Elementary Greek Year One

      Completed MPK, MP1, MP2, 3A, 4A, 5A
      SC B, SC C, SC1 (Phonics/Math)


        Just stay ahead of your children as well as you can. Omit what you can't fit in or what isn't working for you. You don't have to do every little thing (or even most things) with them. A little well-planned neglect builds self-reliance. Give them a routine time, a routine place, and good resources.

        Be careful not to commit to too many homeschool groups, extra-curricular activities, co-ops, etc... They all end up taking more time than it appears. (That once a week theater group also has auditions, parent orientation meeting, mandatory volunteer hours, extra rehearsals, and costume fittings. The co-op needs you to teach a class or arrive early for set-up or stay late for clean-up or be a floater in the halls, and now you can't figure out what your child's teacher assigned, because you were in your other child's classroom at the time.)

        In the end, no one ever failed at life for not knowing the seven hills of Rome or the different types of sonnets. Figure out what your bare bones school day needs to have. When I had many small children, our minimum was Latin, math, reading good books, and writing. Now that I'm not constantly feeding and diapering and cleaning up messes, there is more time for learning. Not just their learning, but also my learning. I still don't sit next to them for their assignments or model answers. As it turns out, it really isn't necessary.