I spent the majority of the summer doing everything besides planning and purchasing curriculum for the new school year. While it's always fun to do, I simply was procrastinating big time! We were anticipating the arrival of our new baby girl, in early October, and I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do with my girls. I knew the year (and life in general) was going to be interesting while I juggled a third grader, preschooler, toddler and newborn so I knew I needed to make a good decision.
My third grader was the obvious priority, but I still wasn't sure what direction to go in with her, though I had some ideas. I needed to be realistic. As much as I enjoy piecing together printables, activities, books, etc. for my girls, I wanted something complete that would save me time upfront. I figured eventually I could add and customize during the year, if I chose. We had previously tried boxed curriculum (Abeka) with Abby for first grade and while she did well academically, we struggled in other areas early on--like organization and time management. Last year, I went a completely different direction and while I enjoyed parts of it--I felt certain programs I chose weren't cutting it or a good fit. I kept finding myself reflect back to Abby's first grade year (especially the Abeka math) and wish we had just continued on because she did so well, even though we had a rocky start. At the same time, I was also concerned with what I wanted to do for Summer. I wanted to include her in daily school and while I loved our current program and all the fun activities, I couldn't promise myself I'd have the time or energy to make that possible.
As I began to look more closely at the Abeka curriculum site, I noticed a representative was set to visit our town within the next few days. I discussed it with my husband and we decided to go "look" at the materials display. Ultimately, we ended up choosing the third grade program for Abby and eventually decided on the K4 program for Summer.
We are seven weeks into our lessons and I am very happy with our selections so far! Summer is LOVING her lessons and learning quickly and I am loving the ease of including her. Abby is happy with the program so far, as well. One of the main things that has helped this go around is experience. As soon as we received the girls' books, I began organizing their papers and making room for all cards and charts within easy reach. You can read more about how I do that here, though I modified the system slightly this year organizing papers in folders labeled by lesson number.
With Summer, I plan to eventually add more activities as her lessons are rather short--lasting anywhere between 15-20 minutes. She loved our weekly themes using Bitty Beginnings printables and my plan is to begin incorporating those activities and other theme related printables back into our weeks as time allows. I hope to share a glimpse of our daily activities in the coming weeks and months!