While I am seeing some leaves turning (and dropping) after a dry, dry summer so far, and I am not minding little reminders that fall is around the corner, I am still in summer mode - which is likely easier to hold on to, since the boys will be learning at home this year (JK and SK) and our routine basically stays the same, with the addition of more structured learning time in the mornings (something we tried out in the Spring, with great results).
I don't think it would be possible to over-state how delighted I am NOT to be part of the early morning and afternoon flurry which marks 10 months of the year for most families. While that is not a fundamental reason for us to homeschool, it is a factor. And while I would likely adjust quite nicely (ha ha, would more likely experience some relief and joy) having the boys at school 30 hours/week, I really don't think that is the best thing for them or me at this point in our development as a family (or, dare I say, for most tiny people...but that is another topic, and I realize there are many reasons people choose to do so). And while all of us being around each other all the time (even now that I am working again part-time, I am mostly at home when doing so) is not always easy, I don't think our family time would be improved much by squishing it all into busy mornings and early evenings with lots of competing demands and more outside influences on relationship dynamics and personal development.
We looked forward to officially beginning our homeschool adventure by attending a local not back to school picnic this week...but it was rained out, essentially. Therefore no fanfare around here so far. I have the first 18 weeks of our learning year mapped out, and we officially begin on Monday.
I have no idea how we will end up as far as our approach to learning, and I don't want to be excessively structured...but we all seem to do better with routine, and since Geoff will actually be facilitating most of the learning, things are outlined pretty clearly at this point for easy follow-through. I feel pretty flexible, though, and am open to discovering new ways of doing this as we go along.
Being a book buff, and a lover of themes, we chose to use "Come Sit By Me" as a literature-based unit study format (reportedly similar to Five In A Row). The suggested activities are pretty creative, and offer lots of options for picking and choosing what will work based on age, interest, learning needs, etc. Most of these activities could be optional for kindergarteners, so it is not a huge problem if we over-plan and can't get to everything on the schedule. I found the "Teach Me Joy" curriculum online when I was searching for cursive-first handwriting programs, and since it was so inexpensive, I purchased that as an outline for core academics and Bible. We'll see how it goes. I like the supplementary materials that are suggested for use in conjunction with the basic curriculum, and it seems like it will tailor well to both our JK and SK boys, using separate math and pre-writing materials with each boy, as needed.
Generally, I envision 3 days/week of core subjects plus a couple of other topics (art, music, history, etc.). One additional day will hopefully cover just the core subjects (partly based on a regular weekly commitment we have), and Fridays will be mostly open for outings, adventures, and other pursuits. Again, we will just have to wait and see how it plays out (but that is what we were basically doing in the spring, which seemed to work well).
I will try to post regular updates on our educational adventures!