â€œThe mind ofÂ man plans his way,Â butÂ the Lord directs his steps.â€ ~Proverbs 16:9
If you compare what I am about to say below, to what I said around this same time last year… You might notice a bit of a difference…
If we are friends on Facebook or Twitter, then you already know that I was contemplating a change to our homeschooling method and philosophy. Â And, I canâ€™t tell you how many comments and e-mails I got asking if we were giving up homeschooling altogether, and putting Hannah in school. Â Let me assure you that while the change isÂ a big one (for us), it is certainly notÂ thatÂ big!
This will be our second â€œofficialâ€ year of homeschooling.Â So, it may seem like changing things up isnâ€™t that big of a deal.Â And, in the grand scheme of things (and if you are someone other than me!) it probably isnâ€™t.
But, long before I was ever married, or even had any children to homeschool, Â I had decided on using a classical approach.Â And, about 4 years ago (Hannah is only 6!), I found a curriculum called Tapestry of Grace…which was pretty much everything that I was looking for.
IÂ loveÂ academics and education.Â I actually find itÂ funÂ to research educational philosophies, and methodologies, and to compare the pros and cons of various curriculum. Â But, I think that I allowed myself to get so caught up in my “hobby,” and finding “the best” curriculum â€“ in my opinion, that I lost sight of what would truly be the BEST thing for my child.
As we spent some time this summer trying to catch up, and finish some subjects that had been put on hold during our big move, it became clear that she was really struggling in some areas that I thought she had already mastered. Â I don’t know if was the time off, the stress and chaos of the move itself, or if we had been moving so fast in order to cover everything, that she really hadn’t grasped the concepts before we moved on. Â Whatever the reason, we were both incredibly frustrated…
So, although I already had “our” plans for this year set â€“ to the point that I was actually ready to sit down and place my orders! â€“ I began curriculum shopping….
I was looking for something that would still effectively accomplish all that we needed (and wanted), and do so from a solidly biblical perspectiveâ€¦Â Â And, upon the discovery that a new little one would be joining our family in February, something that wouldÂ significantlyÂ simplify my preparation time! Â The cost was also a big factor… We are living on a pastor’s salary. Â And, although our church is incredibly generous, I still want to make sure we are being good stewards!
I looked at several different options, and had pretty much settled on one. Â So, after much prayer, and before we made our final decision, I sat down at the computer with Hannah, and we flipped through some of the online book previews together, looking at workbooks, reading book samples, history activitiesâ€¦ And, some of the concepts that we have been working on (and struggling with!) for the last several months finally “clicked” for her – in just a few minutes!! Â And, sheÂ lovedÂ it! Â (I’m sure the novelty will wear off at some point, but for now, it was nice to see herÂ soÂ excited about school, and especially about reading, again!)
So, we’ve made the switchâ€¦
And, we are very excited to be using BJU Press Homeschool for First Grade this year! Â They have a strong biblical foundation, as well as teaching Creation (in Bible, Science, and History) from a literal, 6-day perspectiveâ€¦both of which are very important to me…More so than finding the most academically challenging program, or the most popular curriculum!
I still love the classical approach. Â And, I don’t know, we may go back to Tapestry of Grace someday. Â But, for now, at this stage in our life and in our family…I think this will be the best choice for us.
Our books arrived last Wednesday â€“ in four large boxes! Â It was like birthdays and Christmas all rolled into oneÂ â€“ presentsÂ included!!Â I am still not sure who was more excited â€“ Hannah or me!Â I am slowly getting to know my new teacherâ€™s editions, and creating lesson plans in anticipation of our first day of school!
What was inÂ all those boxes? Â This:
1st Grade (age: 6-year-old) Curriculum
(all materials from: BJU Press Homeschool – Grade 1)
Bible Truths: A Father’s Care
Phonics & English 1
Heritage Studies 1
(Not pictured above…
We also used this last year, but we didn’t finish…
…so we Â will continue working on it this year!)
Did you make a huge change like we did? Â Or, are you sticking with something that has worked wonderfully for several years?