After three years of homeschooling my boy, it's time for a change. From 1st through 3rd grade, I had used an all-in-one, ready-made curriculum. For 1st grade I used Seton Homeschool's Complete curriculum, and for 2nd and 3rd, we used Calvert School's complete curriculum. So what's the big change? This year, no more ready-made pre-packaged and over-priced curriculum. For 4th grade, I've decided it's time for me to have more control over the materials, lesson planning, and overall pace of our homeschooling experience. Why the change you ask? Well, after spending WAY too much money on Calvert, only to find that I was tweaking so much stuff anyway to fit Jeromy's learning style, I just realized that, yes, I could do this. I could design our own lesson plan for the year, and I didn't have to necessarily rely on a pre-made list to tell me what I needed to do for my child's educational well-being. In retrospect, I don't regret waiting until now to take this leap. I think the past three years has prepared me for this, and I don't regret anything. I think it took me some time to find the confidence and faith in myself to see that it can be done a different way. And to be honest, I think it's taken me this long to really grasp what homeschooling is about, which is the freedom and right to educate our children in the best way possible, and that there are zillions of options out there.
Don't get me wrong though, I'm pretty confident about our new endeavor, but I'm also pretty nervous about it. Not to mention I think my head is going to explode from the sheer volume of information I've been combing through to find just the right books and materials for 4th grade. One thing that has helped beyond measure is living fairly close to a wonderful homeschool book store called For This Child. This place has been my hangout for the past two weeks as I've been conducting my research. But the best part, is that she sells used materials on consignment! So, I was able to purchase a $70 math curriculum for only $15, yay! Also, my good friend Kelly was gracious enough to loan me the materials I need for Language Arts. So far, I haven't purchased anything new, so the savings on our family budget has been amazing. I'm almost done getting everything we'll need, I just have to narrow down Science and art. If any of you homeschooling mommies or daddies reading this have any ideas, I totally welcome them.
I'm excited, my boy is excited, and hubby is just glad that I finally made a decision instead of whining and being so anxious about it. So 4th grade, here we come!