"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tweaking AO

Hi friends,

Well, time has flown by and we are finding ourselves at the end of Term 1. We are in our fourth year of using the AO curriculum, and I know how I have raved and raved about this curriculum in the past.

And I still think it's a wonderfully rich curriculum and I really can't say enough good things about it.  But... (you knew that was coming, didn't you?)

This year has been a rough one for me. Major. Understatement. Let me explain...

When we started AO 4 years ago, my youngest was 4, so only the older 4 children were old enough to use AO. And I put my two middle sons, being only 16 months apart in age, in the same year. So basically, we were doing 3 years of AO. Not bad. I could keep up with that.

Then, 2 years ago, Mimi turned 6 and I started her in year 1. A little more to keep up with, but I could still do it.

But this year, Aaron was ready to be bumped up a year, so now I have 5 children in 5 different years of AO (yr10, yr8, yr7, yr6, yr3). Which means ALOT to keep up with...narrations, poetry, composer study, folk songs, hymns, Shakespeare, Spanish, copywork, dictation, Plutarch, Nature journals, current events, century chart entries, commonplace books, etc. Add to all that Math, Science, Grammar, and any other subjects that my fried brain has forgotten.

One CM mom told me, "Five children in 5 different levels of CM? There is no way you can be enjoying that!" And boy, is she right!

I am overwhelmed with all of it, and have even toyed with the idea of going back to textbooks just to get some time to breathe! And I have gone so far as to order a homeschool curriculum catalog just to browse around in (*gasp!*)! Just keeping it real, folks!

Don't get me wrong, my children are still loving AO. They breeze through readings and love to narrate. They love all the books and we have wonderful discussions and learn so much! And I want them to use it and get the full benefit of it.

But I am so stressed out with trying to keep up with everything. And I have some health issues that I am dealing with. (Won't even go there.)

So for now, I am in the praying stage of what the Lord would have me do. I am leaning towards tweaking the AO schedule for our family and dropping some things. But it's hard. I am an "all or nothing" kind of gal, and I can easily feel that if my children aren't getting all of it, they are getting none of it. Crazy, I know.

And then the question becomes "Which things do I drop from the curriculum to cut back on the stress?" Last week I made a list on the marker board of some of the things that we could possible drop from our schedule and I asked the children to circle their favorite things. I decided we would drop what they didn't circle.

Guess what? Every thing I listed was circled! Which is good : they like it all. And it's bad: how do I figure out what to drop?? *sigh*

So, if any AO moms out there have been in the same situation and have any suggestions, I am waiting to hear from you.  :)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not  on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths." ~ Proverbs 3:5&6