I'm sorry that my posting has been a bit sporadic lately. I've been preoccupied with ordering textbooks and writing up IHIPs (Individualized Home Instruction Plans) for my three children. It's always a huge task during the summer, and one that I'm happy to finally have over with.
Here in New York state, we have to report to the local school district about certain required subjects, sharing each year what we plan to teach and submitting reports and assessments during the school year. My family, like many others, covers more academically than what the regulations require, but since I'm busy with the paperwork anyway it's a good time to get my book ordering done.
Selecting books stresses me out far more than the district paperwork. Although the cost is minimal compared to sending the kids to private school, textbooks are expensive - especially to a single income family like ours. I spend days poring over curriculum catalogues and websites, trying to choose the very best materials and track down the lowest prices. Whenever possible, I choose books that can be handed down from child to child to cut some of the overall cost. As we're now entering our fifth year of homeschooling, I've found some textbook series that work best for my children's learning styles. Still there's always some tweaking to be done and some trial and error involved.
So in case you've ever wondered what just over $500 worth of textbooks look like, wonder no more. These are just the new arrivals. I'll also be using books saved from other years, as well as some online curriculum and library resources. Still, at less than $200 per child for this year, I managed to get top quality materials.
After all of my stressing, it feels like Christmas when the boxes finally start arriving. I'll enjoy the rest of my summer more, knowing that I'm prepared with next year's materials. Now I've just got to get our schoolroom reorganized!