Praise the Lord, the first week was a great success! We were able to jump right in and tackle the entire syllabus for each child with no difficulty! Adding another year into the mix (I separated the two youngest girls into first and third grade, instead of doing most of their stuff together) didn't cause as much of an additional workload as I was expecting, which is another victory!
The biggest help, however, was my taking the time during the summer to type up Sean's 10th grade syllabus for the entire year. I also went through all the other syllabi, weeding out assignments that just didn't work, or substituting books when I found something that seemed like it would be a better fit.
THEN (and this is the key), my husband was able to take all the spreadsheets that I had and imported them into the program he created for me. This program keeps track of all the assignments listed and only clears them when they are finished.
Why is this such a big deal?
Because in years past, if I had to change any syllabus for any reason (say, a child didn't understand the math lesson and needed an extra day, or someone got sick and we had to skip a day or two), I would have to change the ENTIRE year's syllabus. It was a nightmare -- something I wasn't going to do willingly -- so I wound up pushing everyone to finish what was listed because I did NOT want to have to change the syllabus.
I couldn't see any easy way to make those sorts of changes in the spreadsheet, so I asked my husband to write a program for me.
He did, and it is truly a Godsend!
As a result, now I can R-E-L-A-X and give everyone the space and time they need to finish assignments that may take longer without having to change anything. If they don't complete the assignment for that day, I just don't check it off and it carries it to the next.
Furthermore, the syllabi carry over from year to year, so I don't have to "reinvent the wheel" every time.
As a result, I was just able to check off everyone's assignments for the week, and get their new weekly schedules printed, in about 30 minutes. That's SEVEN different weekly schedules!!
We are still sticking with Mother of Divine Grace for all the kids, with one substitution -- starting in 6th grade, I'm trying out Seton's grammar workbooks rather than Voyages in English. Don't get me wrong... I thought Voyages in English was great... in fact, it was one of my favorite books to use... but it took too much time for me to sit down with each child and go over each exercise, and the tests that are included in the book just blew their minds. It was very frustrating. So, we're going for a much easier solution, and trusting that all the grammar we are getting in Latin will continue to be the core.
I hope everyone else had a great weekend! God bless!