Keeping Up with the Joneses: Back to School

Although I believe that we are always learning and that every life experience is an opportunity to teach our kids something new, there is an actual date on our calendar when school officially begins. That day is tomorrow. 

Back to School Jitters
As homeschoolers, we deal with many of the same back-to-school jitters as a family preparing for traditional school. It' s just that in our case, the jitters are usually from the teaching parent. This year will be my third year teaching at home, and with that comes a bit of confidence from the been-there-done-that perspective, but this will be the first year I have to officially teach two kids. My son has always participated in our activities and has learned so much right along with his sister. I wonder how he'll do with me teaching him his own stuff. I wonder how I'll do hopping from Kindergarten to Third Grade curriculum. Most homeschoolers will tell you, once the first month is done, we catch our stride, so I know we'll be fine... but I have the jitters just the same. 
The kids, however, are totally stoked!!
School Supplies
We go through a state sponsored virtual school that allows our family to teach at home with the back up of an assigned teacher. Because we are enrolled in a state school, we receive our curriculum through that school program. I chose to go through CAVA (California Virtual Academy) because they use a pretty rigorous curriculum that the kids actually love, k12. Our boxes arrived several weeks ago. The kids could not tear into them soon enough. They went through all the books they'd be reading, the art supplies they'd be creating with, their tambourines from music, their science lab supplies, and believe it or not, my son begged to start doing math right then. He's a geek like that. I think all the bright colors and new "toys" made them forget completely that they are actually going to be working.
This year, we're adding Spanish to our schedule. The kids already picked up a few words from their years watching Dora, but not until we started using Rosetta Stone did they really begin to speak Spanish. For instance, at dinner the other night, my daughter pointed to her daddy and in her best accent exclaimed, "El hombre come!" She was so excited to be speaking Spanish! Rosetta Stone uses images of people doing real life things like running, eating, and reading. The kit comes with a headset with a mic that is used to repeat words and phrases. If the phrases are spoken correctly, they get a check mark. The Homeschool Edition includes a curriculum that breaks down sections into daily class work and has a teacher's log for the parent to manage lessons. 
Hopefully, by the end of the year, my Spanish-speaking family will have one less thing to complain about.
Back to School Clothes Shopping
This is always the part that is hard for us. I'm not a fan of spending a ton of money on clothes that will be trashed and grown out of in a few months, but I'm also not a fan of making my kids wear ill-fitting clothes that don't let them express their personalities. And one thing my kids have is personality!! So we had a one-day shopping spree at Old Navy where we always find cool, affordable clothes that the kids love to wear and that don't make me cry at the register.
Here are some of their faves:


So how did YOUR back to school preparations go?

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