When we began this school year, we moved to a more Charlotte Mason approach. We are using a schedule combining Year 1 and 2 of Ambleside Online. However, even that schedule was not enough for me. I looked at the list of books we would be missing and started adding more to the schedule. Well, that has led to overload. So, I am letting go of my obsession with checking all the boxes and making some changes.
The biggest change (to me, at least) is dropping Rod and Staff English. It was taking too much time and I am not convinced we need to be hitting grammar that hard at this age. It was a difficult decision (I just love that program), but I finally decided to try something else for awhile. We will be using the sample lesson from Bravewriter's Arrow. It covers some grammar, literary elements, dictation, and a writing exercise. It is 4 weeks long. At the end of the lesson, I will decide what to do from there. We may stay with the Arrow or we may go back to Rod and Staff, but at a much more relaxed pace. We may try something else. I don't know yet.
I have also dropped Fifty Famous Stories Retold (an AO selection I added in) and Our Island Story (which is scheduled). Doing history 4 days a week (sometimes 5) was too much. We are enjoying both of these books, but I decided they weren't crucial to our school day. A Child's History of the World covers the parts of OIS that I don't want to miss (King Harald, William the Conqueror, etc.) at a much faster pace. Both of these books have been added to our book basket and I am pretty sure the kids will keep reading them on their own.
With everything that we dropped, I have been able to put aside a whole day each week for projects. Scheduling things in the morning makes it much more likely that it's going to be done. As much as I want the afternoons to be spent in projects and other enrichment activities, it doesn't usually happen. It always seems that we are either running behind, or something has come up (doctor appointments etc.).
Now that I have probably explained way too much about my thought processes, here's the unveiling. Ta-da!
(A big "thank you" to Tami for all her help and advice as I worked through this. She's a true gem.)