Although I had wanted to get to Ambleside Online Year 3, before the start of W's 5th grade, I'm starting to realize that for him, AO3 and 5th grade will be great together. I have come across so many people who prefer to do this. And with W's mild dyslexia, holding off on the readings is probably best. He is just starting to come into good reading flow. He reads well independently and his comprehension is great - even with difficult Shakespearean language. This past year has been so amazing. The strides W have made in all areas is unbelievable. I love AO.
I have recently decided to increase the rigor a bit. Up to now we've always gotten to the academics when we could, on days without classes or trips. The classes and trips always come in waves, peaking in fall and spring, slowing down a bit in summer and winter. This is probably why AO2 took 2 years to complete instead of 1. I don't want that to happen with AO3. So, we're going to try adding in more seatwork time.
W wants to spend more time in Manhattan, visiting places he loves or hasn't been to yet. I don't want to curb our field trip/outing time (because there's just so much to do here), but I also want to leave room for everything else. I work from 6pm-10pm, so evenings are out. Early mornings are doable. We normally start academic stuff at around 10:30am, but there's nothing wrong with starting at 8:30am, right? I'm up at 6:30am getting the rest of the troops out of the house. W is usually up before 8:30, so I think that's what we'll do.
Right now W's regular weekly outings are late enough in the day so an early start could actually work. W said it was a good idea. He is more of a morning person anyway. Ok, good. So now I'm going to stop worrying about taking so long with AO2. We can relax and enjoy the final weeks of it. W will continue with TT5, Word Study & Phonics, and daily independent reading throughout the summer. He'll be going to day camp every day starting at the end of June, so spending about an hour on academics each day shouldn't be a big deal. He definitely needs to keep up at least the bare minimum over the summer before starting AO3 in the fall.
I feel good about it, W thinks it'll work out well, and I'm looking forward to summer and starting AO3 in the fall!