And together we learn

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

School plans

So many things to blog!!! Like most everyone else, I've had homeschooling on the brain, big time. I've found it (for some crazy reason) difficult to plan with my children all around, and by the end of the day my brain is shot and I just want to veg. So I told Steve that I needed a day off, all to myself to plan.


I packed up my laptop, my Rainbow Resource catalog, all the random books I've been gleaning from, and headed to the library. By myself. For hours.

It really shouldn't be so difficult. The planning. After all, my oldest is all of 5 years old. I have to keep reminding myself that the choices I make now are really not going to effect her homeschooling success for the rest of her life, but still. Lots of choices out there. I focused on each child, and myself, for about 1/2 hour each. I wrote and wrote and wrote all the ideas and inspiration about each person so I could come up with some kind of map for the next six months or so. Calvin was the easiest, and they got progressively harder. The list for myself is formidable. Basically mine comes down to discipline. In fact, all this scheduling and chore charts and master plans stuff doesn't mean a thing if I am not doing my part.

For me, it all boils down to one thing: stop reading about homeschooling/mothering/craft projects/fun things to do with kids and actually DO THEM!!! I was just talking about this with Sarah--the whole "I can't come play with you, honey, I'm learning how to be a good mother" thing. I surely hope I'm not the only one who falls into this trap.

So anyway. Here's the unveiling of the new and improved, 2007 official Together We're Learning Family Plan!!!

Morning Devotionals, consisting of a song, scripture reading, a memorization verse, and a quick, inspirational story of some kind (still looking for the perfect book here).

15 minutes wiggle time, whether a quick run outside or dancing to music. We're following the composer and artist studies from Ambleside Online. Right now is Rimsky-Korsakov and Mussorgsky, both of whom my children love (No, not because they're extra cool or anything, but Pictures at an Exhibition was the piece we saw at the Chicago Symphony where they did a huge puppet show, and Rimsky-Korsakov composed Flight of the Bumblebee. I make 'em work to that one!!) and the artist is Da Vinci.

Journal entries--just a sentence or two for Hazel and a picture for Chloe.

Handwriting Without Tears. I'm going to be doing this with both girls. Hazel needs a crash course in decent handwriting, and Chloe's ready to start.

Story of the World I for history. We'll read it out loud and do projects on Fridays, alternating science and history.

We'll continue with Math U See. It's working, so why mess with a decent thing?

Phonics I'm pulling waaaay back on the formal stuff. She will learn how to read eventually, right? It's not worth a fight, and I don't want to make her hate it. She loves me to read to her, she'll pretend to read books to Calvin, and she'll play word games with me in moderation. That's going to have to be enough for now. I have tons of curriculum, should this decision change. But for right now it's going to take a backseat.

Chloe is actually starting to sound out words on her own, so I'll just play games with both of them and see where it takes us. Expect more on this topic--it's an ongoing battle in my mind!!

We're going to be doing lots of Montessori activities. The kinds that encourage careful, deliberate movements and fine motor skills. There are some great ideas in Mommy Teach Me by Barbara Curtis. (all her stuff is fabulous, by the way)

And then of course, the read alouds. We just started the Martha books--read 50 pages straight, until Calvin smashed a full bottle of hot pepper infused olive oil on the floor. The 45 minute clean up of that pretty much stopped any reading for the rest of the night.

I'm going to try to loosely follow the book list from Real Learning for our picture book readings. Oh, and a question for people--I'm looking for books where the characters make proactive, non-victim like choices. (This is a completely different post, but this is what my #2 daughter is needing now) So any advice would be fabulous!

So there you have it! If we can stick to this, we should have a great couple of months ahead. We're doing some wildly fun things in my homeschool co-op, but that's another post. This one is merciless, and I promise not to inflict one like this on people again for a while.

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6 comment(s):

Id love to get away like that. You're plan seems very doable. I had to chuckle at your statement of how your too busy reading how to be a good mommy and shoo the kids away. Yes, we've all fallen into that trap! :)

By Blogger Mrs. Darling, at 7:21 AM  

Great post! I think my biggest challenge is getting myself going every day. If I'm together, then our school plan flows along so nicely. If I'm undisciplined, everything falls apart. Oh, the pressure!! And we start on Monday. Guess we'll see how it goes.

Your plans sound great. I hope you have a great year.

By Anonymous Cellista, at 2:02 PM  

Your plans sound great. You know I love reading about plans but reading about how to be a better mother doesn't really overwhelm me. I would love to read more about your day to day learning if it is at all possible.

I like how you've included yourself. I will have to think about that as well.

Presently, handwriting or rather any writing is our biggest issue. We are having a power struggle. I'm imagining she will be 6 or 7 brfore she is willing to hold a pencil. :)

I am still thinking about that list. I wanted to reread the books to consider some of them. I will include the list that came to mind right away but I am still thinking.

Raising Dragons
Elena's Serenade
Amazing Grace
Paperbag Princess
Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon
Daisy Comes Home
The Other Side
Miss Rumphius
Odd Velvet
Bad Case of Stripes

By Anonymous nina, at 5:00 PM  

Ooh, I agree with the stop reading about homeschooling stuff and do them. I spend too much time researching, planning and talking about it...and don't get to doing half of it if I'm not careful.

By Blogger Dana, at 8:20 PM  

I do exactly that same thing - read and study and plan and then there's no time for doing. So well said, Becca!!

By Anonymous Jennifer, at 5:51 AM  

Your plans look great. I'll have to refer to this again as I have a 4 year old that I am homeschooling.

I'm interested to know how Story of the World is for little ones. It seems advanced, so I'm wondering how/if children are receptive to it??

By Blogger divinagrace, at 9:50 AM  

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