Friday, May 6, 2011

School Plan - Totally Changed

So, I published our 2011-12 School Year Plan a few months ago... and noted it might all change... yep, it sure did.

Over the last few months I have had a few "big picture" goals impressed upon me from some ladies that have gone before me and it has necessitated some major changes in what we do and how we do it. For one I am cutting a lot of the "fluff" out that isn't really important at this point... science is one. Second, I am realizing what our main objectives need to be and weighing what will help us accomplish them.

1. Homeschooling is about the WHOLE family learning together.
At the prompting of a good friend who has had 5 ... 6 and under, who has thrived in this method, I began to think
about changing how I deal with the littlest ones. Over the last few months has become evident to me as I have 2 little ones wreaking havoc as I try to teach Addie isn't the best for any of us. I've experimented with just including them in ways as we do each subject. For example, if we are doing math, the little play with pattern shapes. If we are doing literature, they listen and then do the activity with us, to the best of their ability... it has worked well. They are less whiny, learning more and into less trouble! Which equals happiness (or near happiness) for all.

2. My model needs to change as our family changes.
This year I have 1 kindergartner, 1 pre-schooler and 1 toddler. Next year I will have 1 first grader, 2 pre-kers, 1 preschooler and (hopefully) a baby. I won't be teaching 1 any longer. I should be teaching 4 of them, and then doing the upper level stuff with Addie (phonics, math and writing/grammar). What we do, and how it is done, needs to change... as do my expectations.

3. I need to let bonding, loving and having fun be the primary goal of our year.
If I fail at everything else, but keep love and joy present I have succeeded! Plus, I need to remember, that just like adding a newborn, we're going to have a BIG time of adjusting to each other. The goal of getting recuperated, dealing with different adjustment issues and learning English (for Kizito) are more important than learning numbers and letters. For sure, life doesn't stop, but it must slow down. Because of that we are eliminating all outside activities except one, our Small Group Bible Study. We just love those people way too much and I think that it will be good for us all to continue with that. But we are stopping Awana's and I think I'll go to MOPS here and there. Also, we have the added blessing that Tim and I are on sabbatical at the camp from the end of camp to December 1st! Woot! Daddy around is a good thing!

My Revised Curriculum Plan!

All of Us

Bible and Literature: Sonlight K Core

I went with this, after much debate because it is hard to find people that don't like Sonlight.
It is something we can all do together, and it is a program that can give me ideas (which I need at this point).
Also SL is a literature based curr. and I think the theme "World Exploration" will be perfect for next year.

Addie's 1st Grade

Phonics: Continuing Phonics Museum

Grammar: First Language Lessons (M,W)

Writing: Writing with Ease (T,TH)

Math: Math-U-See

Little Ones: Kizito, Elias and Cora

Letter of the Week Activities
(We might even do a letter every 2 weeks)

Rod and Staff Workbooks
(Really just for fun and to keep them busy)

Additional Units
(Small Lessons a few times a month, Science and Character Based)

November - God Made Families
December - Advent
January - Winter
February - Loving Others, Loving God
March - Spring, Growing Things
April - God Made Me Special
May - Summer Preparations: We stick together, Camp Rules, Life at Camp

I've still gotten some comments about this being too much, but I'd rather have it available than being bored.
And of course we will just have to see how things go.
If activities with the little ones aren't working I can just do school with Addie during nap time.

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