Growing Every Day

Posts tagged ‘calendar’

Follow Through

From 1st grade through graduating high school, I was a bowler.  I bowled on a league the entire time.  One of the phrases my couch would say continuously, “Follow through”.

Follow through.

Who knew this was a key to success in so many areas of life.  When I was out in the working world, there were deadlines imposed on me.  If I was late with a project or simply didn’t get something done, there were immediate consequences.

Making the shift to staying at home made something very clear to me…I am not so good at follow through.  If a blog post or chapter of my book doesn’t get written, then they don’t get written.  There is no immediate consequence.  However, after being home for several years now I am realizing the consequence is there; it is just far more subtle.

The consequence is not moving forward in life.

If I do not discipline myself to follow through and complete certain projects, then I remain in the same place in life.  No book published, no blog making money, no digital art to sell.

Another lesson from bowling, every time I remembered to follow through, I would hit my mark and almost always get a strike or high scoring roll.  Without the follow through, I would miss my mark and it would not go so well.  That is so parallel to life.  When I push myself to follow through and write for those planned two hours a day, then I move forward.  Things get completed.

What I realize now is that the act of “follow through” is not natural, at least not for me.  This is something that I must discipline, train myself to do.  When I sit down for my two hour writing block, I will inevitably find my mind wandering (and sometimes my body) and have to bring myself back to the project at hand.  I now say out loud, “follow through”.  Even this simple intentional act of speaking out loud to myself has made an impact in how much I am moving forward.

A second thing that has helped me in the discipline of “follow through” are these amazing monthly, weekly, daily calendar printables from Productive Flourishing.  I have tried so many calendars without much success, or with little success.  I am not very good at sticking to an incremental timed calendar.  The calendars found at Productive Flourishing are said to be geared toward the creative mind flow.

Creatives tend to think less on a timeline and more in chunks or projects.

These calendars help you “chunk” your time and order it for the day as well as helping plan the scope of your project(s) for the week/month.

The third element for me in this “follow through” epiphany is realizing that my kids have the same non-follow through nature as I do.  There are numerous Lego projects, art projects, building projects, craft projects, etc. all over the house.  I have no problem with having more than one project going; however, I now have the desire to help discipline (train, not punish) my kids so that they can actually complete these projects.

In the realm of learning and practicing this discipline called “follow through”, I have asked Builder and Princess to pick a project that they want to work on.  We now have “project time” for 30 minutes each day.  They are welcome to work on it more as they wish, but they must work on it for that designated 30 minutes.

Builder has chosen to break down all of his currently built Lego sets and organize them into tubs according to categories.  For example, all police sets will go in one tub, all city or fire sets will go in each of their own tubs, etc.  This is a huge project, and he is continually making forward progress.

Photo Jun 15, 1 30 05 PM

Builder’s Project

Princess has chosen to build all of her Lego sets.  For her to actually complete any one Lego set is quite an accomplishment.  This week already, she has finished two and started working on a third just because she was having fun!

Photo Jun 15, 1 31 11 PM

Princess’s Project (1 of 2 sets built)

The kids’ project times have also helped me to realize that I need to pick a project to work on that is for me personally and not related to business/work.  I know this will be an on-going learning process for us all, and I am determined to follow through!

And You? ~ How are you on following through?

 

 

Advertisements

On Our Way

Yes, we are still here!

As I mentioned in my previous post, Focus Forward, I have spent much time with the Lord working on household organization and time management.  By no means do I have it down pat, but I am further along than I was in December.  I have purged items from the house, eliminating much of the clutter (not all, but much).  A daily household focus has been set, such as Monday is laundry, Tuesday is floors, etc.  This has been great, because Mason has now caught on to each daily focus and likes to help.

And then there is the biggie…

…planning the school year.  This was a struggle for me.  My natural desire was to set a calendar with days on, days off, holidays, etc.  Then an accusing voice came in saying that I need to just go with the flow and not be so structured.  After all, I said I didn’t want to simply copy a public school setting for our homeschool.  I wanted more freedom, didn’t I?

This really took me pressing in with the Lord to seek what He had for me and my children.  He led me to the passage of Jesus feeding the five thousand (Mark 6).  Before feeding the multitude Jesus had them sit…in groups of 50 and 100.

He organized them!

After defeating that nagging accusatory voice of the devil, I felt free to begin planning and organizing our year.  Once I realized this whole thing is about us and what’s right for our school/family, I decided to tackle the school year calendar.  There really are so many options out there.  You can follow the local public school calendar, year round school, online school, and everything in between.  I have always been a fan of year round school.  To me, it makes more sense to have frequent small breaks, rather than one huge break giving plenty of time to forget important building concepts.

This is why I chose to do a 6 weeks on, 2 weeks off calendar.  “Officially” it is called a 30-10 calendar meaning 30 days on, 10 days off.  Wanting to schedule 180 days of school, I started highlighting six week sessions.  It turns out to be six sessions total.

 This is perfect.

I can break up the planning of curriculum into six separate six week sessions.  Planning one session at a time seems much less daunting to me than having to plan the whole year or even a nine week chunk.

I shifted days around during Thanksgiving and Christmas, left some days in around Labor day that I’m sure we may make up some other time.  However, I knew if I tried to guess all the days we wouldn’t be “at school”, I would be second guessing the whole calendar!  So, I scheduled around the holidays, and left the rest to flow with the Lord during the year.  Here is our 2014-2015 school calendar:

2014-2015

After tweaking the holidays weeks, I found that our schedule ended the first week of June.  Perfect!  This allows four weeks off before starting the next school year with the first full week of July.  I am excited to walk through our first year with the Lord, Mason, Madison, my hubby, and many others who will make this possible.  There is much excitement to experience first-hand how the Lord will tailor our lessons and learning to each of our individual personalities, as learner and teacher.

Next step, curriculum…

 

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Moving On

This week was much better for us.  

I started the week with a freshly organized desk and some work prepared for the week.  I thought out those things I would like Mason to accomplish and had them ready Sunday evening.  This worked out well for me, so I may begin to try Sunday evenings as my planning time.

As a part of math this week, we worked on identifying and naming 3-dimensional objects.  I found a good set of printable 3-D flashcards at mrprintables.com.  I introduced these cards a few weeks back.  This week Mason took each card and went around the house to find objects to match the shape.

3d hunt copy

We fudged a little on the pyramid item (pizza slice).  It turned out really difficult to find a true pyramid!

After collecting all the different objects, Mason then went on to build a “sculpture”.  This was great because after completing his creation, he told me about it by identifying the names of each of the elements.  For example, instead of saying here is the paint bottle, he said – here is the cylinder, cube, etc.  This was a very fun way to practice naming 3-dimensional objects.  It was also challenging to find items from around the house.  I had fun helping with this.

Week-in-Review

Math:

3-Dimensional Shape Naming & Identifying

  • This is the activity described above.  Review 3-D flashcards and then find objects in the house that are those 3-D shapes.
  • Add some fun by then taking the 3-D items and make a “sculpture” from them.  Then name each item in the sculpture using the 3-D shape name.

Handwriting:

Fall Tracing

  • Page 11 & 18, in the All About Fall pack from servingjoyfully.com, are two cute trace and color sheets.  Madison enjoyed the sheets as well!

Fall Tracing copy

Calendar Tracing

  • The preschool calendar notebook pages from RoyalBaloo.com are a great set of printables.  We are not good at tracing the date each day.  Mason tends to enjoy doing them more than one at a time.  He went back to them this week, finishing the numbers for all of September and most of October.

August calendar

(September, October, and November are currently available here.)

Reading:

Story Sequencing

  • Using a set of Blue’s Clues story sequencing cards, four cards are given and must be placed in correct story sequence by looking at the scene on the card.  This is helpful not only to see if a child can recognize a storytelling sequence, but also to see if left to right reading is occurring.

sequencing

CVC Jump

  • For this activity, letters are written in chalk on the driveway.  I chose letters that pertained to three or four word families we had been working on, as well as letters for Mason’s name and a few other sight words.
  • Then I give a word and Mason jumps on the letters to spell that word.  After a while, Mason likes to choose the words and spell them.

CVC jump

Sight Word Sundaes

  • This is a cute printable that gives another fun way to practice sight words.  Normally, Mason would build his own Sight Word Sundae and say the words as we take it apart.  Lately Mason hasn’t wanted to build a sundae, but if I build one he will read the words from mine.  Works for me!

Word Sundae pic

(click here for Sight Word Sundae download)

Never Underestimate

My lesson this week:  never underestimate.

I am seeing a beautiful blend of basic planning and inherent motivation budding forth.  It will help to explain using examples.  We have several educational workbooks that have been given to us and have thus far been mostly out of sight, out of mind.  In hopes to decrease the pile, we started working through these to use them up.  Sitting down to work on letter tracing:  my basic planning – complete two pages.  Mason’s inherent motivation – complete 5!

Another time I noticed this blend of basic planning and inherent motivation:  throughout the last couple of weeks, Mason has been more consistently sounding out words.  Out of interest, I asked if he could spell ‘and’ the other day.  He could.  This makes it a great time to move into the realm of spelling basic word families and sight words.  It came to me to write several letters on the ground and have Mason spell words by jumping on the letters in order.  I made sure to include the letters of his name so that there was a word with which I knew he was familiar.

Spelling Jump

(Madison enjoyed jumping on letters as well!)

Long story short…

Not only did he spell the words I thought up, he then started making words out of the letters on the ground.  Words I hadn’t even thought to ask him.   Then he said a word, realized one of the letters wasn’t there, and wrote the letter with the chalk himself.  Wow!  My basic planning – have Mason spell his name and a few other words.  Mason’s inherent motivation – spell given words, make my own words, include new letters.

I must pause and say, there is definitely a timing to this whole process.  There were a few times this week that I presented the idea of tracing letters and either it just didn’t fly, or only what I asked was done (and that with little enthusiasm).  In these instances, I didn’t push and we didn’t move on to other areas.  Most of our learning activities this week happened on Wednesday and then Saturday and Sunday.  There just seemed to be a “no go” on the other days of the week.  This, however, is the beauty of “doing school” from June to June on a 12 month cycle…plenty of time to flow.

Week-in-Review

Math:  

Collecting Data, Calendar Activity from RoyalBaloo

  • The only math we did this week was graphing the weather each morning with our calendar activity.  The activity is set up to do daily.  This is not something I’m willing to make happen everyday.  It seems to work better for us to do it once, maybe twice, a week – doing a few days work at one time.

weather graph data

Reading:  

Introduction to Beginning Consonant Blends, Blend Wall Cards by 3 Dinosaurs

  • Since sounding out words and attempting to read books is occurring more and more, we began to look at and attribute sounds to specific blends of consonants.  These wall cards helped with the sounding out of each particular blend and then I had Mason think of another word that started with the same blend.

Blend Wallcards

Sight Word Practice, Lego Pack by walkingbytheway.com

  • Reinforcement is always good, and we have a large supply of foam letters.  Thank you Grandma S for the foam letters!  I also found this great Lego pack at walkingbytheway.com.  So, we practiced color sight words, by finding and placing the correct foam letters on the words.  Since spelling is becoming a forefront concept as well, I made sure that once the word was completed, I would ask the question, “How do you spell blue.”  Since the word was in front of him, it simply gave him a chance to practice responding to that question.

MM foam spelling

(Madison’s version is on the right.)

Handwriting:  

Tracing and Free writing Letters

  • As stated above, we have several educational workbooks that I am ready to work through and lessen the pile!  The pages with letters A-D were completed this week.

tracing work

Tracing Numbers

  • Calendar Activity – writing in dates on the August calendar printable found at RoyalBaloo.com

Spelling

  • What we are now calling Spelling Jump.  It is the activity described in the blog above.  Writing letters on the driveway and giving Mason a word to spell by jumping on the correct letters in order.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: