We journeyed our way through the first year of homeschooling…with one. Toward the end of the school year, the rhythm, technique, and schedule were beginning to fall in place. M1’s learning style and a structure he responds to well were taking shape. An ideal time and routine for me to plan lessons, units, etc. was coming together…
and then we stopped for our “summer” break.
We take 6 weeks off from the end of May to beginning of July, and now I sit and think on how to start back to school. So many plans have formulated and then dissipated in the last two to three weeks. Where to start has eluded me around each corner. I am still, somewhat, battling a public education mentality. It really is such a different paradigm going from a middle school setting of 120 in one hour periods, to two little ones under 6 at our home all day!
Remembering that I don’t have to have a full year of school planned is key for me. We work in 6 week sessions, so just having a direction for the first six weeks is great. The question then becomes…
The answer revealed itself today. If I can list out the goals for this school year in general and for each child (M2 will be working on some pre-k material, with much less structure than M1) then the direction and beginning momentum will be there. So without further ado, the goals:
Goals – School in General
1) One fieldtrip a month – will utilize as many in town resources as possible and some fun options in nearby towns
2) Stick to the schedule – this I say loosely. I do want to do a better job sticking to the 6 weeks on, 2 weeks off schedule, but I also want the Lord to be our ultimate Schedule Maker.
3) Create a family tree on the wall – going back as far as we can!
4) Documentation – keeping better track/organization of pictures, projects, and progress to pull together for an end of school year binder/book.
Goals – M1 (First Grade)
1) Writing – A focus on writing and spelling – would like him to be comfortable writing sentences and possibly paragraphs by the end of the year (he does not like writing so this will be a place to learn discipline for both of us!)
2) Math – finish up our first grade units and progress onto a second grade path, focusing on as many skip counting charts as possible
3) Science – definitely want to cover weather, plants, animals, energy (more may come into play as we go). Also we will focus on asking three extra questions to explore on each topic we cover.
4) Handwriting – remediate some incorrect/less efficient ways of making letters, practice for more proficiency
5) Art/Music – incorporate it more consistently this year
6) PE – be more consistent in a 3 times a week approach
7) Bible Study- be more consistent in timing, less gaps during a specific focus
Goals – M2 (pre-k)
1) Keep it fun and experiential, majority of learning coming through play.
2) Work on beginning handwriting – be familiar and confident in capital letter formation, begin work on correct/efficient number formation.
3) Work on recognizing beginning letter sounds – ‘b’aseball, ‘d’og, etc. If we progress past that, work on ending sounds
4) Math – recognize and work with groups of 20 objects, rote counting to 30, work on “one more than” and “one less than”, extended 2D shape recognition, begin 3D shape recognition, extend patterning.
5) Fun science experiments, use M1’s topics at pre-k level
Goals – Me
1) Read 3 fiction books for fun – hopefully I can far exceed this, but I am starting small and realistic for myself.
2) Start writing again – publish two blog posts around the 1st and 15th of each month.
3) Read The Pleasure of His Company by Dutch Sheets.
4) Complete the Make Over Your Mornings course by Crystal Paine.
5) Have a “Me” day once a month.