Growing Every Day

Posts tagged ‘schedule’

Sabbath Rest

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One of the hardest things for us to get down was timing.  There are so many possibilities of what schedule to follow for homeschooling (if any).  I cannot tell you how many different options we tried.  Yes, we worked to find our rhythm for the day-to-day learning times.  However, I’m talking the bigger picture here.  Do we follow the public school calendar?  Do we school year round?  Do we do a six week on two week off schedule?

So. Many. Options.

This is our fourth “official” year homeschooling.  We started out by trying no schedule.  Yeah, quickly learned that did not work for me.  If I have no schedule, I will do nothing.  My kiddos turned out to be very much the same.  So, we moved onto trying a six week on, two week off schedule.  The two weeks felt to be too long of a break.  Builder and Princess quickly got out of the “habit” of school.

This year I really liked the idea of a six week chunk of learning time.  So, I kept that portion and decided to try only one week off.  It seemed like a nice amount of time to have a break from scheduled school time activities, but not too long as to get us all out of timing.  This is when I realized something so cool.

This is a sabbath cycle!

Six weeks on, the seventh week is a rest time.  No wonder it made so much sense to our minds, bodies, and spirits!  I have to tell you, this schedule is such a blessing.  We are only in the second round of this cycle, but I can already feel we have hit the rhythm that works for us.

I wanted to share this with you because it is fun to celebrate those times when something clicks.  As a homeschool community, it is so important to walk with others in their rough times and rejoice in the aha times.  Those times when something just works!

If you are still in the boat of not having a timing that works, keep chugging along.  Keep trying this and that, you will find it.  Most likely, you will simply stumble upon it like our family did.  None of this was out of my own wisdom or knowledge.  We kept trying and finally came across that which worked.

I have a sneaking suspicion that things will change as the kiddos grow older and work loads increase, subjects are added, etc.  However, this has given me a basic encouragement that when you just keep at it, it will come.  The Father of us all, will not leave us stranded.  We grow stronger, as we walk longer.  Love to all.

Your Turn to Say ~ What has been your struggle or victory in timing?

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Ebb-and-Flow

Wow.  It truly doesn’t take long for life to hit warp speed.  That is what seems to have happened at our house.  We have recently returned from a nine day trip up and around New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma.  It was a wonderful trip centered around a beautiful family wedding in Colorado.

With that said, when we returned our rhythm was gone, for myself, the kids, school.  Of course the learning that occurred on the trip and the possibilities for further learning were huge.  However, the day-to-day flow had disappeared.  We are currently in the process of finding our new focus and flow, which seems to be a part of this crazy journey called homeschool.

I have come down to the fact that the next two months are months of completion.  It is time to focus on the units and topics we want to close out and wrap up.  My goals for Builder are to complete his math mastery challenge on Khan Academy, finish our Level 1 spelling, and complete our Volcano lapbook.  In regards to Princess, my goal is to keep on track with her math at Khan Academy, finish up a bone unit she is working on, and complete the set of sight words we are currently working on, from Tweet Resources.  I fully expect to have other learning opportunities arise, but these are my specific goals and focus.  Completing these items will place us in a good position for starting anew in January.

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Outside of completing our focus items, we are starting to memorize and learn the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States.  There is a nice set of resource papers over at Kindergarten Nana that fits what we need.  We will use these printables as our diving board into deeper learning conversations.  Each day we will read, The Pledge of Allegiance, published by Scholastic to help aide in memory.

P.S. There will soon be an update on our Water of Life project.  We are done collecting and will let you know the final amount given.

Your Turn to Play ~  What would you like to complete by the end of the year?

My Goals 2015-2016

Yes!

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…

What now?

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:

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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.

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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.

 

*all clipart courtesy of mycutegraphics.com

 

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