Growing Every Day

Posts tagged ‘school 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:

red-schoolhouse

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.

 

boy-putting-puzzle-together

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

 

girl-in-flower-patch-blowing-bubbles

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

 

little-girl-wearing-glasses

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

 

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

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: