Thursday, August 25, 2016

All the Homeschool Plans!

It's that time of year... New Year's resolution time for the homeschool set. Time to obsess over curriculum and schedules and goals and mission and we are raising saints and scholars here one picture book at a time. Oorah! For your inspiration and my own organizational benefit, offered herewith are my best laid plans.

This year Anthony (age 6) will be in first grade and we'll be trying out kindergarten work with Katie Rose (age 4).  Katie Rose is academically ready for reading and writing, anyway, and she wants to be part of the action. I expect it will be easier to have two official students and they can do school together. Daniel's going to obedience school. We're officially in the toddler testing limits stage. But he's still a sweetie giving everybody kisses.

For our basic subjects, we'll be following Mother of Divine Grace again this year. I liked how simple it was for kindergarten, spending no more than 15 minutes on any one lesson and no more than an hour a day all together. Sounds underwhelming, but it really worked well! Everything in the lesson plan delivers lots of meat for the time invested. First grade follows the same general pattern. Check: Math, Phonics, Composition, Poetry, Art, Music, Handwriting, Religion. It's set on a four day a week schedule, so we will do MODG stuff 10-12 Monday, Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays, although I don't expect it will take the full two hours since I'm not expecting Katie Rose to do everything. Some of the worksheets they are able to do independently while I work with the other one, or else take turns doing schoolwork and playing with Daniel if he requires a playmate. Homeschooling is pretty efficient. On Wednesday mornings I meet with my moms' group and they get to play.

One of my ideas for this year is to make up a daily list for each child which will be at their desks* each morning. This will be every day,. It's really just what I do for myself every night already, but printed out, This is more for Anthony, but I can't make one for Anthony and not Katie Rose. He is always wanting to know what's happening every day, and I want him to take a little more responsibility and initiative for doing what needs to be done. In other words, the list will do the nagging for me. Her list will probably be just a sentence to write in her copybook for the day (which she's already started of her own initiative) and a chore I would like done that day. She can't read yet so I can't expect any more. Anthony's will also have which subjects we're planning to cover since we don't hit all of them every day, and a general plan for the day (Speech therapy, grocery shopping, whatever.) Then he can check things off as they happen. He's so much like myself and is really motivated by lists.

The other main feature of our homeschool will be our midday routine. I've heard it called "Symposium" but that sounds a bit pretentious to me. We'll have lunch, cleanup, and recess at noon, and then around 1;00 is Daniel's naptime. We'll have our prayer time then. Mornings will be too variable for that to be an ideal time for us. I'm going to try using the Children's Daily Prayer book, which is a child's version of the Liturgy of the Hours. I really like the idea of praying along with the rest of the Church. It hasn't arrived yet, but it looks like sometimes there's something about the saint of the day and seasonal celebrations for during the prayer time. But it's also short, about ten minutes. Perfect for small attention spans and my not needing to plan anything more elaborate. Then we'll have a more or less rotating loop of habit training (using Laying Down the Rails for Children), teaching folk songs, art or music appreciation (from MODG 1st grade curriculum), and whatever life skills I feel we need to address. Shoe tying clinic is first up. Then wind up with reading aloud from a chapter book or fairy tales while they may color or do Legos. This will be finished around 2:00, then everyone (even me!) goes to rest until 3;00. Daniel sometimes wakes up before this but he plays quietly in his crib until then generally.

After quiet time, we'll have another cleanup and recess, then free time if chores are done. Evenings are mostly free, but Anthony is signed up for Cub Scouts and Blue Knights once a month and I'm still deciding which sport to sign them up for at the Y. Mass on Friday mornings, Speech therapy on Thursday mornings. Library visit at least one afternoon a week. Piano lesson for Anthony on Saturday mornings. I'm teaching, but that seems to be the most convenient time. Practicing will be on his checklist. Field trips will be with some other homeschooling families at least once a month on Saturdays, and we'll still do our own family and Daddy outings. Sunday Mass and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

I think that about covers it!

*The desks don't exist yet. I have a schoolroom plan too but you'll just have to wait for the reveal post. There's a loft space at the top of the stairs that will be our work and art space, but probably not until well after we've officially started school. I have to paint and find furniture and everything which always takes a really long time when I'm doing everything outlined here and making meals and laundry and teaching Katie Rose to ride her bike and and and...

1 comment:

  1. Oh man. You're so ahead of me! I excitedly bought all my curriculum at the beginning of the summer, but I haven't come to any true conclusions yet about what our daily/weekly schedule is actually going to look like!

    Let me know what you think of Laying Down the Rails.