Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Boring compared to others

I have decided that we must be boring home school educators.  I read about how much effort that others are putting into their lesson plans and choosing the items for each subject.  They seem to be devoted indeed.

Then I look at us.  I have found that I justify our use of one curriculum. WHAT? That is just crazy I tell myself. We all have similar yet different reasons to homeschool and our children learn in many different ways. I find that one set program gives me direct guidance to assure that G and F are meeting certain outcomes. I also find that I supplement their lessons with other items as well to enhance and enrich the experience.

Their books and the lesson plans for this year have arrived but I did not dive into them yet as so many other things seem to be happening.  I am setting a more specific schedule and have determined out start date will be August 29th.  That will still be about a week after the traditional schools and end sooner. We have built into the schedule extra school days as we know that the baby coming will put an unexpected break into our pattern.  I have cautioned the girls that this year we are more prepared about what to expect and what we need to do better at teaching. This is only our second year to homeschool. 

First, I am going to begin sooner in the day rather than later. It seems once lunch break happens no one is as interested in learning and I know I was not as interested in teaching. SO we will begin on a traditional time schedule of 8:30 am.....ok maybe 9:00 (haha).  Each subject will have a reasonable lesson time and time to complete work. Work that is not completed will end up being evening homework for them.  Well, at least for G that will be the case as it is rather unfair to expect more from F than I did from G in the same class--and F is very young yet to push that.  F will need direct lesson time like I did last year for G.   I also know that some lessons were just to draggy and needed to move along more, with some lessons being combined to just one lesson.  G can take it, she does not like to be bored and I am afraid I did that as the year went on.  So this year I am going to be better at planning ahead and know when to combine several lessons into one.  Building onto knowledge is one thing but we must move on. It seems we have been teaching the same stuff for a long time at the end of the year.  I so expect to find that we begin the 3rd grade language before the end of the year. 

I know that I am going to expect more from G in her writing efforts and improvement in the neatness of her written work.

We will once again participate in the co-op's enrichment program they title Master's Lyceum.  One parent will be using the Magic Tree House books and G loves that series.  I bought her the whole set for her birthday but then halted her reading them so she could be part of this group.  I am not sure what F will be excited to participate in but I think she is ready to leave the Learning Centers program and move on to the FIAR series. 

F is beginning the first grade curriculum but will still need to master more skillful reading before I start the first grade books. She completed the K phonics and will go on in the 1st grade book there however. I hope to see a better flow of phonics blend rather than a breakdown of each word.  Her math will be all 1st grade. 

We will also seek a Daisy troop for her to join. She is young but she will be 5 by the end of October so I do not see why she should hold back there.

Finally, we will pray that my health keeps up and we can keep doing this. I want to get my grandchildren to college age via homeschool. I think F may want regular school at some point but I do not think that G will ever consider it again.

Well, those are my thoughts for today.  No exciting strategic moves in our class, just some real old fashion teaching and learning. Of course we will keep doing the programs at the zoo, the magic house and the science center as well.