Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Planning the new school year

We will be starting our 14th year of homeschooling. I can't believe we have been at it this long! I tried this summer to make some changes to our upcoming school year so to help me feel a little more organized. I'm still leading Mom2Mom at church & that still feels like a full time job. I'm trying to get as much planned out now so that when Mom2Mom is in full swing, our school is ready to go also. My students this year are:
Sarah - 11th grade
Morgan - 9th grade
Collin - 8th grade
Austin - 6th grade
Ben - 4th grade
Zachary - 2nd grade
Gracie - PreK/K (Ashley will help to teach Gracie)
Josh is 10th grade, but Scott teaches him. I don't even have to plan out his lessons!

A few changes...

I have sectioned our year off into 4 terms, 8 weeks each. I have allowed for holidays & birthdays. We will go for 32 planned weeks, but I'm sure for some of the kids it will be longer, or shorter depending on how well they do their work. Collin, Morgan & Sarah have to read at least 1 book per term that is not related to another subject. 2 fiction, 1 biography & 1 Shakespeare play. I'm encouraged by how they are already getting excited at picking out their books for the year. I'm really hoping that my don't-like-to-read kids will do this and read beyond.

Weekly Planning
For my older kids I have planned out their work by weeks instead of daily plans. I have planned out 32 weeks of Math lessons & History lessons, etc... They are independent enough to get their work done by the week deadline. If they don't, they know there are consequences & most are natural.

I spent some time on Ambleside Online this summer to get some idea's for my older kids & was surprised by the excellent reading lists, so I am following some of that. For example, Sarah is reading Knowing God by J.I. Packer for part of her Bible. Morgan is reading, Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowel. I feel silly for not thinking of having my children read more good books like this myself.

For my younger kids, I have enough materials left over from the older kids that I don't have to buy much. I have learned that until they are in about 3rd grade, you don't even need a math book. Anything they need to know can be found in your house. Once they begin reading on their own, you can get them a math book & let them begin to do independent work. I always love it when they can read independently! FREEDOM!

I never know how the year will actually play out, but I am praying that I will be sensitive to the Spirit's leading and sensitive to the needs of my children. I write the plans in pencil, knowing the Lord will probably change them.


LauraLee Shaw said...

Oh my goodness, girl! YOU are organized! Wow, this plan looks INcredible! Will be right here praying you through the year. If you have an SOS for prayer, you know where to find me. I know I will have many for you. And I've only got 3! :0

Mary said...

Yeah you are massively organized compared to me :)

I said to Carley today that I hadn't remembered to put your new blog link on my blog--I was like, "Dana hasn't updated lately!" She laughed at me and told me to copy the link from her blog and guess what!? You have posted quite a bit. Who knew!!

Thanks for the encouragement about your exhausting days/nights with Sam. Really helped remind me to pray for strength today :)

Carrie Cooper said...

Carrie @ comfortedbyGod.blogspot.com

Im so impressed! You have it all organized and thoroughly thought out! Good job! Id love to sit at your feet one day and watch you in action at home :)