We start school this Monday and I am trying to make sure I have everything ready to begin. This is our 11th year homeschooling. Hopefully I’ve learned a thing or two by now. But every year is different since the children grow, study different things, and there are always new challenges.
William, Anna, David, and Lizzie on our End of “Summer” trip to Roan Mountain State Park last week. It was the chilliest I can remember in August in Tennessee with highs in the 50’s one day!
This year I’ve made generic weekly schedules for Lizzie (2nd grade) and William (5th grade). I searched through lots of forms and finally decided to use one of the Weekly Planning forms from The SchoolhousePlanner. I left the Week # and Dates blank. Along the top of the chart are the days of the week. Down the left side are the subjects, which I customized with each of their subjects. Then I filled in each of the blocks with a daily assignment. Most of their subjects are “do the next thing” type of courses, so I don’t need to do extensive planning. (This is one of the things I finally figured out.) I can just put Lesson or Exercise in the Math box for every day. Lizzie is going to be using Prima Latina, so I have simple plans like Go over lesson, Do 1st workbook page, Do 2nd workbook page, and Review Vocabulary in those boxes. I have tried to take into account that Monday will be crazy with transporting David and Anna back and forth to classes, so it is a little lighter. After I finished my generic plans, I printed the page and laminated it. Then they will check off their assignments with dry erase markers and I won’t have to remember to print something new every week.
We also bought a used school desk for William for his room. He will be doing at least some of his independent work upstairs. Hopefully that will cut down on distractions for him. I am considering having him set a timer for himself for breaks. I’m not sure if that’s a good idea though because I fear he would spend most of his time focusing on when his break was.
Anna, 8th grade, is scheduling all her own school this year. Nice, huh? She has decided to do 4-5 week blocks in some subjects like geography and science so she isn’t doing every subject all the time. I’m excited to see how it’s going to work. I’m also going to mirror her geography lessons with similar topics for William and Lizzie at the same time.
I have also set up Google Calendars for David and Anna. I have their schedules on separate calendars (shared between us). Then I have another calendar for the cross country schedule, and my own appointments. I also have a menu calendar that I need to start using again.
I have used the Google Calendar to set up deadlines for David’s Chemistry class. I have Complete Chapter 1, Complete Chapter 2, etc. We’re working on training him to be more independent and take more ownership over his schedule.
Andrew is, as usual, the one who will have probably the biggest impact on how our days go. We’re taking a very relaxed approach to potty training, and I’m trying to come up with some special learning activities for him as well. He really loves attention so that makes school time tricky. I need to remember the advice to play with him FIRST. That way he’ll be more ready to play by himself when I need to work with the other children.
By Kristen H.