Friday, November 09, 2007

Thoughts on the New Term

(A partial list of what to keep and what to change, beginning after Thanksgiving.)

a. Continue Triss in Apologia General Science, following the prescribed schedule. That is working well.

b. Switch Mariel and Cornflower to Considering God’s Creation for Science/Nature—work with them together once per week, then have them complete the notebook pages during their independent time. Do one lesson per week. Need two new workbooks @ 13.95 each. This will eliminate It Couldn’t Just Happen for Mariel and help compensate for eliminating Madam How and Lady Why. She can read It Couldn’t Just Happen in 6th or 7th grade. If Triss is caught up on her school work, consider having her teach the lesson while I do chores and listen in.

c. Continue using Exploring His Earth for Mariel and consider having Cornflower listen in. It is more of a geography book and I am counting it as such rather than science and eliminating the other geography book.

d. Eliminate ice skating lessons and have nothing on Thursdays but staying home. The kids can ride their bikes around the neighborhood several times per week for exercise.

e. Mariel is doing fine on her history—moving a little slowly, but I think we will be able to compensate for that in the summer. Continue her history as before.

f. Have Triss do Grammar of Poetry during her independent time and discuss it with me during her hour.

g. I need to have a checklist of things to discuss each day with the girls regarding their independent work. The only thing is, the checklist will change each day, so I have to make it up the night before. I need a checklist template, which I can alter each night. I need planning time each night also. I need to be more dedicated to doing what I ought rather than what I want. Erg. How can I be dedicated to doing the regular, mundane things without being rigid and controlling? This is quite a challenge for me. Either I am a drill sergeant, or we float through life, airily neglecting essentials. Some of my friends think I am too rigid when I am trying to keep to what we should be doing. Perhaps I am, but I have to hold on to schedules and plans with both hands or else they easily slip from my grasp. Oh, why am I thus tossed?

h. Redo the schedule thus:

i. 8:00-9:00 Breakfast Meeting: breakfast, Bible, memory work, singing, Copywork, review Spanish, and read any articles I have found that I want to share with the kids.

ii. 9:00-10:00 Housekeeping Hour: For December, this will be when we work on our Christmas projects and I will do chores as I can between helping the kids with schoolwork later on. Beginning in January we will do dedicated Flylady-style and/or Large Family Logistics-style cleaning during this time. I would really like to fit in some Charm lessons once a week, but I need to think more about it and plan out all of the lessons in advance. That really fell apart this term. Also, wouldn’t this be a good time to write letters and thank you notes? I have been trying for years to get us going with regular correspondence and it has never worked out

iii. *10:00-11:00 Cornflower’s Hour: This is when I work with Cornflower on anything she needs help with—math, readings, phonics all happen during this time.

iv. *11:00-12:00 Mariel's Hour: This is when I work with Mariel on what she needs me to help with. This time is just not long enough. I can only fit math and part of one reading into an hour of help-time with Mariel. Where can I get additional time? If we eliminate ice skating, there will be a whole afternoon of additional time. I can add another hour each afternoon but Tuesday if necessary.

v. *Note on the two above hours: Do Considering God’s Creation and Exploring His Earth once per week from 10:30-11:30 with both children. Is this going to be doable, or will it be a challenge because it alters the weekly schedule? Flexibility is a quality to be desired.

vi. –During all of this time, Triss will be doing her work independently. She is very good at that, which is excellent. I can have her teach Considering God’s Creation once per week as long as she isn’t feeling frazzled and behind. I think she will enjoy it, and it will be good review for her.—

vii. –Also during this time, musical instrument practice will be rotating in and out, thusly—

1. 10:00 Mariel/violin
2. 10:30 Triss/piano
3. 11:30 Cornflower/piano (this is a change from 11:00 to accommodate the CGC and EHE lessons)
4. 1:00 Mariel/piano
5. Hey, I would like to have a regularly scheduled piano practice time, too! How to work that in, I wonder. Perhaps have it scheduled regularly, but give it over if one of the kids needs additional schoolwork help.

viii. 12:00-1:00 Lunch. We really enjoyed doing artist/composer study during lunch, and having poetry tea once in the week, but I wasn’t as consistent with that as I should have been, and so for the last few weeks we missed composer and artist study, and we have only done poetry tea three or four times (hey, that’s almost half the term, better than nothing.) What caused me to set it aside? Well, I ran out of my preparation, partly. I need to have everything ready in advance so I can simply pull it out at lunchtime. The other things that factored in were wondering what we would have for lunch, having places we needed to go at lunch, and the living/dining room tables being messy and in need of clearing. We stack books on them. So I need to have poetry, artist and composer completely prepped for the term ahead of time, and also need to be organized where decluttering tables, planning the lunch menu and prep is concerned.

ix. 1:00-2:00 Triss' Hour.

x. 2:00-3:00 Mariel's other hour.

xi. 3:00-4:00 Take a break unless we have evening plans and someone hasn’t finished schoolwork.

xii. 4:00-5:00 Chores.

xiii. 5:00-6:00 Dinner prep/relaxing

xiv. 6:00-7:00 Dinner

xv. 7:00-10:00 Evening activities, or relaxing at home until each person’s bedtime, or finishing what absolutely must get done for the next day (chores or schoolwork).

xvi. The Spanish lesson is on Tuesday during the time I teach piano, and Latin has been relegated to Triss alone, so she can do it during her independent time.

xvii. All music lessons take place on Tuesday, as well as nature study. We tried to have family geography lessons on Tuesdays as well, but we needed a little more wiggle room for piano lessons, so that fell by the wayside. Triss is reading the Brendan Voyage and doing mapwork for that and history on her own, and I will combine Cornflower and Mariel in EHE once per week. Cornflower is also reading some of the Holling books this year.


Willa said...

I like the way you listed out what to change for the next term. I am just planning my next term, too, so it's helpful to see how others strategize : ).

JacciM said...

Interesting :) I came over from Mama Squirrel's place. She recommends you highly, you know :)

I was wondering what ages your daughters are. I can tell from some of the school work that at least one is older. I'm just getting started with CM and my children are all young. The oldest of my 4 is six and a half :)

I know you may not have time, but I thought I'd invite you to my virtual Open House to officially kick off my blog's new home. I'd love to have you stop by! :) Just click on the link below.


Mother Auma said...

Willa, thinking of your school planning posts inspires me as I process through what to continue and what to leave off. I enjoy reading how you weave your kids' interests through the week/month and add in the schooling you need them to do.

Jacci, thanks for stopping by! I admire Mama Squirrel greatly-- one of my favorite aspects of her blog are her posts on homeschooling without breaking the bank.

I have all girls and they are ages 13, 10 and 7-- Years 7, 4 and 1. We did a modified Year 1 with my youngest last year (Fifty Famous Stories and Aesop, mainly, with a Shakespeare story, a couple of chapters from the Burgess Bird Book, Jacob's Fairy Tales and many storybooks thrown in), so this year we are finishing up. She is sitting in on her sister's geography as well.

I subscribed to your blog with Bloglines and should be able to swing over a couple of times this week and see what's going on at your new blog!

JacciM said...

Thanks so much! It's a little freaky switching blogs - what if no one at all comes to the new one? Anyway, I've been pleased with the turnout so far :) Thanks for giving me some company!

My oldest is in a "modified" year one, as well. It will be my 5yo who really has the missmash Year One next year. She's listened in on so many of the books this year! We do most of our readings while the younger two nap, so she sits with us. She'll probably always be a mix of her true year and a little of the year ahead.

Thanks, again, for commenting on my blog! :)I'll be back to read more soon.


Donna-Jean said...

Wonderful to read of your plans, your blog is always enjoyable to me.

Just a little thought - I substitute copywork now and then (my plan is to do it once a week, but it doesn't always happen) with letter-writing. It's not really 'copywork' but it is a nice change now and then :-)

Mother Auma said...

It's funny you should mention that-- I've been thinking of using copywork time as a time for them to help me address Christmas cards after Thanksgiving! Two a day each, maybe?

But first I have to get that copywork into a time slot that will be open and doable each day...