Sunday, December 30, 2012

Homeschool Planning - A New Year!

I love the period between Christmas and the new year.

I love reflecting on all that has happened in the past year with a thankful heart and I love making plans for a new beginning.

In reflection, this was the year we began homeschooling - a socially unpopular decision but a choice that we knew was right for our family. It was the beginning of an amazing journey and one that continues to surprise me.

In looking ahead, I am excited about a new year! We are making some changes to the way we home educate in our household. I'll admit that at the end of this year I got a little tired and slack and we weren't spending enough time at home. I lost my motivation and was throwing together lessons at the last minute and then wondering why the kids seemed disinterested.

So, what changes are we making to the way we homeschool?

1. My planning and organisation


I'm going to plan a term in advance as a 10 week block and with the exception of homeschool events and homeschool playdates we are going to stick to it! My kids are my ministry and they deserve my whole-hearted committment to making this work. I have often cancelled lessons in favour of a coffee with a friend or shopping date with my mum and sister as I wasn't ready to give up all those 'normal' things that mothers enjoy while their kids are at school. But I realise that I can still do this, just not in our designated school time.

I am also going to do final lesson preparation a week in advance which includes photocopying so that I'm not wandering around looking for stuff while the kids wait!

2. New curriculum

Most of our curriculum is working well but I think some new curriculum would be exciting!

For starters we are going to be beginning our days with this 10 week character study.

For maths we are using Singapore maths 3rd edition which we love so we are looking at adding some of their suggested supplements like "challenging word problems" and some more "mental maths strategies". I also have an addiction to maths manipulatives so are looking at adding some cm cubes to the mix!

We are currently looking at spelling alternatives as sadly, sequential spelling is no longer working.

We are also in search of a new creative writing curriculum. DS6 writes the most beautiful stories so I really want to find something that will inspire and encourage him.

I am also considering an online subscription to some educational websites that I will be reviewing.

3. New Routine

Our homeschool routine has worked 'okay' but there is room for improvement.

Our current routine has been

8:45 - 9am - Morning charts and chores
9am - Bible study / devotion
9:15 - 10am - Maths
10:00 - 10:30am - Brain break (outside)
10:30 -11:00 Spelling / Grammar
11:00 - 11:30 Reading (shared or independent)
11:30 - 12:30 History or Science

and then.......

4:00 - 5:00pm Music and music practice (or activities)

The problem? We couldn't get into a routine with the music practice because a) I would struggle to get back into 'homeschool mode' at 4pm and b) some days they would have sport or swimming during that time. 

So...the new plan is.         

12:30 - 1pm - Lunch
1 - 2pm - Music practice
2pm onwards - free time (or activities)

Well, that's the plan so we will see how this works!

So these are just a few changes I'm planning on making to our homeschool in the new year. I will continue to share more as it all unfolds.

Happy new homeschooling year!

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