Tuesday, July 29, 2014

planning homeschooling, continued

I dont have much more to say on how I plan, but I have a few things that I should have mentioned:

Strengths, Weaknesses and time investment-  The number one thing I love about homeschooling is the gift of time.  More time to play, more time to talk, more time to work on things we love.   But our time is limited too.  There is always more I want to do than we have time for.  And if I book us solid, I am missing out on that all important "down time" where kids create things, discuss things, and just dig in the dirt. So each year I look at what our kids strengths and weaknesses are, my husband is a great sounding board for this.  He sees things I dont.  And besides the basics of the 3 Rs, I design the activities we do around what our kids do well and what they need more work on.  For instance, my oldest really gets grammar.  Really.  He can diagram just about anything. So, besides the class he has each week at Classical Conversations, we don't do English grammar at home.  He gets it and there are other things we can do like learning Spanish that reinforce grammar but are a whole new area he can grow in.  So strengths we just touch on, but we dont go in depth.  Weaknesses are where we have to be disciplined, because its the area we all want to avoid.  So everyday we do some math, even in the summer.  Every day we practice reading, even in the summer.  We need to practice, so we do the time.  Small chunks, but everyday.

Art isnt optional- For a long time, I left art for the extra time.   I thought we needed to work hard on the "academics" and then art was just for fun.  It isnt.  Seeing, understanding and producing beauty integral to our education.  So now I schedule it for every Friday (and Thursdays too, if Dad can teach it) I dont have any great curriculum for this.  Pinterest gives me lots of ideas, but honestly the art activity my boys were raving about and still ask to do again was when we looked at still lifes in books and then I had them search the house for objects to put in a still life.  Then they drew them. So simple, but they thought the finding objects and arranging them was awesome and then drawing them was icing on the cake. 

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