And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Friday, May 6, 2011

Homeschool Planning.....

So we have almost completed our first "official" year of homeschooling! Apple will have completed 1st grade Science, 1st grade Math, What Your First Grader Needs to Know, Hooked on Spelling, and 2nd grade Phonics in a couple of weeks. Not too shabby for Kindergarten! :)

As excited as I am (REALLY looking forward to Summer break!), I've already began to look at curriculum for the Fall semester. I want to purchase Hooked on Phonics PreK for Speedy. That should be the only purchase I need for him as we have lots of curriculum that we used for PreK with Apple. For her our biggest need is an actual math curriculum for this year. We are considering Math Mammoth or Math U See. They both come with lots of recommendations! She needs a strong curriculum that is NOT spiraling or review oriented. Those types of programs just don't work well for Apple. She wants to learn, master, and move on. I've already ordered the Little House on the Prairie books for her. I'd like to get The Prairie Primer for her, but its so expensive for one book. I'm also going to be looking for a Social Studies or Geography curriculum for her and a writing or word tools curriculum. We already have a 2nd Grade Science textbook for her.

Now that was all I was planning to plan.....Haha. I should know better! My summer goal was going to be to work with Speedy. He needs a little work on the basics. He hasn't showed a lot of interest in learning so far (*he's not quite 4 yet) and so we haven't pushed him. I'm still not planning to push him but I do want to start introducing him to some things, and I'd like to spend more time "learning" with him so I can get a better read on his learning style. I am still going to do all of this. I sat down tonight with a planner and laid out some times for letters, numbers, review shapes & colors, etc.

The change has come with Apple..... I thought she would be super excited about break especially sense the last week has been VERY difficult during school time. Well my mom pointed out that she might be anxious about not doing school. It makes sense with her. She is not a big advocate of change, she loves structure very much, and we have been doing "school" for about a year and a half non stop. We did have summer break last year but we had a loose learning schedule throughout. Also for her jealousy of little brother happens often and I think she is feeling some anxiety about "losing" her special school time to him. So.......

Tonight when I sat down and did the planning for Speedy, I also wrote in some ideas for Apple for the summer. I really need a break from her intense style of table learning and she is already SO far ahead, it would be a disservice to both of us to try that route for the summer. Instead I came up with 4 topics to cover with her this summer. All Home Ec based: cleaning, scheduling, cooking, and shopping. Those seem like strange topics for a 6 year old but hear me out. We homeschool to train our kids not only in school work but also character training. We spend a good amount of time on Bible studies and this will just be a hands on extension of that. It's important to me to train our daughter in homemaking. There won't be any Cinderella stories here. Instead our cleaning will be learning to clean. That isn't a trait that comes naturally to most people. So I sat down and made a list of some tasks we could work on together. She already has a couple of small things she helps with around the house but this will be a chance to teach her some new tasks. She LOVES to help in the kitchen. My patience level doesn't always allow for her to help beyond cracking eggs and stirring. I'm hoping that by putting it on the schedule as a learning task, I won't be as rushed and will be better prepared to teach her certain cooking skills. Also cooking is a great place to teach fractions and measurement! Scheduling will be laying things out on a calendar. This will reinforce knowledge of the calendar, days, months, time, etc. All mathmatical skills that she can use extra practice on. Last but not least is shopping. I don't mean at the mall! I want to have her help me with shopping lists and coupons. Even if it's just writing a list I dictate or helping me check the cabinents for needs and helping to cut coupons, those are good life skills. Things she needs to begin to develop so that later in life they will be second nature.

I thrive on being purposeful in things, so just having it written down (*btw these are very loosely written, basically 3 goals a week for Speedy and 3 goals a week for Apple) will prod me to work on them. Plus I hope this will still give Apple that one on one time she craves while giving Speedy the opportunity to learn as well.

Are you purposeful about teaching your child life skills? Do you homeschool through the summer or are you looking forward to a summer break? Do you have suggestions on curriculum or one of my wants for sale? I love comments so type away!

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