Sunday, February 6, 2011

Feeling good about the week to come

I've been doing some journalling, thinking and praying. Things are starting to connect properly in my mind. My fear is that after all of this work, I won't follow through. Why don't I follow through so often? Not sure.

So far, I have worked out a rough "lessons" plan (not to be confused with a lesson plan) for my two for the week:

Monday: bio (from a homeschool text we have), history (looking at Kingfisher encyclopedia we have--with a variety of follow-up work options), math, French, German and art (looking at a particular artist, with follow-up options), religion, ds--handwriting (I'm taking a step back and going to sit down and work through the letter formations with him, using the Sandpaper Letters, if need be!)

Tuesday: chemistry (from Montessori R&D manual), geography (ds--identifying Canadian provinces by shape; dd will work on her choice of learning Canadian capitals or resuming her US states work), all the rest the same as above, except music study instead of art.

Wednesday: same as Monday

Thursday: same as Tuesday

Friday: science from our provincial curriculum standards; social studies from our provincial curriculum standards; French, math, etc. No lesson/presentation for music or art; basically, more of their decision making than mine.

I think I need to make up a chart that shows exactly what I want to cover in those areas each day.

I still have to work out the 16yo's work for the week. I have thought about taking a Writer's Workshop type of approach Mon., Tues. and Fri afternoons. I would take from his work requirements, modify as we saw fit, but get my two also involved.

It'll be a change this week, the expectation for my ds to be working in the morning and the move to an afternoon work period. There will possibly be some resistance. I think I tend to take resistance as a message I'm doing something wrong, but I have to see it for what it probably is: moving out of the comfort zone. I can do this. :)

As for my previous post about encouraging the 16yo to get his work done in the morning, I realized that could backfire. I want our days to go back to the longer educational days we used to have. If he sees it as his work is done in the morning, then he'll be "free" in the afternoon and won't get involved as readily; no sense of obligation. But these courses he's doing are just part of his education; there is more to be done. So, I might encourage him to get the hardest/least inviting for him done in the morning (math, physics and social studies), leaving the afternoons free to work on ELA, science experiments, cooking, handicrafts, read-alouds, etc. Like we used to. (Yes, I'm feeling nostalgic, but it was so nice!)

I haven't plotted in the 3yo yet. She gets here around 8am, so I'm thinking I ought to be completely ready by that point so I can get right into some Practical Life activities with her, then maybe move onto some sensorial work around 8:30, while my two are getting going with their work. For this week, we will try doing the Apostles' Creed first, followed by math together, which will probably be done by the time the 16yo gets here around 9, then I can get them going with something else while he settles in to work on his handwriting and spelling. I will need to learn to juggle my time more, rather than focusing on him. It was a completely unrelated discussion, but it got me thinking how in William Glasser's books, he really focuses on having adults back off. Not abandon, but you set out the requirement, give the student room to do it (or fail to do it), and deal with what happens after that, letting the student be responsible for his choices. I can do that. I have already decided that there will be no field trips, other than the library, unless he is on track. Or put differently: field trips are extra fun for when work is on track. Yes, yes, some field trips are definitely educational, but they don't fit within his work requirements, so, no. They are extra. Yes, this means the others lose out, except I can take mine on trips on the weekend. Besides, for the next month and a half, they have every Thursday afternoon out! (Skiing/snowboarding.)

See how I've switched to focusing on him? Ach. Back to the 3yo. I think I will simply start at the beginning of activities with Gettman and work my way through. I don't think I have all of the language materials (Classification Cards, for example), but if I plan ahead, I can get some things done. Or maybe even have her help with some of the material prep. :D

Okay, I must now figure out the work expectations for the 16yo for this week, as well as make the planning grid for my two. I'm also trying to get my laptop to be able to do WiFi printing to our printer so that I can use Homeschool Tracker for some of my planning and tracking.

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