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Friday concluded our first week of home schooling. It was like a dress rehearsal, in a way. Actually, no it wasn’t anything like a dress rehearsal.
I have to come up with better ways of thinking about what we’re doing. Right now I feel jittery, nervous, and unprepared for next week. When I try to think about what I’ll do with Annie’s curriculum, my mind keeps going in circles. It’s not that I didn’t think about what we’d do all summer. I researched different topics, I looked at different models, I’ve pulled books off the library shelves, I’ve made google docs galore, trying to get a handle on her educational plan for the year.
What I think I drew up is a kind of map that shows the territory I want to cover. What I don’t know is where I am on the map, where to start traveling, and what to do each day. In other words, right now I feel lost.
I’m up super early today (for me) on a holiday weekend because I have a lot going on this week. In addition to Annie’s week not being planned yet, I’m gearing up for a meeting at the school where I work. I have a bunch of administrative issues that need to be sorted, and I need to be prepared for that. Then add to that, the classroom where I work with the after school kids need to be sorted as well. It’s a lot on my mind.
I’m putting aside everything else for the moment. I’m hoping that this near daily habit of writing will help my mind get organized. Focusing on one issue at a time is what I need to do. This blog, a personal blog, can be about anything but my stated theme for now is how I’m home schooling my kids. And today, I’m going to stick to Annie’s education because Carla has a curriculum, books, and teachers and is off to a good start. My role with her is mostly to support her and keep her on track.
I’m teaching the following subjects this year with Annie: Literacy, Biology, Music, Art, and Spanish. In addition to what I do with her, my husband will be teaching Math and my father in law is going to do some kind of writing workshop with her. And in addition to their work with her, she will be taking classes through a parent-run home schoolers’ group, once a week. There’s a lot of social studies built into that plan, so that is why I left out out history or social studies. Oh yeah, and I also said I’d take her swimming once a week and count that as gym.
So the next step I think I should do is draw up a weekly and daily plan for this week that covers my subjects and gives her a structure to look to, and a way to understand what I expect of her. It would help if I understood what I expect of her, too.
I expect her to read, not just fiction books but also about biology and any other non-fiction topics of interest to her. I want her to write creatively. I know she’s not very interested in writing reports, but I do want her to do some research projects. Book reports are out– she flatly refuses to write them. This came up as an issue last year at school because her teacher wanted book reports written once a month, and Annie hated them terribly. She flat out refused to write another one after the first one. I don’t really get what her problem was with them, but there you have it.
In Spanish, I expect her to practice speaking, writing, and to learn more vocabulary. I want us to watch some videos / movie clips in Spanish, to listen to music in Spanish and to play games online in Spanish. I do not yet have much materials for this subject, unfortunately.
For Art, I’ve signed her up for some guided tours at the art museum that are designed for home schoolers her age. That’s a way to expose her to amazing works of art, and get some art history in the package. At home I want her to feel like she has a space and time to create. So that needs to go on the schedule, too.
For Music, I want to teach her to read music, and to start her on learning about playing the guitar.
For Biology, I’ve gotten some books out with hands on projects, scientific experiments. It helps that Carla is also taking Life Science, for though it’s 7th grade level, her text book is written at a very easy grade level. I think I should be able to yank a lot of the basics from there.
So many pieces to this! I’m finding it really hard to focus on specifics. Where do I start? I am going to go to paper now and try to sketch out a schedule and then lesson plans for each spot. Next time I’m back to this blog I hope I have a handle on this.