Back to School

cards.jpgI’m still bemoaning the end of summer, but my kids are impatient to get back to homeschool. Weird little people. πŸ˜‰

Jack has been pushing me to do kindergarten every day with him, and he wants way more than what he’s getting.

Last night I explained again that we would officially start homeschool next week when the local kids started school. I said we’d do lots of kindergarten every day then. Victoria piped up with “Will you promise to do lots of 5th grade each day too?”. Snort!

So this week I am planning. I am using World Book to get ideas for subjects to touch on and filling out goals for each child for the year.

You know we mostly wing it, but I find it helpful to have general goals like working on spelling, introducing division and studying a certain time in history. We can always do other things, but if I’m stuck some Tuesday on what on earth to do then I have a little push.

Some of my basic goals for the year are…

  • To do an in-depth family study of two countries per month. We’ll do one week on, one off, focusing at least part of the week on eating meals typical of the country, watching TV or movies that have to do with it, learning some of the language or accent, studying its history and habitat and so on.
  • To support Jack’s beginning reading and find ways to keep challenging him in math. Basically, to keep up with the boy.
  • To develop some sort of timeline of world history with the kids and begin to make sense of when things happened in relation to each other. Along the same lines, to make timeline cards for Tiffany’s timeline so she can hang them on her wall. Tiffany’s timeline goes all around the house up along the ceiling and it rocks. My kids love to pick a year and make a card for it.
  • To do art of some sort (fine arts included) almost every day.
  • To find a way for Anna to learn guitar. Preferably an actual teacher, but a program if necessary.
  • To find some new cool science to get into– maybe some advanced stuff like genetics or physics. Also, to do Krampf’s weekly experiments.
  • To try to find another Japanese student to take over with Anna and Victoria and the other kids from Japanese class. Otherwise, to start using the Japanese computer programs and books.
  • To help the kids start to submit their art and writing to children’s magazines.
  • To consistently do math of some sort with both girls, and to get Victoria over her math fear. Even better, I’d love to see her score abve grade level in computational math this spring on her CAT since it’s the only area she was at grade level last year. I think once she realizes she can be good at it she’ll actually really like math. She’s just too much of a perfectionist. I can’t imagine where she gets that. πŸ˜‰
  • To work on ettiquette– table manners, interrupting, quiet voices, etc.– and character building– humility (for Jack, who is prone to proudly telling people how much better he is at things than they are!), gratitude, etc. Also, to work on fostering more teamwork between the kids and less competition.
  • To try for a half hour per day of vigorous physical exercise and an hour a day of outside time or moderate exercise. We have harsh winters so on days when it is too cold, to still find ways to move and stay active. I’m aiming for daily walks whenever possible, too.
  • To read to Jack and Alex at least once a day, and to read chapter books to all the kids every day.
  • To continue to take part in community activities like homeschool swimming and ice skating, Karate, Irish step dance and/or whatever else comes along.
  • To do at least one lapbook per child per week. They choose the subject and how in-depth to go.
  • To work on better chore routines.
  • To keep working on incorporating special one-on-one time with each child at least weekly.
  • To try to do some sort of more traditional “school” at least 4 days a week since the kids enjoy it so much. This can include science experiments, lapbooking, art projects, Story of the World and its activity guide, workbooks, math games, anything. Just adult-led learning. They like it.
  • To do a tour or field trip at least twice a month, preferably with other families at least part of the time.
  • To tackle lots of history, both American and world. Also, to read through the fabulous American history book we got lost year. I think it’s behind the couch. Ahem.
  • To start studying careers (especially unique ones) and learn what sort of training and knowledge is needed for each. Also, to brainstorm with the kids about what sorts of skills and jobs they could do to get by in tough times and supplement their incomes, along with frugal living in general.
  • To work on cooking, sewing and other home skills with all 3 big kids.
  • To try to organize their HS scrapbooks. While we’re at it, to try to organize everything. πŸ™‚
  • To keep it fun and keep them asking for more.

That should keep me busy! Despite myself I’m almost getting excited about fall. Almost.

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6 thoughts on “Back to School

  1. This all sounds wonderful! It always seems that you have such a great energy and joy for all of this – learning and planning both. I used to but this year I’m feeling rather burned out before I’ve even begun! I think a lot of it has to do with having my busy little guy around. I’m not even sure how to get anything scheduled and done with him needing watching full-time whenever he’s awake (which is much more often now that he’s down to one nap). I’d love to know how you work around your little one… any thoughts?

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  2. Oh Christine, full disclosure time! LOL I have it lucky because my hubby is disabled and is home full time. Not that it’s lucky he’s disabled (he lives with terrible pain and has trouble doing even simple things) but we are blessed to have him home with us nonetheless. He is quite good with the baby, though the baby has become more way mobile than Daryl so we’ll definitely have to switch things up this year.

    One of my mainstays for keeping up with Alex is bartering! I trade Victoria time watching him outside for something she’d like– a popsicle, doing a craft together, whatever. It works for both of us, and Alex loves her attention.

    I also plop Alex in the high chair with a baby craft or a pile of organic cheerios while we play at the table or I just scoot him up next to the table too and let him think he’s taking part. πŸ™‚ We have to be careful because he likes to take part by flinging everything off the table!

    We also do lots of our HS and quality time after Alex is asleep. Luckily, he goes to bed fairly early and the other kids are night owls. He’s already asleep now at 8:30 and I’m planning on going down and doing some more stuff with the older kids. Jack goes to sleep next and the girls are up latest, which works pretty well for us.

    This is an area I’ve definitely been brainstorming about lately too. I’ll post more about what’s been working for us this week.

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  3. You know, we never did much of anything on careers and the other day, Andrew commented on how he doesn’t want to go to work when he grows up because it would be boring. Upon further discussion, however, it became known that Andrew saw what his daddy does as the same thing that he’d have to do. And Andrew didn’t like the idea of having to go sit in a cubicle everyday and work on a computer. πŸ™‚ Sooooo, it might be wise for us to study a bit about different careers this year too!

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  4. Pingback: » Homeschool Goals for the Week Magic and Mayhem

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