Planning Our Next Term

After a long break (from our formal curriculum) for the holidays, I feel ready to take on the next ten weeks of school (sort of). To be honest I am actually pretty excited about starting up again. I feel much more prepared and organized. I have to say that I even feel more rested. I have taken the last week or so to work on my planning for this coming term. I have purchased a planner, typed out a schedule, and begun to photocopy materials needed. I will be doing the photocopying weekly because that seems way less stressful and not so overwhelming to me. To me it makes much more sense to set aside a couple of hours a week to print out and gather everything needed for the week to come rather than to photocopy like crazy to get ten weeks of stuff prepared. I also think that I might lose excitement and momentum that way (or burn out rather quickly!). Having to take a new look at our materials every weekend will keep me inspired and being creative in our homeschool planning (at least that is the goal).

We are going to step back from workboxes for a week or more and get reacquainted with Sonlight and the rest of our curriculum after our break. This is how we approached school in the summer and it worked for us. We took the month of August to get used to our curriculum and then we added in the workboxes. We will be weaving the workboxes back in shortly (after we establish some routines and structure again). Don’t you just love holidays? You take all this time to relax and then you have to rebuild all the routines and structure again.

Can I take a brief moment to share how impressed I was with my kids today? They were helpful and did some wonderful housecleaning jobs. I always wonder if they are capable of more and they clearly showed me today that I need to stretch them a bit outside of their comfort zones. Elisha (9) cleaned the upstairs hall and helped to clean the living room. Malachi (6) and Zion (18 months) vacuumed the kitchen floor together.  I was very impressed.

My homeschool planning for this term involved taking all the scattered (and annoying) teacher’s manuals and merging them into one binder. I made a document in Open Office and filled in each subject for ten weeks. (Noreen, you can see this when you come on Friday). I put the subjects in the binder in the order we do them. Bible, Language Arts (Malachi, Moses, Elisha), Math (Malachi, Moses, Elisha), History, Science, Art, and Read Alouds . Behind each schedule I put everything we need for one week of work including any notes from the Teacher’s Manuals, any worksheets, and anything else. I also created two baskets on our shelf. Basket one includes everything needed for group work – Bible, History, Science, Art, Read Alouds, and everything related. Basket two includes everything needed for individual work (this will take the place of the workboxes and be the work with mom box for now).

Last night I spent time photocopying and organizing and made great progress. I was quite proud of my productivity and then… the printer ran out of ink. I panicked. All of my plans… I calmed myself. If we can’t get ink before I start school on Monday it will be okay, I will do what I can. Do you hear that encouraging self talk there?  It’s okay if the plans fall apart… you just do what you can. We were able to get our ink refilled today… long story short…. thanks mom for helping out… so tonight, I am back to printing and preparing.

Just a note here – the printer ink didn’t work! It printed 4 pages and then stopped. So weird! So back to the self talk… it will be okay. We can still do school this week even if everything didn’t get prepared the way that I wanted it to. A few deep breaths. Look and see what we are really missing. Change things up a little bit. Work on being flexible and adaptable (both good character traits – some character building going on here!).

I thought I would pop in here for a quick visit and let you all know where our homeschool is headed this term. I haven’t talked about our school for a bit because with the server crash and then the great disappearance there have been many other things to write about and focus on. I can’t wait to get back to sharing more about our everyday school bits and pieces and focusing on what I love – spending time with and homeschooling my children.

The goal is to run hard for the next ten weeks and then take a few weeks break to garden, study poetry, and spend some time on a unit study about Canada.

Do you have any homeschooling goals for this new year? Have you done any planning, tweaking, rearranging, organizing of your homeschool or workboxes? I would love to hear about it. Please share a link to your relevant blog posts or leave your thoughts in the comments.