Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Curriculum Planning Til' My Hairs Fall Out

 (Pic of grandma and 7th grader. They're ready for summer. Me too!!) 

Is anyone else in the throes of school planning for next year? I always wait until the summer but I have a friend that starts so early like in January, I started to feel guilty for leisurely waiting and then frantically trying to pick things before August. Yes, bowing to peer pressure since 2012. I do like to have a minimal idea of what I want to look at when the Homeschool Conference comes up in April though.

7th Grader has been adjusting to more subjects, textbooks, discipline but I'm thinking the plan I have for next year is too aggressive and she will possibly disown me or revolt. I need to find a way to consolidate or something. Tell me what you think and what you have planned...

8th grade Curriculum
Grammar - Queen Homeschool or not decided
Vocab/Spelling - Vocabulary From Classical Roots B (Latin & Greek roots)
Writing - Jensens Format Writing (it might be too old) or not decided (can't afford IEW unfortunately)
Math - Saxon Algebra 1
Science - Apologia Physical Science
History - Sonlight Core W, One Year World History (It has about 46 reading books, I'm adding about 35 because she will get a head start reading all summer.)
Latin - Latin for Children Primer B
Spanish - Either Instant Immersion or Bien Viaje or Somos Asi En Sus Marcas (programs I have parts of and need to get either CDs or textbooks) or not decided...
Art - Art In Focus (found workbooks/tests at thrift, bought text on Ebay. If we were able to stick with it, it could be a graded course for transcript. Might be too rigid though but I'm terrible with following through on weekly art projects. I know, I'm a terrible artist mother.)

Analogies 1 or Unlocking Analogies (use sporadically)
Critical Thinking workbooks (use sporadically)
Some type of Handwriting practice

Thinking somehow combining Grammar, Writing and Handwriting without using a program or textbook would be awesome but not sure how to go about that and make it a real 8th grade course... Any suggestions?

Monday, March 26, 2012

And the day begins...

This was how my day began: 
Itch itch itch, tingy tingy tingy dog tag flapping for 5 minutes straight (dry skin). So I kick the dogs outside. Back to bed, 1 min of peace. Furry cat takes the opportunity to wrap herself around my head on the pillow meowing the whole time. I give up and get comfortable with fur. 1 minute of peace. Dogs start barking like they're dying, for 5 minutes waking all the neighbors I'm sure! I give up and go let them in. The smart cat runs out the door and I end up chasing him in the backyard in my PJs. Drag him back in. Then there is a mass of whining and crying and pawing and climbing all over me because its breakfast time apparently. 2 cats have a spat over having to share a plate of food, while the other blissfully eats most of it. Have to drag one dog off the other dog's food because she was done so she wants his. Welcome to 745 am. This is how I started my day... #itsazoohere

How is your day so far?

With this 'experiment' of letting the child choose what and when she works on stuff during the week, she has gotten the idea she can sleep in every day. I don't like that idea. Then she is doing schoolwork late into the evening which really tires her out. So 830, I flipped on the light, 845 I played music and started requesting her appearance. Finally at 9 am she arose from her slumber.  This is how she spent the first 1 1/2 hours of her day:

Doing what I normally do, organizing papers (please ignore my scraped door. One day I will get it painted.) But if she is going to be in charge of her schooling, she needs to see that she needs to keep it all organized or it gets overwhelming. She had fun mumbling to herself putting things in date order 'oh we have an earliest winner! 11/21/11!'  Most were from the last month though so don't think me that much of a lazy bum. 

Listed a few homeschool books on Ebay if anyone is looking for some:

                 Artistic Pursuits, Gr 4-6, Bk 1             Type It Typing Program Book

It's going to be 83 degrees out today. Time to get lettuce, more Kale and spinach planted. We had such a mild winter that my kale has still be growing out in the garden. Very exciting!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Year Mostly Recapped, and Voila'! I am here!

So, the problem with homeschooling sometimes is that it literally becomes your life. It's not a side hobby at all. You can't really just 'wing it' although I'm fond of saying that. Because of it and a million other things, my blog has been tossed aside like a forgotten book, a moldy cookie, an old receipt. I miss my blogs and talking on them, sharing ideas, lives and such. I really need to pick up where I left off. But you know how it is when you haven't done something in awhile, you berate yourself, 'Oh I really need to get back to doing that (like crocheting or cleaning).' Then the more you don't, the guiltier you feel. Then, you actually start to miss it and Voila'! I am here!

So, how has your year been? We started school in July sometime to supposedly keep up with friends who were also doing Apologia General Science, hoping we'd get to do experiments together. No such luck. We slacked off in November and we've always been 2 weeks behind them ever since! Ah well, best laid plans of mice and men they say...

This was our first junior high year for my youngest. New child, different personality and temperament than the older one. The older one (who graduated 2 years ago) was determined to get all her work done before the day was over. She couldn't stand to leave something unfinished. Probably came from her need to be perfect or a close proximity to such a notion. SO not the same as this younger child. She could care less if she finished anything! She'd rather read 24-7 and if I could find a way to teach upper math, science and latin with just reading, I'd be all over that like a cat with a plate of sushi!

We also lost dictation, copywork, narration and short lessons along the way. I knew we would. I tried, I really tried. I don't know how people get everything done in a year. We did really good most of the year but things that started to feel like fluff (you know, like those extra worksheets teachers give out to keep a child's attention?) were cut. I swear, we're going to be drummed out of the Charlotte Mason community! I will try again this year.

It's been a year of growing up for this 12 1/2 yr old, 7th grade girl. Learning to be more responsible, learning to make smart decisions, learning to navigate the teen group and how to be a real friend and who ARE real friends. She's also gone to being the only child living here. The teen moved out recently to live with co-workers. She only lives 5 mins away and stops by often but we miss her. I have to remember to do more with the little one because she'll get lonely.

Pertaining to homeschooling, one of the new things we tried just recently was making her more responsible for when she does stuff. I made up a new chart for her schoolwork and wrote in all she had to accomplish in a week (in the first column. Would be happy to share if someone wants to see it.) Then she had to decide what days she did what, how many pages to read in a book per day to have it done by the end of the week. Her reward when she got it all done (even if it was Sunday afternoon) was she can watch a bit of TV, read books NOT on her school list, play WII or try out some new educational games I got for her on the computer (Typing Instructor and Crazy Machines.) So far its working swimmingly. She likes the freedom and choice. Crossing fingers it works for us through mid-May...
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