Thursday, July 26, 2012

We are still here - prepping for school

Or...maybe people have just given up reading this blog...haven't been posting very often.

Life has been busy...for everyone I am sure!

  • Still working on curriculum for next year.  I usually have everything planned and ordered long before July.  Well, better late than never.
  • I've decided to "design" my own spelling curriculum, at least for this school year for 2-3 of my kids.  Am I crazy?!?!  I think those kids would learn quite well with Sequential Spelling, but I think learning the rules is important too.  I have flashcards from All About Spelling and W.I.S.E. Guide.  I'll need to take some time to figure out how to work those into our daily lessons.  I never took much stock in sequential spelling, until I took a look at it!  It is quite similar to the method I did on my own (very time consuming) after attending a workshop years ago for teaching struggling readers/spellers.  It worked great!  But, as the presenter's not something you want to take the time to do unless your child really needs the extra help.
  • I've also decided to do my own thing for Religion this year for all but my high school age son (well, maybe I can pull him in n some things, we'll see).  I want us to attend daily Mass more frequently than once a week!  I may lighten our Religion lesson days to make room for this.  Hopefully we can make it a habit and next year attend Mass and get back to more religion lessons.  I plan to follow the Baltimore Catechism for much of it.  I want the kids to learn the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit, pillars of the church, 12 apostles and something about them - their symbols?, I don;'t just want them to learn those things - I want them to OWN them.  I want to introduce them to spiritual reading, more with the saints, liturgical seasons, parts of the Mass, etc.  Guess I'd better get working!  They have a Mass set and our altar servers can share some info. about what they do.  I'll have a First Communicant again this year so I want to plan some of this around her schedule.  If she's learning about the Mass in the winter then we will too!
  • I've also got a new plan in place for helping my kids with their math.  I really think it will work.  I pray it will.  I love math and I want them too as well.  I have a couple kids in paricular with a natural inclination to math but for various reasons they are loosing the interest due to mundane learning.  I think I can liven it up a bit and stay with our current curriculum of Teaching Textbooks for most.  It frees me up to spend some time on the exciting and/or confusing topics without everyone needing my help on that ever day.   For the record - you must know that my all time favorite math curriculum is Righstart Math.  I refuse to part with my entire series - but it's time consuming and kids need my time in learning to read more than they need the best math curriculum.  I still use a lot of the methods I learned with it though - that's something I hope to be able to utilize more of this year.
  • We moved a year ago and our old house had a white board wall that I really miss.  We are fortunate to have a lot of natural lighting (windows!) in the room we do most of our homeschooling.  But, I want somewhere to write our English From the Roots Up words - somewhere they can add derivatives! Somewhere to stand up and give fun lessons and leave it there to soak in over a few days.  So, we are working on a bit of a reorganization in that room!
  • I'm also trying to prayerfully decide where to spend time on extracurriculars.  With homeschooling grades 9,8,5,3,2 plus a 4.5 yr old, baby, and a first yr college student coming and going I need to guard my time really really well.  But, I see a few needs that are best met with outside involvement.