What are we doing for the new school year? Are we using curriculum? What is the plan? Some people have been asking me these questions, so here is what our family is doing to create some structure in our crazy learning chaos.
*I’m keeping in mind that my best laid plans may be completely scrapped if we discover something more alluring. Perhaps we set out to study…worms but instead we get really interested in why grass grows and we leave our worm project in the dirt. I don’t know. I made that up. One of the things we love about homeschooling is grabbing those interests and opportunities, and the flexibility to follow our own interests.
1) I signed up for a monthly subscription to Little Passports. We haven’t gotten our first country yet, but I am really excited. My hope is that it will give some external structure that I can lean on, and also add to. Already I have several related projects in place for each country – make a meal, make peg dolls in the traditional clothes of that country, etcetera.
2) We are going to be using the online Muzzy language program to develop our French skills. I was about to buy a subscription, and then I learned that our library has it available to patrons for free! Score!
3) Brother-Bug is going to work hard on his hand writing. I’ve been using this worksheet maker, but he is doing better this year copying from me. He dictates what he wants to write, I write it out clearly, and he copies that down. Just the mechanics of writing are a huge challenge for him, so I’m not too worried about the spelling or grammar yet. We will get to those later in the year once he writes more fluidly. I got great writing prompts from Dianna Kennedy that will help provide some inspiration as well! Sister-Bug is also learning basic writing – at her own insistence. I made her a wipe-off writing book to save paper in these early writing days. A post with how to do that is coming soon.
4) Math is fun! We will incorporate math games into our days, and we always do “Bedtime Math” over our lunch. I keep the app on my phone and we do the problems while we eat. I love that app. We will also be using Everyday Math and some Kahn Academy to fill it out. Right now Brother-Bug is working on creating his own number stories (math and writing all-in-one!). Sister-Bug will do some official math work, but most of her math is still play. So we will play with measuring, play with stacking, play with rocks and beans and ???
5) Sister-Bug is determined to learn how to read. She wants it. She’s sick of having to ask us to read to her. We will be playing with Starfall, and lots of reading time with easy readers from the library. Brother-Bug is going to be learning about reading and reporting. We just discovered the website Bookopolis – a social site for elementary level readers. He’s excited about that and I am hopeful it makes report writing a little more fun for him.
5) Ballet is back for both kids, and Sister-Bug is starting Girl Scouts! Brother-Bug might get involved in a chess club or something similar. He’s not sure. He needs less social activities than Sister-Bug, so I know he will figure out what is right for him. Undoubtably there will be something with our homeschool friends as well, but we have yet to see how that manifests and what form it takes.
6) Toddler-Bug…well…he’s getting into EVERYTHING. He’s the big challenge this year – how to keep up with him, help the big kids, get one-on-one time with each learner, and wash the crayon/marker/yogurt/glue off all the surfaces. I’ve been collecting ideas for entertaining toddlers, and I really need to up my arsenal. Hopefully I will be sharing some of those ideas with you in a later post.
Other goals I have involve more hiking, and exploring some of the amazing museums and other attractions the Willamette Valley has to offer. And there will be plenty of going with the flow, game days, pajama days, fun field trips, and goodness knows what else. It’s a new school year. We are jumping in with both feet.