I wrote yesterday about building in more focused time in my day, which I suppose is a fancy way of saying I need to create blocks of time for certain tasks. One of the things I want to focus on each day in a way that, truthfully, I did not this past semester is to have more intentional, sit-down time within the kids' homeschool day. Instead of merely handing them work to do and telling them to "get their work done" in a very disconnected, I've-got-a-million-things-to-do- so-don't-bother-me-unless-you-have-to way, I want to designate time each day to focus on them. I want to really do school with them, not just give them schoolwork to do, investing my time and pouring into them-- not the computer, not the phone, not the household chores. Just them.
In order to do this, I had to come up with some things we could do together that would take longer than the mere 20 minutes of reading we were doing last semester. So, I thought that I would share these plans with you, just in case this type of information intrigues you, or you are seeking similar things to do to change up your school day:
Reading practice for the 6yo: I got this from Elizabeth Foss' Serendipity blog: Read the Beginner's Bible with your child. Read one story a day. After reading, the child may dictate the story for you to print. She can illustrate. these pages should be saved in a notebook and used frequently for reading practice. In the beginning, the parent will probably be reading the stories in the book to the child. Over time, the child will read it aloud for the parent. when you reach the end of the book, begin again. The second time, the child will be reading most of the stories without help.
Also using Elizabeth Foss' Serendipity blog, I plan to use her plans for the Ruth Heller's grammar books. This link will provide all the information you need. I am thankful that our public library carries these books!
I am adding the book 365 Days of Celebration And Praise by Julie Lavender, which is a short devotion for homeschool families that features a unique holiday for every day of the year, with activities and scripture to correlate. I love the idea of choosing to celebrate every day.
I would also like to add a weekly craft time. They loved doing crafts at Christmas, so I know this would be a great thing to continue. I plan to glean from blogs like Make and Takes and The Crafty Crow-- not to mention the abundance of craft idea books that I have bought through the years.
We will also be reading books on several subjects: winter, libraries, and love for Valentine's Day. That's the plan thus far. I will have separate posts where I list out what exactly we are reading. These aren't unit studies, per se, more just read alouds all centered around specific subjects.
Here is what they are doing for their independent work:
Learning Language Arts Through Literature
Spectrum Math Grade 3
Read and Understand Science, Grade 3
Wordly Wise 3000, Book B
Explode The Code Book 2
Mathematical Reasoning Grade 1
Visual Perceptual Skill Building
Language For Little Ones
Last semester we had somewhere to go almost every day. This semester I have scaled way back. We will only do our weekly Community Bible Study classes and go to Science class two times per month.This is much easier on me, and allows for more consistent sit-down time like I described. I am looking forward to implementing this plan, and to being the kind of homeschool mom I hope to be.
Just keeping it real: we will not begin this until next Monday-- I have to get the book sent off to the publisher first! What a great feeling that will be!