Monday, August 10, 2009

Slow and Steady

I know I won't win the race but I'll get much closer to the finish line than I had hoped.

What I'm talking about is getting ready for the start of school which, for us, is next Monday. I previously talked about my filing system. I love this system because, once it is done, requires no more major planning for the entire school year. Between the end of my pregnancy and having a newborn, I'm not going to finish my filing before next Monday but I have gotten a fair amount done...and that makes me feel much happier than I was feeling.

So far, I've managed to get the following organized and filed for the year:

Our history comes with map and coloring pages for each lesson. There are other activities pages for some lessons as well. I plan on doing one lesson a week. However, there are 42 lessons to fit into 36 weeks so I had to double up on a few lessons. Once I figured that out, it was simple a matter of getting them into the correct files. I don't do any other planning. Looking into the file and seeing what lesson we are on next is enough for me. From there, I can hit the library and pull any supplemental books I want and look in the activity guide to see if there are supplies I need for extra activities or projects I want to add.

I have a schedule figured out for our science and extra activities and experiments that go with each lesson. I cheated on this one and pulled a schedule that someone else created. It covers our text in only 18 weeks, giving me plenty of time to finish what we didn't get to in last year's text. So, following the preprinted schedule's example, I created a schedule for the remaining three chapters of that. Then, because the schedule has more than one week on each page, I filed them in the week that is listed first on the page. I'll just carry the schedule over from week to week.

Samuel's math is filed by year. Because he tends to work ahead, I don't file his math by week. Instead, I file it by curriculum (ie. Epsilon, Zeta, Prealgebra) and pull a week's worth at a time. His math was easy to file. Mika's math was filed one lesson per week.

My kids really enjoy logic puzzles such as Mindbenders and Perplexors. This year, I went with Perplexors because you get more puzzles in a book for the same price. I also chose to get three different kinds of puzzles: Perplexors, Math Perplexors, and Venn Perplexors. I added up how many puzzles we had altogether, divided by the number of weeks we'll be doing school, and came up with the magic number of 4 puzzles per week. So, two pages (front and back) went into each week. I decided to keep is simple but still varied. One week has 4 perplexors, the next has 4 math perplexors, and the one after that has 4 venn perplexors, and so on.

Home Ec
I'm using this great, free cooking curriculum I found online. I printed out each lesson and filed those those. The curriculum is specifically written to girls but I want my son to be able to cook, too. I have them alternating weeks. I'll complete the lessons and recipes with one child one week and then complete the same lesson/recipes with the other child the next week. This way, they each get to complete all parts of the recipes rather than sharing the work. I'm have some house cleaning in there. Again, it's alternating but in a different way. One child will learn about cleaning one area of the house, while the other will learn about cleaning a different area of the house. These tasks will stay with them for an entire month before they move on to a different area.

That's all I have filed so far...but I'll keep working to get as much done as I can. I think I'll work on Samuel's language arts next, and both kids' writing assignments. Mika won't have a formal language arts, other than writing, but I want to think about how to plan what we are doing to make sure I'm remembering to make her work on her projects. Once I figure that out, I'll come up with some kind of schedule to add to the files.

Then I'll have to come up with assignment sheets for problem solving. That will be easy because I already know that I want to do two problems a day. DONE!

I'll have to come up with a schedule foreign language and drawing when I receive those materials. We probably won't be starting those two subjects for a few/several weeks.

Finally, if you'll look at the top of the right sidebar, you'll see a square for a spelling program. That's SpellQuizzer, which I'll use for spelling and vocabulary for Samuel and science vocabulary for both kids. I have to program in the lists for the year. The spelling words need to be done when Josh is either outside playing or taking a nap since I don't want his noise recorded in the background. The vocabulary will be added in when I can get to it. I'll get the first few weeks done sometime before we start school, and add in the rest when I can.

So, while I won't finish it all before Monday, I do have a good chunk of it done. I feel much better about starting school, especially since I still have time to get more done as I'm nursing Madelynn.

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The Four Week Vegan said...

It sounds like you are well under way. Good luck with the rest.