Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back to School

After a month long break, tomorrow is the big day! We are beginning our second semester of school tomorrow, bright and early! I know that it will be extremely difficult to get the kids out of bed at 7:00 a.m. Especially, since they have only been asleep for 30 minutes or so, and it is 11:55 p.m.! We have gotten into the habit of staying up very late and the children have been sleeping late too. I am thinking that tomorrow night, 9:00 will seem like a reasonable bedtime to the children. Hopefully, they will be tired!

We are joining a homeschool co op this semester for history. It will meet on Fridays from 9:30-2:00 at a church building only 5 minutes from my house! That is the best part. Since we live kind of "out in the country", we usually have to drive at least 20 minutes to get anywhere. Five minutes will be great!

The co op is studying the 50 states of the U.S. We are using the curriculum, KONOS. I have used KONOS for 7 years now, with the exception of last fall. I really love this curriculum, but the problem I began having with it was/is that I have a hard time finding or making time for the "group school" aspect. I read aloud to all of the children all together first thing each morning, and after breakfast we do our daily Bible lesson together, but beyond that, it gets more and more difficult to gather all of the children (or at least the school aged ones) for group instruction and discussion. My girls especially like do complete their schoolwork independently and on their on time frame. Clay needs a little more assistance, but still likes to do his work at his own pace....frequently before his sisters even awaken! So as I composed my lesson plans for this unit, I modified the suggested activities to be completed independently as much as possible. I made each child a checklist of items to be accomplished each day. These checklists will be included in the section of their 50 states notebook called "lesson plans".

I also make checklists for each child for all of his daily work. Since we don't work on all subjects every day except for math, I also include on the checklist how many days of each subject they need to complete for the particular week. These checklists allow the children to work independently as much as possible, and when everything is checked off, I know that they are ready for me to check their work. I type up these checklists one month in advance.
Some subjects also have specific assignments each day, so I make weekly checklists for these subjects, and they are included in that subject's notebook (like the KONOS checklist I described above). The subjects that have these detailed plans are science (for Julie and Clay), IEW (for all three), and KONOS (all three). For subjects like math, grammar, spelling, handwriting, etc. they know to just do the next page or lesson.

This second semester of school is longer than our first one.....20 weeks rather than 16, but hopefully two taking full weeks off will help. We will be taking a trip to Disneyworld in 19 days! We also take off the last week of March for our Spring Break. The school year will end on May 27.

1 comment:

  1. Roan, I think we really are kindred spirits... not only are we both cleaning out our houses, posting on the computer way too late with school in the morning, but I am definitely a checklist person for school also. It helps the kids stay organized, and it keeps them from interrupting when I am working with different individuals!
    Does Jimmy have his schedule yet? How 'bout this weekend?