Saturday, August 17, 2013

Aug 16 and 17, 2013::scheduling our learning

I used to be a stickler for scheduling in our homeschool. When we began six years ago, we started at a certain time every morning, took scheduled breaks, finished certain subject before and after lunch, and all school work had to be completed before personal activities.

Wow! I loathe the idea of that plan as I reread that description. 

I thought the kids needed to "deschool" gradually by having a heavily structured school at home. What did I know? After all, I had been trained as a public school teacher. Over half the classes I had taken in both graduate and undo radiate school were in management of time and learning, rather than in methods of teaching. To manage 25 kids in a classroom, there has to be structure, but did We really need that in our wee little class of three?

As we have grown into this chosen path, we have relaxed a little every year. So, while we do set a curriculum for ourselves, with goals for each week, quarter, and year, we are far more relaxed, these days, about how each person approaches those goals.

Brice - Grade 1

Brice is very self directed and ALWAYS has an agenda of his own for the day. Last year, that did not include reading instruction. He was learning in so many other ways, I let that wait instead of forcing him to sit through it and hate it. This year, he is open to it in small doses. He is busy, busy, and really loves to learn new things, including asking about words that are related to his interests. He's getting there, AND he enjoys it. Win!

His day looks something like...
AM: Self directed projects: building with Legos or other "making," documentaries, brain pop movies of choice, drawing, cooking with me.
Mid AM: Short reading session, language arts discussions, listening to a chapter of our read aloud - Whew, all that out of the way.
Lunchtime: an hour or so of more self direction
Mid PM: Math, Writing, Science, History...subjects he really enjoys
Late PM: More self direction, including outside play
Bedtime: More reading instruction in the form of books on CD, or books read together in bed

I will be sharing the schedules for the rest of us this week. Reeves is pretty well settled in this year. Embree's schedule is coming into focus for us. They are all three so different and work in such vastly different ways. It's a challenge to accommodate, but I have high hopes this year. More to come...


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