We're doing a few things we never got done a long time before vacation, so in a way, I feel I'm behind... but we sure enjoyed the time off and everyone seems to be rejuvenated and ready to learn. I'm lowering my expectations on the lesson plan level so that we feel like we are accomplishing a lot each day. Encouragement is worth much to the kids in this area since I tend to overload us often. They see a checked off list as a major accomplishment after a year of REALLY long lists each day that never seemed to get done. I've noticed that they work faster and better when they see more progress, so I'm making the lists shorter and enjoying seeing them as busy as bees!
The house is clean and we've gotten a lot of school work done for our first day back, but I'm still in my jammies. Tomorrow is a park picnic day, and we'll do school afterwards. Kevin is still getting home at 8:30pm, so we usually do school until around 7 - when I have to start cooking. We don't start school until around 10 or 11 (depending on the day), since Kevin is home in the morning. Sometimes he'll take one or both kids walking or running in the morning. I haven't yet gotten over to the gym to try the pool out. Hopefully we can get a PE routine started so that I can work off those cookies I mentioned yesterday. I think my box of them will be gone by the end of the day (yum!).
We're going to do school until the end of July because we had so much time off for moving this past fall. My plan is to work until the week of July 4, take a week off for vacation (again, in Texas!). Then we'll work through the rest of July and take the month of August off.
The simple list of what we're doing most days is as follows:
Me - Grading, Teaching, Planning, Keeping the Calendar Updated, Cooking, Laundry
- Prayer Journals/Prayer Time with Mom (or Daddy too if he hasn't left yet)
- Devotional (various books and discussion afterwards)
- Read Bible (sometimes related to our KONOS unit, sometimes not)
- Bible Memory (one of the following: write, recite, sing, read, draw, act out)
- KONOS Activities (changes daily per unit)
- Math (A Beka worksheets - usually 2)
- Language/Phonics (Explode the Code/Grammar worksheets - various publishers)
- Arts/Crafts (finishing previous projects, starting new ones per unit)
- Typing (Mavis Beacon with Speedskin)
- Lapbooking (we're still working on our Rock Lapbook in our spare time)
- PE (walking with dad, swimming, park days, bikes)
- Communication/Writing (pen pals, thank you cards, phonecalls)
- Vocabulary (KONOS unit related: write, flashcards, game, crossword or test)
- Poetry (Konos Unit related - about 3 a day)
- Library Books (Konos Related)
- Free Reading Time/Free Time
- Family Read Time (Konos Unit related)
- Field Trip (once a week or every other week)
Science and History are part of KONOS and also in our library books.
We rarely get everything on the list done in one day, but we try. On days when we have a large amount of Konos, PE/Social Activities, or a field trip planned, we do very little on this list.
The things we don't do that I want to add into next year's homeschool agenda are foreign language and music. I'm teetering on learning Italian instead of Spanish because I think my husband will be more apt to learn it because he has a friend whom he can speak it with. He fought me on learning Spanish although the children and I did learn a little bit and were enjoying it. I want to learn something our whole family will use... and because we know people who speak it, I think Italian is one we can all do together and retain it. Maybe after we learn Italian, we can study Spanish because it is so similar. I have heard that it is easier to learn a third language after you have mastered a second. As for the music, I sure miss our choir and piano lessons that are in our past. Aside from a planned Composers Unit as part of next year's Konos Units (classical music), we don't have the extra cash to add those electives for the 2006-2007 school year. If we stay where we are and keep plodding away at the debt we have, maybe by next tax season we can add one elective if we get a nice refund.
I have been asked how much planning I do for Konos, and I would have to say that I can only plan one week ahead in detail, but I do plan my year (even if I change it as we go somewhat) ahead during the summer... and I also plan my units ahead (in "very light pencil") to see how they fit with our calendar of activities. I enjoy the planning part of Konos. It seems that when I plan my units, that's when I get to do a lot of learning. Learning as a lifestyle is really wonderful. I always said I would never quit going to school. I enjoyed taking college classes and love to read. Homeschooling gives me the ability to continue learning right along with my kids... and helps us to grow together rather than apart!
For the last week, my daughter Morgan has told me, "Thank you for homeschooling me, Mommy!" every day! There's no better reward for the sacrifices you must make being at home than that.
I'm not sure why I'm writing this post. Hope someone out there needed to read it. While I'm in here writing the random stuff in my head, my kids are at the kitchen table doing their handwriting assignment for today. They are busy writing the names of the days of the week in a bunch of different languages (part of our unit on Seasons).
Here's Monday's breakdown:
Latin: Solis dies
Hebrew: Yom Sheni
Arabic: Al íthnin
Chinese: Xīng qī yī
And for extra credit, I had them write Monday in Tamil (a dialect from India) because of our little Indian boy we sponsor. They did a great, artistic job of it!
Here it is: திங்கள்
Happy learning - even if you aren't a high-tech lesson planner!
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