May 29, 2006

Low Tech Lesson Plans

My printer is not working currently due to lack of money to buy ink, so I'm back to hand-written lesson plans for the next few weeks. It is nice when you have to manually write everything down. It reminds you how wonderful technology is, and helps you remember the things you need to get done better than you would if you had typed it. I type much faster than I can write... but something about writing triggers my brain to remember things.

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

  • Chores

  • 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:

English: Monday
Latin: Solis dies
Greek: Mandei
Italian: Lunedi
Spanish: Lunes
Russian: Poneledínik
French: Lundi
Hebrew: Yom Sheni
Arabic: Al íthnin
Czech: Pondělí
Japanese: Getsu-yōbi
Chinese: Xīng qī yī
German: Montag

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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Sharon said...

What a great look into your life! I like to do my lesson planning long hand. It is just more relaxing to sit with all the books and such around me, paging through and visualizing the lessons as I go.

Thanks for the handwriting idea of doing the days of the week in different languages. I never would have thought of that and it is such a great idea. I suppose I could get them to do their names in different languages too!

Sprittibee said...

Thanks Sharon. I am not sure if I got that idea from Konos or if it was one of my own. After I write things down on paper, I don't much keep track anymore. The names in different languages would also be fun - thanks for thinking of it!

Douglas said...

The book "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess is definitely not a book for young malchicks and devotchkas, but it is very clever in that by the time I finished the book, I had a significant Russian vocabulary. There is a language learning computer program whose name I'm forgetting that uses this strategy.

Sprittibee said...

Douglas: I heard much about that book when I was a teen... but I can't remember any of it. Ha! I enjoy learning new words, so maybe I should give it a try.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch (as always!) for sharing all this info with us. I truly appreciate every little thing you post, especially in relation to homeschooling! It is great to learn from you and I am learning to be more flexible. We just started the KONOS Weather unit today since it is a great one for the turbulent Orlando summers! Hopefully we won't see any hurricanes this year. God bless you in all you do. Sue in Orlando

Sprittibee said...

Thanks Sue! :) I appreciate your tip as well as your comment. It's nice to get a pat on the back now and then. :)

Anonymous said...

You should double check your breakdown for the days of the week. Monday in Greek is "Deutera."



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