Thinking About the Future

I tend to do my homeschool planning in six week blocks. I usually do two blocks at a time and try to arrange things to have a couple of “make up” days built in to cover the inevitable changes in plans. I’ve been working on the blocks through the end of June and making notes as I do so for the kinds of things we’ll want to study in the next school year. I count our school year from July of one year to June of the following year, as that gives me time to finish out a year and make lesson plans with the new materials I’ll get at the convention in June.

I really try hard to have a basic outline of what we’ll be doing by the middle of May so that I can spend some time researching materials and getting a sense of what I’m looking for. That way I don’t get overwhelmed by the number of attendees (I don’t do well with crowds) or the variety of things to look at (I do try to take notes before, during and after).

So far this year we’ve got about a month of Music left (using the first three workbooks from Christian Light Publications Music series). I’ll replace that with an indivudualized unit study for each of the older ones (Buggle will get six weeks of Simple Machines, and six weeks of Weather, Mouse will have six weeks of plants and plant life (probably mostly dedicated to flowers) and six weeks on muscles and nerves). We’ll pick up Music study again in July, although we’ll continue to sing and “play” the piano between now and then.

We’re about halfway through our unit on Explorers, so we’ll finish that then do a unit on the settlements at Roanoke and Jamestown. If I time it right the weather should be really nice for a couple of field trips. Then in the new school year we’ll move on to Plymouth and the Early Colonial Period.

German studies continue with CD’s and videos. We may be ready to add a textbook in July, I’m still waiting to see how things go.

At this point I think Buggle will will be finished with his second grade core (Phonics, Reading and Math) by mid June and Mouse should finish up in early August. I’m inclined to keep them a little staggered in their core work, so that he is about 30 lessons ahead of her. He feels like she is competition and their learning styles are different enough that I think that space is important. I’m planning to introduce grammar and Spelling in third grade as formal subjects, and had thought I would do this using the Rod and Staff textbooks which I like. I will probably still use them for spelling, but I may go more of a dictation and writing/notebooking direction with grammar at least for a couple of years.

All of these thoughts about next year are fairly tentative at the moment. I know that as I observe the children and their pace, talk to S and look at what’s available, and pray about it I’ll find that our direction becomes clearer, and I’ll be able to put together a workable plan for the future.

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