I have been planning for the new school year. There is no set time that I start planning; I just write down ideas all year long… curriculum I would like to check out, books I want my kids to read, as well as what hasn’t worked well for our family so that I won’t try it again.
The most recent planning session included a list of ideas that would be great to implement to let me know, as the mom/teacher, that we are indeed making progress and learning! Here are some things on that list:
1 -Keep a binder for all math tests and grades. That is pretty straight forward and boring, but the tests and numbers don’t lie when it comes to math.
2 -Make a paper chain of all the books read throughout the year. Each child could have their own color assigned to the chain. Ruby books- purple, Molly books- green, Mack books- blue and family read aloud books- yellow. I think it would be encouraging to watch it grow and keep us challenged.
3 -Possibly have each child start their own private blog on wordpress where they can make entries of written narrations from books they are reading, explain a newly mastered math concept in words, and include “golden quotes” from their books, etc. Lots of possibilities with this idea! Videos can even be posted from piano recitals, choir performances or when Molly plays guitar with the youth group. Field trip and vacation pictures and favorite assignments could also be posted.
4 -History Timeline kept up by the kids
5-Geography maps posted in the school room and completed!
6 -Woodcock-Johnson end-of-the-year test results, of course.
So planning while keeping these things in mind is very helpful for me. I enjoyed receiving our chat books in the mail and seeing all the documentation of our schooling. There are so many things we do and learn, and yet at times I feel like we aren’t doing much at all, but having tangible things to look at and read help encourage me along the way. And I think it helps the kids, too.
The one area I am a bit stumped on is Ruby’s 8th grade science. Apologia is the science curriculum we have been using as a family, and I want to let Ruby take an online course for General Science with an Apologia teacher…but it is about $400. Maybe that is totally worth it…I am just not quite ready to jump all-in on that one yet. I welcome any input from friends who may be reading this. I think I have the rest figured out and hope to share more about our curriculum soon!