Friday, July 15, 2016

Homeschool Prep

Crazily enough, we start school in a little over 2 weeks.  Our first day is set for August 1st.  I've been working hard to clean and organize the school room.  I've also planned the first month.  Here are some things I am doing this year:
  • I am changing how we schedule our day.  I am breaking it up into two sections.  During the first section of the day, each child will do individual work.  I will be able to help and assist anyone who needs help, but each child will be doing different things.  This is when most of the Language Arts and Math will take place. 
  • During the second section of the day, we will do activities together.  Writing and religion will be done each month as well as two other subjects or topics.  We are starting out with some science experiments and finishing our Indiana books.  Other subjects/topics I plan to cover this year include more science (animals, dinosaurs, plants), cooking, art, poetry, spanish, music, and sign language.  I know more things will come up as we go.
  • I'm changing the way that I write my lesson plans.  It was hard to adjust from being a traditional teacher to a homeschool mom.  I probably got a little ahead of myself in some areas.  This year, I got an idea from a blog I follow and am setting goals for a month at a time.  I plan to check off all that we accomplish.  At the end of the month, I am going to reevaluate what has been done.  If they have items left, I will decide if it is worth doing.  If so, I will just move it to the top of the list for the next month.  Our life is so crazy, so it's best to over plan and adjust later in the month.
  • We are going to start on a Monday this year because even though I'm making changes, the kids are more used to our routines.  We are also going to plan to go every day because I know that we will miss a lot of days.  Once again, life is nuts and I will do my best to accommodate that by stocking up days when I can!  
  • Children in Indiana are only legally required to go to school from the ages of 7-17 (or first grade through 12th grade).  They are also only required to go to school 180 days as a homeschooled child.  We registered Macie last year with EVSC to cover our bases and we are going to do the same with Gavin this year.  That way, if anyone would ask, I could show they are registered as a homeschool child and I could show a calendar of when we did school.  Most likely we will never be asked for this information, but I like to follow the rules!
  • Aside from Riley appointments, I am working hard to schedule all appointments after 12:00. This will allow us some time to get school in first thing before kids get all out of whack.
  • I am my own WORST CRITIC and am VERY HARD on myself.  I am trying to go into this year giving myself GRACE.  I know I'm a good teacher and I want the absolute best for my kids.  I think having a year under my belt will be very helpful going forward.  I know without a doubt that HOMESCHOOLING IS RIGHT FOR US RIGHT NOW!  I THANK GOD every day that he lead us to it and rely on him for the guidance to get through and to know when it is no longer a good fit.

 Look how neat and clean their desks look...if only it would last!
 I'm trying something new this year.  Each day, I'm going to write on these boards what I'd like them to do during their individual work time.  Hopefully, we can keep it up!
 Their crates are also all cleaned, organized and ready to start a new year!
 This year, we splurged on new boxes with crayons, markers, and colored pencils for each child.  I even labeled every single item because I don't want arguments.  All of the items for coloring are in the box and all other materials they need are in their caddies.  I'm hoping this will make things so much easier!
 A few examples of my plans goals for the month of August. Looking at them like goals will make me not as stressed I think....the power of words!

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