2016/2017 Planning

I worked on my school year throughout the summer, however I tweaked it and finished it up this week.  I came up with my blocks and most of my resources over the summer.  Taproot training helped me tweak and make my schedule a little more manageable.  So here goes!

Sims-Grade 8 Theme: Freedom

Goals:

  1. Find and utilize an effective note taking strategy.
  2. Begin to implement assistive technology to complete assignments.
  3. Learn how to make and work towards goals.
  4. Awareness of how personal mood, tone, actions can alter other’s mood, tone, actions.
  5. Determine and complete an 8th grade project.

Person Goals: Find something that he enjoys reading.  Canter 4 laps around the arena without stopping.  Set up a forge.

Sawyer- Grade 6 Theme: Individualism within Community

Goals:

  1.  Begin to utilize logical thinking and process in order to draw informed conclusions.
  2. As awareness of individuality continues to grow, find her place within the community as well.
  3. Continue to challenge herself with the new skills she learns.

Personal Goals: 2 pull ups.  A back handspring.  Make pajama pants and leggings.  Learn French.

Parks: Grade 4 Theme: Social Responsibility

Goals

  1. Find a peace with activities introduced.
  2. Continue to verbalize and communicate emotions.
  3. Find a balance between physical activities and mental activities.

Personal goals: Better handwriting. Set up a YouTube channel.  Go to Puerto Rico and Boone

And now to the planning piece!  I broke out my planner, my resources, my paper and my markers.  As usual, I folded my paper into 12 blocks and added in birthdays, trips, parties, etc that I know about at this time.  Next I looked at the blocks that I have planned for each child and I tried to place them together so that there is some overlap.  The next step I learned from my teacher training and was one of the pieces that I tweaked.  In the past, I have tried to fit all of the curriculum that I have into the schedule.  This year, I am using the schedule to determine how many lessons that I can do.  Thus, if I have 18 days of free days in a month; then I plan 9 lessons.  We present a lesson on the first day and review the lesson on the following day.

Sims’ blocks will include study skills, the Renaissance and Reformation, Civics, US History, North American Geography, and electronics.  He will also be doing a pre-algebra review and possibly begin Algebra using Math-U-See.  He will also take his first high school level class at a local homeschool group which will be a physical science class.

Sawyer’s blocks will include geology, a review of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, business math, My Little Roman Cousin from Long Ago, North American geography, and physics.  She will also use Math-U-See Epsilon for math.  Sawyer also is interested in learning French so I am looking into using Middlebury Language Academy for French Lessons.

Parks’ blocks will include NC history, Norse mythology, human/animal, local history, animal research, North American geography and drones.  He will use Math-U-See Delta for math.

Together, everyone will use Fix It Grammar books by IEW to work on copywork, grammar and vocabulary.  I also made a planner for each of the kids.  I hope that it will help all of us keep up!

plan 4

We started trying to get into our rhythm this week.  We will look through all of our books and plans later this week and plan to start lessons on the 29th!  I hope you planning is going well!

Finding Passion- Horseback Riding

img_2844

Lately in addition to hiking and playing outdoors, the kids have found another passion-horseback riding.  One request to ride a horse by Parks on his sixth birthday changed all of our lives.  Since that day three and half years ago, all three of the kids have started riding horses.

Riding and working with horses has so many benefits.  The horses require emotional work-you cannot bring hostility or frustration or arrogance to the barn and expect a good ride.  The horses require physical work-getting the horses from the pasture, grooming, tacking up, riding, getting all of the gear off, putting everything away, and taking the horse back to its pasture.  The horses require mental work-problem solving, reading the body language of the horses, environmental awareness, executive functioning.

I am a proud mama when I watch the kids at the barn.  They are kind and hard-working.  They have learned to set goals for themselves on the horses, and they have learned that some days they need a break and just want to ride to enjoy riding.  I have seen each child gain  resilience, empathy, confidence and strength at the barn.

This week, I had the privilege to watch them at their first horse show.  (I have a new respect for those who participate in shows on a regular basis-wow! that is a lot of work and a long day!!)  They were excited and nervous.  They have never ridden around so many horses before, and they rocked it.

 

A Society’s Selective Silence on Education

“Colleges now, including all the major ones—Stanford and Yale and Harvard—are actively seeking kids who were homeschooled or unschooled or who had an alternative type of education because wha…

Source: A Society’s Selective Silence on Education

2015/2016 Year End Review

Well I guess before I start planning for next year, I should look back on last year.  My planning pages for each grade are here: Grade 3, Grade 5 and Grade 7.  (Heads up-this is a long and boring post that is mainly written for my own documentation purposes.)

Grade 3: Cooperation and Confidence themes

Goals:

  1. Find a method for getting thoughts onto paper– Parks did learn to journal his feeling into a small journal.  He continues to prefer to draw instead of write, but he is progressing on this goal.
  2. Work independently for 30 minutes- Parks did accomplish this goal, although it varied day to day.  He occasionally had days that he had a difficult time working on his own.
  3. Understand the concept of multiplication and division and apply to practical life. – Parks rocked this goal.  He does not enjoy doing math worksheets but he does an excellent job at practical and daily math such as cooking, time, and money.
  4. Find and utilize effective strategies to reduce anxiety and increase self confidence.-Parks really worked hard in this area this year.  He will have to work on this forever, I suspect.  He feels very confident in certain areas of his life such as horse back riding, bike riding, drawing, pottery, and outdoor activities.
  5. Work in groups effectively.-I saw this goal accomplished nicely in his last class.  He participated in a robotics class which required a lot of team work, communication, and out-of-the-box thinking.
  6. Investigate how the environment effects the choices made on shelter, food and clothing. I think this was one of Parks’ favorite goals so of course he accomplished it.

Overall, Parks year was a mixed bag of sorts.  At times, I was pulling my hair out and at other times, I was so excited for what he was inventing and wanting to do on his own.  At the last minute, I changed math curriculum to Math-U-See.  Parks worked through Gamma or Multiplication.  We worked through it slowly and he did well.  He worked through blocks on Mr.Popper’s Penguins, Shelters, Farmer Boy and Diary of an Early American Boy, The Giving Tree, Creation Stories from around the world, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Fort, and Cooking.  He also took a biology class throughout the year at Latta Plantation Nature Preserve.  Other activities included African drumming, clay class, robotics, horse back riding, and gymnastics.

Grade 5– Self-awareness, compassion and empathy themes

Goals

  1. Utilize effective communication to inform others of her emotions.  Sawyer tends to keep her emotions to herself.  She worked a lot on letting us know if she needed some space or a friend over and how she is feeling.
  2. Find and utilize an effective time management strategy.-Unless she is reading, Sawyer is rocking this goal!  When she is in a book, she has no idea what time it is.  However, she is doing well with the schedule and judging her timing.  Occasionally, leaving the house is still difficult but overall she is doing well.
  3. Find and utilize an effective organizational strategy for school work and room.- This is another area that Sawyer did very well in this year.  Her school work stayed together and fairly organized.  Her room drives me a little crazy, but she knows where everything is and has her own organization strategy.
  4. Utilizing previously taught grammar skills, write a variety of papers to learn the skills of prewriting, editing, drafting and final copy.- Sawyer did well with her writing skills this year.
  5. Increase confidence in utilizing math concepts in everyday life.- Sawyer’s confidence in math really increased this year.  With the increase in her confidence with her school math, I really noticed an increase in her confidence with doubling and halfing recipes, making change with her money and time management.
  6. Increase awareness of how other’s are feeling around her and other people’s plans.- Similar to her time management goal, Sawyer did well with this goal unless she is reading.

Sawyer really grew up this year.  I really enjoy watching her grow into her own person.  For math, Sawyer dropped back to the Math-U-See Gamma or multiplication to increase her confidence in her math knowledge.  She worked through that book and through the next Math-U -See book called Delta or Division.  She also worked through Latin Word Roots book A.  She worked through blocks on the Ancient Incas, Secret of the Andes, US Geography, The Mossflower, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ida, and Botany.  She participated in the Environthon class.  Extracurricular classes included African drumming, clay, gymnastics, and horse back riding.

Grade 7 communication, vision and exploration themes

Goals

  1. Find and utilize effective strategies for time management and organization for school.-Sims had a lot of activities that required a lot of management.  Overall, he did very well.  Occasionally, he needed a little prodding to keep motivated.
  2. Be able to recognize and respond appropriately/effectively to other’s emotions- One of the nice parts about goals is that you have time to achieve them!  I was nervous about this one up until April.  I am not sure what happened but he started working on this goal in April.  I would not say that he has 100% met this goal, but I definitely think that he has made terrific progress towards it.
  3. Find and utilize an effective and efficient note-taking method – Not met.  We learned about note taking.  We made T’s, note cards, highlighting, traditional note taking and he really did not take to one.  I guess this one will keep going through next year.
  4. Articulate ideas clearly and effectively- Sims did an excellent job with this goal.  He has always had terrific ideas but didn’t always know how to explain them or to make them come to fruition.  This year, he worked through his plans on his own before presenting them to the group or to me.
  5. Find and utilize a method to organize though in the form of written communication using prewriting, drafting, editing and final copy.– So Sims did not figure out note taking but he did a terrific job with writing!  In fact, he did it without my help.  He utilized the hand method (draw a hand on a sheet of paper.  The palm is the main idea.  The thumb is the introduction.  Three fingers are the supporting ideas and the pinky is the final idea).  In the past, Sims never wanted to write a rough draft but this year he was very comfortable with writing multiple drafts.

For math, Sims used the Pre-Algebra book from Math-U-See. He finished Latin Word Roots book A.   He then worked through blocks on the Middle Ages (The Door in the Wall, Good Masters Sweet Ladies, Castle and Cathedral), Alchemy, The Alchemist, Chemistry, Wish/Wonder/Surprise, Astronomy, the Renaissance, Anatomy/Physiology, and Carry On Mr.Bowditch.  He participated in the area Environthon and the NC state Environthon.  He also participated in African drumming, competitive gymnastics, horse back riding, small engine repair and photography.

As a group, we worked on land and water forms using Pin It Maps.  We read Hawksmaid and The One and Only Ivan together (although, everyone listens to all of the books read).  We went to several shows including Breakin Convention, Momix, Flamenco, Black Violin, and Diavolo.  We hiked.  We went on a lot of trips including Washington D.C., Durham, Florida Keys, NC Mountains and Sebastian-Florida.