Planning Break

I know that I have been fairly absent from the blogging scene for the past couple of weeks.  I took a planning break and had a holiday!  I hope everyone is doing well.  I will pick back up with 7th grade soon!

Grade 3 Planning

I am still in the middle of planning but I have finished Grade 3!  Parks, the youngest kiddo, will begin third grade in September.  The themes for third grade that I plan to cover include cooperation and confidence.  Here are his goals (I make the initial goals and he will add more at the beginning of the year):

  1. Find a method for getting thoughts onto paper.
  2. Work independently for 30 minutes.
  3. Understand the concept of multiplication and division and apply to practical life.
  4. Find and utilize effective strategies to reduce anxiety and increase self confidence.
  5. Work in groups effectively.
  6. Investigate how the environment effects the choices made on shelter, food and clothing.

4 weeks Mr. Popper’s Penguins to focus on writing and dictation using Brave Writer.

4 weeks Shelters focusing on how we protect ourselves, different types of human shelters, animal shelters, and Native American shelters

4 weeks on Farmer Boy by Wilder focusing on writing nature studies and dialog using Brave Writer

3 weeks on Giving focusing o being selfless and giving.

4 weeks on creation stories

4 weeks on Where the Mountain Meets the Moon focusing on heroes and writing a journey using Brave Writer

4 weeks on building with a final building project

4 weeks on cooking to focus on practical math and writing commands (recipes)

2-3 weeks on farming with a focus on field trips and hands-on farming

In addition to the blocks, Parks will be working through Daily Math problems, Spell Well spelling, copy work and memory work.  I also plan to have each child present something they are working on every week or every other week to our family or homeschool group (I am still working on this concept).

Getting Out the Planner!

Well, there is no better time than the present to begin planning for next year.  Actually, I have been planning for the past 6 weeks.  Now, I am working on the specifics.  I use ideas from many people on how to plan including: Waldorf Essentials, Waldorf-Inspired Learning, and various other blogs (do a web search on homeschool planning and you will be amazed!).  I am basically using the same method that I used last year.  Overall, I think the method worked well.

First, I decide on my themes for each child.  The themes guide which blocks that I want to cover.  Second, I make goals for each child for the year.  (I also have the kids make up goals for the year but we do that at the beginning of the school year.)

In the next step, I take the themes, goals and typical grade-appropriate Waldorf blocks to decide what blocks to consider.  I decide on 9 themes/blocks.  Then I get to work looking for books, activities, poems, copywork, etc that will support each block.  Last year, we focused on grammar in our language arts.  This year, we plan to focus on writing using the grammar learned last year.  Once I develop the blocks and the monthly plans, I break everything up into weeks.  I do not make daily plans because our weeks change each month.

I plan to make weekly work plans in my final step.  I am not there yet, but I am close.  I think that I have all of my curriculum planned out and purchased except for one.  I will write on the specifics for each child in the next couple of weeks.  For now, I am still planning.  If you see me, then you will probably see this:

How is your planning going?

This Moment

Originally inspired by “Soulemama“: {this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a simple, special, extraordinary (sometimes just silly) moment.

Summer Anxiety

Oh, how I love summer.  Well, I used to love summer.  I enjoy(ed) coasting through the days without a schedule, sleeping in(lol-well, at least sleeping past 6:30), and going where-ever the day takes me.  Unfortunately for a person with anxiety, the lack of a schedule and an irregular plan is far from enjoyable.

Every summer, I remember the importance of rhythm.  My children thrive on a rhythm.  They need it.  Without a rhythm, they are lost.  I, on the other hand, like to live life without a plan and as the day takes me.  Do you see the problem here?  The two ways do not mesh AT ALL and the result is stress, frustration, melt downs and all over unhappiness.  You would think that by now, I would have figured this out.  However, I haven’t.  Every summer we experience the above-stress, frustration, melt downs and overall unhappiness-mainly with only one child but the frustration takes over the entire family.

So we head back to the schedule and the rhythm.  I am still trying to figure out how to set a schedule and a rhythm for the summer but I will figure one out soon.  You would think that since we are together all the time during the school year that the summer would go smoothly.  Unfortunately, everyone’s schedule changes.  There are no classes in the summer-only camps.  Horseback riding is sporadic due to camps and vacations.  The gym schedule changes.  And there are kids to play with who are not around during the school year to play with.  Sounds like fun to me, but the changes bring increased anxiety and stress to my youngest.  He tries so hard to take control of his day but he needs a plan and a back up plan.  Until he can do this for himself, I must help with the plan by providing a rhythm.

Are you able to relax during the summer or are do you need to keep a rhythm?