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?

Get Out the Planner

planning

Have you noticed that everyone is planning for next year?  Well, they are not alone.  I am working away on next year.  I will be teaching second, fourth and sixth grades.  Thus far, I have my goals for each child (they will write their own goals during the first week of school) and my blocks scheduled out.  I am also in the process of finding resources for each block.

Goals

Parks (second grade): 1) Read instructions independently 2)Reciprocity in discussions (he likes to take over the discussions) 3) journal 4)begin reading silently 5)work independently for 30 minutes 6)increase his independence with communicating his emotions and needs

Sawyer (fourth grade): 1) Independent with writing a well-thought out and planned paragraph 2) increase in critical thinking  3) increase awareness of cause and effect 4) time management skills 5)Begin vocabulary 6) Learn organization skills essential to learning

Sims (sixth grade): 1) Begin note taking with research 2)increase independence with reading and activities 3)time management skills 4)Vocabulary 5)Independent with writing a well planned 5 paragraph paper 6) Journaling

Blocks

3 weeks-form drawing and geography (Sims-Europe, Sawyer- North Carolina, Parks-World)  Everyone will do this block together; however, they will each focus on a different area.

6 weeks- Sims will do business math.  Sawyer will do her first man/animal block and Parks will do heroes and saints.

8 weeks- Sims will work on Rome.  Sawyer will work on the Norse myths and fractions.  Parks will work on folk tales and time.

6 weeks- group block on geology and biomes.

6 weeks- Sims will work on Medieval Times.  Sawyer will complete her second man/animal block and Parks will work on animal legends.

5 weeks-group block on physics.

In addition to the blocks, each child has daily work.  They will all be using Teaching Textbooks for math, growing with grammar for language skills, and  apples and pears for spelling.  In addition to this, they will read and journal daily.

Once I get more specifics on each block, I will get them posted.  How are your plans going for next year?  If you have any ideas on the above blocks or grade levels, I would love to hear them!

My 2014 Goals

January is going by way too fast for me!  I am just now sitting down to reflect on 2013 and to think about 2014.  I know many people post their plans for the year during the first week of January.  Obviously, I didn’t meet that deadline.  I am here now and that is all that matters.  Right?  So what are my plans?

1. Bring the family together through cleaning.  Don’t laugh-yet.  I spent some time reading through blogs and speaking to many families over the past few months and I realized-my kids are crazy spoiled when it comes to housework.  Of course, I am the one that made them that way so it is up to me to change it.  I recently found Motivated Moms.  Motivated Moms is an amazing system to plan out your cleaning schedule and chores.  They have an app and an e book. ( Here is a sample.) I am a paper girl and I want my family to see the chores.  I have only used it for a week, but so far it is awesome.  Each chore is broken down.  For instance, last week and this week we will be cleaning out the refrigerator.  The chores are simple and not a big deal.  The kids are easily able to pick one chore and do it each day,

2. Get outside and active daily.  Homeschooling has drastically decreased my stress but I am still needing something to reduce stress.  Nature/being outdoors is my fix (of course, sunshine is a big need and we have not seen much of the beautiful sun around NC lately).  I found that last year, I did not get outside as much.  When the kids were done with school, I would work on cleaning and getting dinner ready.  Over the past two weeks, I am focusing on getting outdoors and walking, hiking, running, biking or something active.  I won a copy of the Mountain Mermaid’s Daily Musings Book to journal my activities in.  I am loving it.  Journaling holds me accountable for my activity.

2014DailyMusings3D_web1

3. Eat more whole foods.  Last year I started purchasing more and more premade items out of convenience.  I am all about convenience, but I just need to rethink it.  I started with snacks.  My kids love granola bars and protein bars.  They sneak them all the time like they are candy.  The past two weeks, I purchased trail mix packs from Trader Joe’s with almonds, cashew, and chocolate chips.  They are a hit with everyone.  I found another trail mix pack this week with cranberries, almonds, and granola bites and white chocolate chips.  They are awesome too.  Of course, fruit and veggies are also an option.  A few new items are being added to the menu such as using spaghetti squash instead of pasta and keeping salad in the fridge for easy meals.  I will work on updating the recipe portion of my site soon!

So this is where I am going to start.  We are only three weeks into the new year, and so far all is going well.  The kids are working hard in their school work.  Everyone is helping out around the house-although some days there is still whining but for the most part, they don’t mind.  We hiked at Latta Plantation twice, played at the White Water Center, mountain biked at Fisher Farms and are planning to ski next week.  My plans are now out there-so hold me accountable!