Wednesday, August 03, 2011

My plan for easing into the new schoolyear

(Our schoolroom at the beginning of last fall. It hasn't been that tidy since!)

Can I tell you how grateful I am that I spent a chunk of time in the spring choosing books and ordering curriculum for this year?

So, that aspect of my planning is finished (through about February, when I'll want to dive in and mix things up a bit). However, because we have so much left to do with the remodel, we're not quite ready just to jump in. This is my plan to make the transition a little more sane.

1. Take it slowly.

As much as I would love to finish the kitchen COMPLETELY on Friday, and be ready for a super-special, fully-routinized First Day of Homeschool on Monday, that's just not going to happen. And it's probably not necessary or realistic to expect the boys to switch gears that fast. They've been on their own a lot this summer, entertaining themselves and re-learning to get along with each other without my help. Suddenly having my full-time attention (and the expectations I can't hide) would probably put them into shock. Instead, I want to engage them in getting the house set up for living and learning again so they feel part of the process.

2. Have a Homeschool Date with each boy to talk about... their strengths, interests, things they want to do, what they want to learn this year, what they need most from me, what I want to see from them.

4. Clean up the schoolroom Room of Requirement so the boys have a place to play and work while the other living areas get put back together. Move big furniture back into the house when the floors are finished. Organize bookshelves, hang pictures, etc. Find a way to make breakfast until we have kitchen counters again.

5. Start getting to sleep earlier so we Mommy can wake up with Daddy, and we can start our day together by 8.

All summer, we've been wandering over to my parents' house at random times for breakfast each morning, each of us on our own wake-up schedule. It's been lovely to have that time to visit with my mom before she leaves for work at 9. But in a few weeks (God-willing) we'll be able to have breakfast at home again, and (I've warned the boys) mornings will be t.v.-free.

6. Create a new routine that works for each boy, and includes time for reading alone, reading together, working with me at the table, music practice, and time outside.

7. Focus on character and habits, and let academic subjects follow in importance.

8. (First in importance!) Pray over each child and for the schoolyear, asking the Lord to lead me in the direction He has for us as I work out plans for our homeschool.


Lisa said...

Sounds like a good, well thought out plan. I'm bad about setting impossible deadlines, and feeling bad when we don't make them.
I love the idea of making a date with each kiddo to discuss goals and interests. That's awesome.

mandi said...

Oh Amanda- this is such a good list! I love your dates with the boys. We are definitely on a slow train towards homeschool this year too. No reason really. Just the way it has panned out.

ps- The "room of requirements" is great! Perfect name for the school room!

Deb said...

Is the notion of desks new? My kids, who have always schooled mostly at the kitchen table, but all over the house, are all of a sudden wanting desks. I'm not sure how I feel about facing them all away from one another into walls. What are your thoughts?

Cruse Muse said...

We plan to start next Mon as well. I am sortin books and maps etc. I am a little disoranized feelin (can you tell wat keyboard letters I dont ave?) We will probably be forced to ease in. No excuse Just laziness.

I like te idea of meetin wit eac.

Mandy said...

We have really similar ideas Amanda.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of a homeschool date & praying over each child. Thanks for sharing your list!

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