Sunday, June 7, 2015

Tomorrow We Start

After years of thinking about it and preparing for it, the time has come.

Tomorrow we're going to start school.  For. Real.

I wasn't planning on beginning for a few more weeks.  But then I realized that I could either spend the next few weeks doing more (unnecessary) planning, or I could just start.

I'm terrified.  Not really terrified of the actual school part.  More like terrified that I'll never have a clean house again.  Or that I will be up till midnight doing laundry.  (Hey, maybe if that happens, I'll finally get a chance to watch When Calls the Heart on Netflix!)  Or that we'll never have homemade chocolate chip cookies in the house (a real crisis).  Or that I will give up on the cool learning things because I'm stressed out that we've fallen behind in math.

So I finally decided to just start.  We're going to homeschool year-round, which means that I have 52 weeks to complete 36 weeks of school.  I can do it.  I can do it.  I can do it.

And all those amazing homeschool super-moms who are teaching 5 kids right now are shaking their head.

I know.  I'm a wimp.  I'm a pathetic scaredy-cat wimp.

But.  I can say one thing.

I'm organized.  I'm sure this will last for all of the first couple days, but I can still say I started out organized.  I have a large binder containing my plans for the year.  I've got the full year planned out in Science and History.  I have 13 weeks planned out for Math.  I've got a different Song of the Week planned for every week.  I've got 10 academic goals, as well as a list of things I want to work on in habit development and a list of books I want to read.

I got this cool idea from this great blog and adapted it to fit our schedule.  Hopefully this will help keep me on track.  (*If you want to copy it, those awesome little boxes can be made by pressing "q" in the Wingdings font.)

In case I forget what I'm supposed to do each day, I've got a detailed cheat sheet.

And I've got my week laid out in an easy-to-read format.

I plan to start Ambleside Online next year, starting in first grade.  That will mostly be read-alouds with only short math, phonics, and handwriting lessons.  I had already purchased my kindergarten curriculum before I discovered AO, so we're going to go with it for this year.  However, I will be gently trying to introduce key elements of AO into our kindergarten year so as to be better prepared for next year.

I'm going to start teaching narration, which is having the student repeat back to the teacher what he or she heard from what was being read aloud.  I want to introduce poetry and nature study and maybe a little foreign language.  And I plan to keep it all very short.

Sing songs.  Read books.  Do a little memorization, a little math, and a little phonics.  It won't be so bad.  If we end up not getting science, history, or logic done, who cares.

See there, Self?  You have nothing to worry about.

Except maybe going broke from all the books I want to buy...

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