Friday, August 1, 2008

Oh yeah, Curriculum!

My friend Janet, who is a perfect model of a homeschooling mother, recently posted on her blog about her curriculum she's going to use this fall. She talked about how she has been researching for weeks now to find the best this and the best that for her kids. Her list was enough to make any elementary school teacher proud: it thoroughly covered every necessary subject while sounding fun and exciting and doable both for the kid and the mom.

As I read it I thought, "Wow, Janet! This is awesome!"

Then I thought, "Curriculum! Oh yeah, I need to think about curriculum!"

So I've been thinking about curriculum. My homeschool is not as structured as Janet's is, but one of the things we've been suffering from since my little Rabbit was born is a complete lack of structure. We've sort of been doing homeschool lessons here and there at odd times and places and Bean in particular suffers when there's a lack of structure.

So our primary homeschool curriculum for the fall of 2008 is to learn to live by a Routine. We are going to start getting up earlier. I will get up at 7 am. The kids will get up at 7:45. By 8:30 breakfast will be over, the dishes will be done, the diapers will be in the laundry, and we will be starting school. We are only going to do structured sit-down school for an hour. That means at 9:30, the time I've heretofore been getting out of bed, we will be finished with morning chores, breakfast, and school. Then the rest of the day can do whatever it wants or needs to. Ideally, we will continue to do educational things like go to the library, go on field trips, etc, but also I can go shopping, run errands, clean, have play dates, or whatever. It is critical to have time to do this in the morning because in my house everything falls apart after lunch and I'm simply can't expect to get anything done in the afternoons. So we won't. Then after dinner we'll have read-aloud time followed closely by bedtime and the boys at least will actually be in bed by 8:30.

Some people would probably think this sounds like too much and some would think it sounds like not nearly enough, but I'm excited about it because it's going to work for me and my kids and my family.

I took the boys' calendar and color-coded the days of the week. Each color is a different school subject. We're going to study math, reading, music, American geography, and science. Every morning when the kids wake up they will look at the calendar and see what color day it is and know what to expect. And every evening after they go to bed I will take a few minutes and plan the next day's lesson in my highly-organized homeschool notebook.

School starts Monday because I'm excited to get this going. They're excited too. I've promised them it's going to be fun.


Annalea said...

Birrd, this sounds awesome! It's the kind of schedule I've been trying to acheive for a while now. I'm off to email this to Miriam, as she and I were just discussing this kind of thing yesterday . . . please keep us posted, and remember that Rome wasn't conquered in a day . . . (and that little boys are viciously resistant to change . . . )

Abby said...

I wish I could home-school. I simply do not have the patience it takes to get everyone in one place let alone focused enough to learn. Yay for you!

Birrd said...

We've been doing the get up early and go to bed early part of the routine already this week and it's going well. The most wonderful thing has been the kids actually going to sleep before 11 pm because they're not allowed to sleep in until 10 am. Our new motto is "mind over mattress."

Rob said...

Good luck! We're about to start home schooling for the first time so you might see more of me or Taliatha with questions on the topic.