That title might give you the impression that I am actually making lesson plans. Don’t be fooled. While I do go into each day with a general idea of what I want to accomplish for the day, I rarely have a written plan.
Now, let me say that one reason I can get away with no “real” lesson plans is because we are doing Kindergarten. Another reason is that I’ve intentionally kept these first several weeks to minimal curriculum because I knew we would be doing school in the Summer and then with a newborn. We’ve also only been doing 3 or 4 days of school each week. As we get further into the year and add/move to new curriculum it will require more planning on my part.
School started this week around here, and although we’ve been doing school for about 9 weeks already I thought it would be a good time to make a record of our learning choices.
My main goal for this first semester was to teach E to read. Well, guess what? She was reading well about 3 weeks into our official schooling. So, we’re trying to finish out Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and then we’ll probably move on to work that is more grammar and spelling based. I haven’t decided yet what books/curriculum we’ll use.
We are also reading a lot. I read to the kids, E reads to me, E reads to Matt, E reads to J & S (for as long as they will sit and listen to her), E reads to herself. I’m using Five in a Row for some learning ideas, but mainly for the list of books. I’ve been choosing one book that we read every day of our school week and talk about the story/pictures/morals/etc. I will continue this trend although we may move off of the FIAR list and to Caldecott winners. We also read at least 2 other books during our “official” school time. I want to start chapter books with E, but I’m trying to decide what books or series to begin with.
Bible currently consists of readings from The Jesus Storybook Bible, a memory verse (some weeks. need to get better about this.), singing, and prayer. I am anxiously awaiting the release of the curriculum to accompany the book, but I’m not sure whether it will be this Fall or not until the Spring. Once Bible Study Fellowship resumes (mid-September), we will use some of the Home Training guides and questions to guide our discussions. This will allow for reinforcement of the truths they are learning while we are at BSF. We also plan to begin learning the Westminster Children’s Catechism as a family, but that will probably wait until Baby M is at least a few weeks old.
Our math curriculum is Math-U-See Primer. I feel like it’s laid out kind of funny (in the first 13 lessons we’ve covered topics ranging from geometric shapes to place value to +1 addition, and then lesson 14 is counting to 20), but E seems to be doing well with it. Matt says the layout reminds him somewhat of Saxon math which we will probably use at some point in the future. A lot of the first several lessons was review for E, so we breezed through them pretty quickly; we might or might not move into the Alpha book later in the year depending on how she does with the remaining topics.
Writing practice has focused, thus far, on lower case letters and numbers (which she has a tendency to write backward). Once we complete Teach Your Child to Read, I’ll probably move to an actual handwriting “program” since she is definitely ready to write. She has also been doing some copywork off and on.
And, last but not least, is calendar time. I have a whole “calendar time” set up that I want to use, but I haven’t had the time or motivation to get it put together yet. Right now we are using a printed calendar and a 100 days of school chart. We sing a months of the year song and a days of the week song (mainly to help J learn these, E learned them in preschool last year) and then talk about what month it is, what day it is, the full date (day, month, date, year), how many days in a week, months in a year, etc. E colors the day on her 100 days of school chart.
Art, crafts, history, geography, and other subjects/topics are added in here and there as they relate to our main subjects or as E or J inquire about things.
That’s what we’re currently up to. I have some other ideas, but at this point we’ll wait until we have more of a feel for how Baby M is going to effect our days before introducing anything new.
All in all, it’s only minimally organized at this point, but we’re still getting a feel for what we’re doing and how/what things are going to work best for us.
Happy school year 2011-2012!