Tuesday, January 18, 2011

School schedule

We have a new school schedule. I am not 100 % sure that the kids will love it, but as the teacher I honestly do not care. We have learned that with Frank gone, we are falling behind in a lot of areas. We get the essentials done, school, animal care, the house is at least clean enough to be safe, we are fed, we are warm. But oh we are running late! So I have started getting up much earlier, and now I am ready to get them up earlier. This took me a few days of having time alone, getting the house reorganized and getting the schedule made up.

Homeschool doesnt take more than 2 hours per day in most cases, at this grade level. They are in 3rd and 4th grade. Some things can be done by themselves, things like handwriting and copying spelling words. I still have to quiz them on the words, and check handwriting/circle incorrect things or things that need to be written again.

This is one of our 3 boards, we dont use this one for presentation or board work. It is for scheduling only. I already changed the board for tomorrow, as by 10 this morning they were done with all but the last 2 items. We started at 8 and that included half hr music for each. They will be done by 11 with everything. The laminated sheets magneted to the board, show what will be done each weekday. So we do science 3 days a wk, geography 3 days a wk and a game daily along with our school work. I added on some things in wipe off marker because thats the point of a laminated schedule.

The kids will now get up at 7:30 everyday and they have a sheet on the refridgerator which is now memorized.

Eat breakfast and clean up from breakfast
Make your bed
Dress in day clothes
Clean up your laundry/clean and dirty
Brush your teeth and hair
Start your board work

This is working well. They can both read the board and get started. Some things they have to do opposite of each other, like map labeling. Whatever map we are on, is a laminated sheet. I printed off maps from this website and laminated them. We have one for each map that is filled in, and one that is blank so they study and fill in until they are ready to do it without the filled in one. This saves paper, I have less things to stack up and decide keep or not keep. Their spelling book is a text so it isnt a workbook, they each have a notebook that their words are written out in, but they have to take turns. The spelling text is hard to pore over together.

They are in the same grade in everything but reading. History, science and geography are all considered unit studies. As they are so close in grades they move together in these studies. Spelling is the same, because Nathalie is a strong speller and Tad is not. Handwriting is also the same, because they are both practicing. They know how to write, so its not learning anymore just honing their skills.

They are in the same grade in math because Tad is in the 4th grade in math, and Nathalie is in 3rd grade this year but is well ahead in math so is also in 4th. They are doing fractions right now which is simple and fun.

Nathalie is in early 3rd in reading because she is catching up still, she was a slow start on reading. Tad is comfortably reading at a 9th grade level in his head, though stumbles in 6th+ grade level books when reading aloud. Sometimes he stumbles when reading his grammer aloud and that is 4th grade. That is what we are working on this year for him in reading, ability to read aloud smoothly. His comprehension and speed are so good now we really dont go over those, he just does a graded book report for every book he reads and that gives me a good idea of his comprehension. Also that solidifies good handwriting, spelling and proper sentence and paragraph structure.

We do music theory 2 times a week, music practice 7 days a wk and music lesson 1 time a wk. We also do 4h which is fun, but we are going to be more involved that I had planned. I enjoy it, I like the other parents/families and the kids have made some good friends both homeschooled and not. They did their first 4h presentation at the judged model meeting Saturday and apparently, did very well. They were complimented by the judges, leaders and parents for the rest of the day! We went bowling with the group and had a great time. They will do another presentation in Feb. They are clearly not shy or embarrassed and lack no confidence, which was a big surprise to several parents. Its a misconception that homeschooled children lack in social skills or confidence.

So thats our week in school, and we will continue to stick to this schedule. We have to fit in a library day every 2 wks, trip to recycling center (both this afternoon) and once a month knitting guild meetings! Oh and all of our work around here, 4h projects for next years fair...and a whole bunch of other stuff!

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