Sunday, July 5, 2009
I just put up the first part of the syllabus for Year 1 over on my sidebar. It's only got the overview and the first week so far, but I learned while writing some of these syllabi more recently that once you have the basic routine down you just have to repeat with variations. Writing out lesson plans helps me in somewhat the same way as writing and re-writing notes used to help me when I was studying in college. It helps me see the underlying order of the method. So that is what makes it worthwhile to me, though it does take time.
Now, I am planning to start this with them during this summer. This is because (1) it will give me time to troubleshoot and tweak before we start "for real" and (2) little kids this age need some regular input and this gives me a way to do it. Both have shown readiness to learn and I don't want to ruin that with something too heavy-handed. Fortunately most of the resources I've chosen are orally-based and interactive which I think will be good for my talkative 6 year old and in-need-of-speech-remediation 10 year old.
I liked the way Little Owl Learning presented Summer Homeschooling Plans and am going to borrow the format. My Year 1 boys are Paddy, age 6.5, and Aidan, age 10.
First Communion Preparation. ... make a notebook. Also see here. Here's what Meredith's son did. Here's a beautiful curriculum outline with notebook pages.
We're going to start using MEP Year 1. I took the trouble to write out my own lesson plans for the first week based on theirs but adapted for 2 small learners instead of a classful. It took a long time but was helpful in giving me an idea of the "method". Basically there's a lot of language learning in there and auditory and visual training. The material itself is below the boys' level, particularly Paddy's. So I will have short supplementary activities geared around their own ability level.
This is my word for all language studies. I am using First Language Lessons and Spell to Write and Read as idea sources. Paddy can read on a 2nd-4th grade level. But I want to work on spelling and writing and decoding with him. Aidan can read on a primer level. Ditto. These resources can carry us through the next 2 years at least. They are both still in the basic letter formation stage of handwriting. I hope to get them able to write words at least, or short sentences, by the end of this year.
Comprises directed reading and free reading in history, religion, science and fiction -- from Ambleside Year 1 and various Year 0 resources for Aidan. Also poetry and Tales from Shakespeare. We will read, and use the narration ideas from these cards.
Habits and Skills
I'm going to have this category for whatever we need to work on -- keep a running list.
Serendipity has ideas for art projects based on language arts and math as well as other things.
And then there's the workboxes! What I'll probably have to do is look at what we're covering and then brainstorm activities to put into the boxes that they can do when I'm otherwise occupied.
What I'm thinking is that the workboxes can be the "do the next thing" visual/spatial organization for whatever projects we happen to be working on. Rather than just subject headings I can have "First Communion" "Noun Booklet" "Numbers" "Outdoor Hour Challenge" etc. My fall-down isn't usually getting to the "dailies" but rather, in seeing through complex, multi-part projects. Hey! Maybe I CAN use this! : D Maybe I need my OWN set of workboxes! LOL.
All in all, I'm looking forward to this year! I love working with my little ones and they seem very ready to do some more continuous learning, rather than the unschooly patchwork which suited them so well in their younger years. And seeing some regular academics will reassure all the doctors, therapists and other interested spectators with regard to Aidan. Definitely my primary motive isn't keeping our overseers in their academic comfort zone, but I don't mind doing it if works with everything else!!
One tricky bit is that I'm going to be driving my community college student down to town 2-3 a week until he gets enough driving hours so I feel comfortable with him driving down on his own. Fortunately we still have the earlier part of the morning, but I can see we'll have to hit the ground running in order to get things done.
On the other hand, I don't think there's anything in the lesson plans that will take a LOT of time.