Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Scheduling: 11 Week Update

At the beginning of the school year I made out these gorgeous plans for the year. I am pleased to say they are still fairly close to what I need. Yeah!! I did however go in and tweak a couple of categories and how I allot our lessons throughout the week. As I have totally over scheduled us to be out of the house I have had to rethink what needs to be done together in the house and what G can do independently (in the car). I have also reexamined how I use some of our curriculum especially Math U See.

I have noticed that one of the factors for why I wanted to homeschool is missing… “Things Regular Classroom Teachers Only Wish They Had Time to Do”. We have been covering the basics and that is it. Now this is partially because our house is in shambles and there is no room to do the “ooh ahh” stuff as that kind of stuff usually takes up space. But I am about to get my dining room back and maybe that is why I am finally rethinking things.

Here are some of our major changes….

*Math U See

While I still love this curriculum, spending one school year and eleven weeks in the same text is getting to me, not G… me. So we will still be checking out what Mr. Demme has to say on his video, he has great tips, but we will be focusing on one fact each week and drilling it hard rather than using the fact family approach for subtraction which I am not into right now, I feel like it is slowing G down in his mastery. MUS does not explain the lessons as a fact families so the pages seem random to me. Oh, I’m rambling, sorry. Anyway, Mr. Demme says mastery is knowing the answer like you know your name. G understands the concepts of addition and subtraction, loves to make up his own story problems but just does not know them quick. So we will work on quick & rote.


I added this block to my spreadsheet. We will be using some of the of websites I have bookmarked as well as pulling out some of the software from my teaching days to our daily lessons. We will focus on these on our two busiest, tiring Vanschool days. So far we have used Study Dog, Math Blaster, and Jumpstart Pet Playground.

We also started this week using Book Adventure. Book Adventure is a site I used in my classroom which is run by Sylvan. It contains quizzes for thousands of books much like Accelerated Reader. Students earn points for the quizzes and then redeem them for prizes from sponsors or you. We are starting with our Junie B Jones Audiobooks. We know these stories by heart but G is re-listening to a story then taking the quiz. He got 100% on the first quiz. The questions are multiple choice but I read the question and he spit out the answer before I could even read him the choices. That a boy!

*Nature Study

I nixed that block off of my spread sheet. We marvel at nature and the world around us when ever we step out of the door but dedicating time to it is just not happening. So rather than having that blank space mock me in the face week after week, reminding me of what I am not doing… out it goes.


I replaced the Music block with a Piano block. It reminds me to take him to Mamaw’s to practice as well as look up the current composer they are talking about so I can find a CD to play in the van. I dropped any original plans for music because the boy is in some sort of music class 3 days a week.


Art became Arts & Crafts. This block still nags at me weekly with its blankness but I am getting more excited to fill it because G really enjoys activities others set out for him. He should be the artsyiest kid around since his mom was an art teacher in a former life but no he does know squat. I don’t know what we are doing yet but I plan to fill in those pesky blocks more often this 9 weeks.

*Language Arts

Language Arts changed to Language Arts Focus. It is a small name change but reminds me of what theme to look for in our copywork.

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