Monday, May 31, 2010

The planning of a school year....

I do well with my beginning of the school year planning. It is one of my most favorite things about homeschooling! We start off with a bang, 110%, full speed ahead, and have a lot of our learning finished by Christmas. It's great! Then we have always taken the last part of the year a good bit easier, ha ha. Maybe we can keep the momentum going the entire year this year. My plans in the past have always included curriculum and daily schedule. This year I have plotted out our entire year with science, social studies, and art. Instead of doing each of those one day a week or so, we are going to do alternating units, with science every day for 4-5 weeks, then moving to another area for a while. Hopefully this will help me stay motivated in these subjects since these are the areas that I usually end up not doing so much with as the year goes on. I just feel like a lot of history will be retaught in later grades anyway and it doesn't interest me very much. Science has always been too high maintenance with gathering supplies to do fun stuff. My curriculum choice this year came with every last thing I would need for any of the experiments, so I have no excuses! ha ha! So here is how our year is looking:

Science Unit on Birds from our science curriculum,
field trip to Chattahoochee Nature Center

Art, field trip to Booth Western Art Museum on free night.

2 weeks of health and safety, 2 week study of castles, knights, queens, etc.
I had four weeks of health here but decided that was too long so I gave the kids a chance to pick something to study and this is what they chose. I have found some neat lapbook ideas for the topic that will be fun to do together.

American History
I have a textbook for this, and we will probably find some books from the library, and hopefully a fun lapbook to do as well. Maybe a visit to the Atlanta History Center.

Magnetism Unit from our Science Curriculum.

Christmas Projects
I need to go ahead and start researching this. I am not sure exactly what we will do, but probably some sort of gift-making, baking, and study of Christmas celebrations around the world. We also plan to go the Back to Bethlehem village again.

More Social Studies, history, and maps.
Maps are one of the earliest tested skills on standardized tests for social studies. Not until third grade, but they are fun, so we'll find something to learn that skill with, maybe a lapbook.
There are lapbooks for everything!

Astronomy Unit from our science curriculum.
I had planned on doing this unit first, but realized that summer would be a difficult time to observe the moon with it being daylight so late. I moved it here. It will be cold at night, but we should be able to get some good views of the moon and stars this time of year.
The Tellus Museum would be a good field trip.

Art. I hope we can visit the High Museum for a field trip.

I don't have anything planned for April. I plan to test Katie at the end of this next school year so we will be preparing for that, finishing up whatever core stuff we need to do to be ready.
If everything goes according to the plan, we will be finished with school at the end of April.

Part of their art curriculum includes displaying their work, so I plan on doing an "art show" for the grandparents, perhaps including some other friends in the show too if they want. We are going to do better on the music lessons this year too. That will be a year round activity.

I love having a plan! I am very excited about the all inclusive science stuff as well. It's not that I don't enjoy experiments, but I am just not good at gathering supplies for them.

Our daily schedule is the same as last year. I didn't really change anything expect a couple of format things before printing them out for the year.

We purchased all of our curriculum back in February, which has been great to not have to worry about. We only have a few things to get now...

1. a pencil sharpener!
my life is madness with the sharpening right now! ugh!

2. music books
a must. neat that they have this "all in one" book now!

3. physical fitness video for the kids
yes, it may sound silly, but my kids love to try and do my workout videos with me.
I wondered if there was something specially made for kids, and of course there are tons out there, so I want to get one just for them. I think (hope) they will love it!


Karen said...

Sounds very well planned...

I can't wait for an art show...and we can get those music books for them...

Becky said...

Looking forward to the art show.

Erin said...

I love to see other people's planning ideas... I am needing to get myself going on planning for this coming year, our first year of homeschooling! Seeing other people's ideas and plans is motivating! Sounds like you have a wide array of things planned for a fun year!