Having an overarching plan for the year is something that I have never quite managed. I can never be sure how long my kids ‘passion of the moment’ will last …a hour, a day. a week, a month or longer.
As a result I tend to have overarching goals rather than exact plans – and I’ll try and put them here in some kind of logical order!
C will be working with his fabulous mentor/teacher Mr Gelston to develop his problem solving skills and maths intuition while covering the American maths curriculum (which looks an awful lot like the Australian curriculum), except for doing his currency and distance calculations in metric. Though as he has from an early age been able to easily convert between the two due to an early and constant obsession with Mythbusters. There has rarely been a Mythbusters free day in this household in the last 5 years. (J could say Adam and Jaime before mummy . . . sigh). My DH and I will also be encouraging him to do more esoteric maths with his fellow homeschoolers in our little ‘indoor’ events that we’ve organised with our Victorian Gifted / 2e Home Educators group.
It is a constant in this house. Not a day goes by without some science exploration. We have a chemistry cupboard well-stocked, and plan on creating a mini-vege garden and compost bin in the mini-garden we’ve got permission to develop (we live in a flat and are beautifying the neglected weed-infested back garden). He’ll also be doing programming fortnightly with a group of other 2e kids that should be a lot of fun. And I’ll be doing the usual strewing and following the rabbit trails wherever that leads.
This is in development for both kids. J is starting to write her numbers and letters, and we have a few apps for developing that at her pace. C struggles with neat handwriting, and we’ll probably be investing in a Dragon Naturally Speaking program this year so he can work on developing story-telling skills without the added struggle of neat (read legible) handwriting. I also plan on slowly introducing comprehension skills in concert with his OT. He also is going to start with a speech therapist this year to help with pronunciation.
As per last year, we’re using Rosetta Stone for Japanese. We’ll do this about once a week (I hope). It’s not a passion for the kids, but I know they love watching shows on Japanese cooking and Manga, so it’s a work in progress.
We’ve always incorporated arts and crafts into our routine. This is something J loves to do – cutting pasting, stickers and creating. So we’re fostering this with an open ‘craft cupboard’, except for the paint and glitter – those need an adult supervising, or the furniture and everything else gets coated! C isn’t fond of hands-on craft due to his CP and dyspraxia, but he loves drawing. So we have lots of paper, pencils and textas available for him to create his own drawings. This year we’re also incorporating choir into the routine, which should be fun. We also regularly go to places like the NGV and C will tolerate ‘mum’s choice’ TV shows on art and culture – but he remembers them none-the-less!
After last years binge on economics, politics, and geography, I’m not sure exactly what my boy is going to decide to study this year. But I’ll continue strewing interesting books and websites and doing ‘mum’s choice’ TV shows. We really love the SBS cooking shows for geography, as they’re great for introducing countries, they usually show maps of journeys and then they’ll talk about the lifestyle and cuisine of the people. Our globe is used very frequently, and C is still in love with maps – they’re still great bedtime reading apparently. . .
As we are relatively unschooly, I generally follow their lead, and so far this year there’s been a lot of gamification of learning – particularly maths and puzzle-solving games. We’ve even spent a bit of time creating out own versions of board games (which are also on heavy rotation here). Ticket to Ride and Unspeakable Words are two games C has recently recreated and tweaked. I’d be surprised if that didn’t form an important part of our homeschooling this year as well.
And that’s it for our plans so far. It will be interesting to see if we followed any of it in a year’s time!
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