Is it really possible? Is the end of summer vacation already upon us? Wasn’t it JUST FEBRUARY??? Well, whether I like it (or am ready) or not, it is now Labor Day, and that means that homeschool is back in session for real. While we did continue to work over the summer, it was on extracurricular interests and at a more laid-back pace. But now it’s time to pull out the “real” curriculum and get to work on this year’s goals!
Speaking of goals, I’m actually, well, MAKING then this year! Since I’m responsible, in whole or in part, for the education of six children this year, I need to be much more goal-oriented. I picked up a WONDERFUL homeschool planner this year which has space, amazingly enough, to plan the year for six kids. I took that as a sign. It’s called The Ultimate Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell, and while it required hours of work to get it ready for use, I’m finding it to be very helpful. It includes space to make goals for the kids…and also for myself. Curious what I put down for myself? Here it is:
- Actively work on purging possessions I don’t need.
- Have quiet time every day, even if I’m tired.
- Take criticism with grace.
- Plan and prepare healthy meals for my family.
- Stay on top of deadlines and complete tasks early.
- Make time on a regular basis to get outside and move around.
Yeah…I have a lot of growing to do this year. But that’s okay. I put these goals up in my house and that way I’ll remember to work on them and also remember that I’ve made progress toward something every time I follow through with a goal. Nothing like success to breed success!
Goals for the kiddos vary, obviously, since they’re all so different. Here’s a sampling:
- Character Goals:
- Learn to not give up when they make a mistake or things get hard.
- Be respectful and cooperative (I’m elaborating on this one in a future post, so watch for it!)
- Improve personal responsibility in getting chores done without nagging.
- Use appropriate vocal volume.
- Academic Goals:
- Complete at least 80% of work independently.
- Read smoothly and with confidence.
- Learn to write neatly in cursive.
- Be able to read aloud with comprehension.
I have, as I mentioned, six kids to work with this year. I’m fully teaching kids in grades 1, 3, 5, and 8. I’m partially teaching (history and science only) kids in grades 1 and 2. As you can imagine, selecting curriculum was complicated, but here’s what we (I worked with the parents AND the kids to make the choices) ended up selecting:
- Girl, grade 8: She’s fallen behind over the years and is determined to catch up to her grade level this year.
- Boy, Grade 5: He’s fantastic in the sciences and has a wonderful memory, but he’s dyslexic and still struggles with reading.
- Boy, Grade 3: He is a lazy reader and makes a lot of errors, so we’re going back to basics to make sure we’ve filled all the holes.
- Boy, Grade 1: Time to learn to read!
- Girl, Grade 2: She’s right on target in most academic areas, but her comprehension and narration skills need work.
- Girl, Grade 1: We’re working on behavior this year, as well as trying to improve overall comprehension and retention of information.
As you may recall from my earlier posts, I homeschool the first four kiddos in person and the last two via Skype, since they’re out of state. As a result, the way I approach the schooling is very different. Still, both methods are a lot of fun and result in so much awesome learning!
I am so excited for this school year, although I admit to a little apprehension. All this plus working full-time and taking care of my own family? When will I sleep??? Follow along to see how it goes for me. I look forward to hearing about your homeschool challenges and successes, too! Here’s to a great 2017-2018 school year!