Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

I'm thinking more and more about the transition in thenext couple of weeks back to routine. There are a few things we have done over the years to help make the September transition a better one.

I try to have everything I need for school, not just curriculum, but school supplies and a well-stocked pantry too. I have a bookshelf in the kitchen that I keep all the curriculum on so that we can easily grab what we need as we go through the day. I like the idea of a dedicated space for home schooling rather than using the kitchen table but our house doesn't allow for that right now, and one advantage of using the kitchen table is that I do have to clear it all off at least three times a day.

The first day of school, I try to schedule something fun. This year our support group is having a Not-Back-to-School picnic. Other years, we have gone out for breakfast or booked a field trip. One year we went shopping for some of the fun supplies like craft materials and new books just to read for fun.

We don't then get up the next day and start in on the whole stack of books. Day two there will be a math lesson, some reading aloud, a glance through the history curriculum, and some kindof educational game. I'll add in more subjects as the days go by, and by the end of week two, we should be doing most things daily.

I try to schedule the recreational things as well, even if it is not a rigid schedule. Last year, I managed to take Hannah swimming once a week quite consistently. We try to have a regular library day. I would like to plan a non-academic day each month when we could spend most of the day workingon craft projects. I value those parts of "school" too, but if they aren'ta t least somewhat booked, they don't happen.

I don't do a lot of record keeping. I ask Hannah to put the date on her work so that I can flip back through things and see whether we're being consistent. Our Sonlight curriculum includes intructor's guides that also help with consistency. Other than that, I try to write down weekly what page we are on in each book just so that I know how far we're getting and whether there's a subject we're lagging in.

More about all of this soon!

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