Monday, November 28, 2011

Still Planning

I woke up this morning still uncertain as to how to proceed with our homeschool year, and thus spent the morning pouring over all the resources I have trying to puzzle it out.

Here are some of our main issues:

Live Education is at times uninspiring and very geared to the classroom vs. homeschool. I thought the boys would love the Mineralogy block because they love rocks and the things that make rocks such as volcanoes. But the block was mostly drawing and writing and they've hated what we've done so far.

The boys know a lot of ancient Greek history, leaving me uncertain as to whether or not we should do the second half of the block.  Comparing a variety of Waldorf curricula it seems that Live Education is the only one that includes Greece in grade 6.

Roman History: my boys also know a lot of Roman History, having gone through When the World was Rome with Papa. I'm thinking of shortening the block and making it very experiential to help the seeds that have already been planted grow.

Math: how to proceed, how to fill in the holes in their math education, how to build math confidence.

Writing: same issues as with math.

So ... I think I have a new plan:

We won't finish Mineralogy as a block; we'll continue to explore the subject more organically. We have several great books and guides plus a plethora of rock samples.

We won't do the second block on Ancient Greece.

We will combine both Roman History blocks into one block, placing a focus on experiential learning vs. typical classroom learning.

We'll do a math main lesson block for the next 2 - 3 weeks (using Making Math Meaningful), then move new math learning to Thursday afternoons (taking the time slot previously allotted to completing any unfinished lesson work). Math practice will still happen daily, and the boys will use Life of Fred on their own. We'll keep the Geometrical Drawing block but will move it to February.

We'll keep the Physics, Astronomy, and Middle Ages blocks as planned. However, I need to evaluate what to do with the astronomy block as again, my boys (J-Baby in particular) have spent countless hours reading about astronomy, watching astronomy documentaries (okay, not countless hours there, but more than one or two), and looking at the night sky.

We'll add in a World Geography block as most of the other resources I have suggest this in grade 6, although Live Education doesn't.

Our Tuesday Literature lesson will have a stronger focus on writing; I will decrease the main lesson writing accordingly. In addition, the boys will resume daily journal writing (which I will not correct, but will use as a tool to help me see where more writing instruction is needed).

We'll see how it all goes. This is generally the time of year that they really want a more relaxed homeschooling / unschooling experience so I am going against their rhythm a bit, but I think I can draw them in.

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