Wednesday, September 5, 2012

the education plan

I started toying with the idea of "homeschooling" a few years ago when a good friend handed me a copy of John Taylor Gatto's Dumbing us Down and, indeed, creating an atmosphere of learning and exploration in our home as always been one of our priorities. But this is the first year I actually attempted to put together a plan. A real plan. You know, like a schedule. With a "curriculum". With just a few months until she turns five, I figured it was time to implement some kindergarten-type programming. And with the twins set to make their appearance in a month or two, I want to make sure I'm prepared now! So there has been a lot of time spent at the computer researching different methodologies (Charlotte Mason, Unschooling, Montessori, Classical etc.) and subject programs and one thing I've learned is that I still have a LOT to learn. There are many books about home education on my to-read list and many people on my to-consult-with list. Overwhelming for sure, but quite exciting.

I tend to over-compensate in my planning - aiming to be more ambitious than may be practical (you should see our travel itineraries!). But I thought I would share some of the things I've put together here, in hopes that either:
1. someone out there with more knowledge and experience can provide some input/opinions/suggestions about some my approaches and choices and
2. perhaps it will be helpful or even inspirational to someone out there who is beginning on this journey, like me.

So here it is:

Home Learning Checklist
* Scripture & meditation
* Exercise
* Feed rabbit
* Letter writing
* Foreign Language activity
* Math worksheet
* Reading
* Music (piano/violin) practice
* Playtime

Weekly Checklist:
* Nature Walk
* Museum Visit
* Art Project
* Library Visit
* Tai Kwon Do class
* Ballet class
* Kind Act/ Service
* Book report

math games

Literature of choice



Flashcards, music, Hiragana practice, Picture Dictionary, DVD

letter writing (daily)
blogging & journaling
book reports (weekly)

Story of the World,Volume 1 with Activity Book

weekly nature walk 
occasional experiments and projects (1 per month)

piano & violin lessons

drawing class 
recommended list for grade 1 from Concordia University Chicago
Artist study and museum attendance (1 per month)

Physical Ed
weekly ballet class
weekly Home Do (tai kwon do)
daily outdoor play 

daily scripture study

When I look at it all, it can seem overwhelming, but I honestly think our daily and weekly schedule of activities is quite do-able. We been doing it for a few days now and find that we can generally complete our daily checklist in under an hour, not including exercise and playtime, which thankfully fills the majority of our day, along with cooking, crafting, gardening and the like. And Mayumi loves being able to check off the items on her list.

The list of resources are meant to be a guideline for me, not necessarily what we will cover entirely this year (but one can be hopeful, yes?). Many of the books we don't actually have on our possession just yet (we are still debating whether we need all those math programs right now and whether we even want to delve into Latin at all). But they are paths I want to research and possibly pursue. All the while keeping in mind that we may veer off course completely if Mayumi show an interest in something completely different. 

And there you have it. A plan. A structure, a framework, a bit of organization to our days. Phew!


Kumi said...

I have a headache.

Tanya S. said...

I like your plan! I thought this post had a great idea for organizing and tracking lessons:

Just adapt it to your own checklist.

[Note: No, I have no kids. But I had planned to homeschool, so had read a lot and even picked favorite approaches. I still can't seem to let it go, even though children are clearly not in my future :-)]

Kim said...

I am reading Gatto's book now; it's a good one.
Looks like you've got a good plan and that's how it starts right? Gotta have a plan so you can...change plans! So glad to hear that Mayumi is loving learning. We've started working some writing and math time into our days, as well as the usual reading that we've always done, but I plan to start a more formalized schedule soon...maybe springtime, after I get more of a handle on our new surroundings and this new baby coming :)
Thanks for sharing your plans, I'll remember this so I can reference it once I get a little more organized.

MamaQ said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I love the changing of the seasons and the opportunity it offers for introspection and re-evaluating - rediscovering what my role is in this little family of ours that is about to become much bigger in a few weeks (as you know we're looking forward to the arrival of our twin boys!). As usual I tend towards the more grandiose intentions, like this education plan for Mayumi. I am grateful for a framework but a bit overwhelmed at the idea of covering everything, and then I had the realization that the plan is there as a backbone, but we will be flexible and accommodating to what Maya's needs are in the moment - not what is outlined in her "curriculum". Afterall, that is why she is home with me! Her most important job is to play and hopefully the learning will come through that. She has plenty of time to work on her "lessons" as she gets older, right?

Ye Stewart Clan said...

When I started researching homeschooling I was overwhelmed by all the different methods.