Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Plans and Goals of the new school year.... homeschooling our way.

I have been thinking a lot lately about our style of homeschooling... I don't even know what I would call ours.  I find so many different styles fascinating. One style I am not, is super strict. Due to working part time I have had to learn to be very flexible. I don't believe I have to create school at home.  Yes we do the three r's.But there are many ways to accomplish the 3 r's then in a sit down school environment.  I love when she has such a love for learning that she starts to look up stuff on her own, or watch history type shows or just picks up a book to start reading.  I love the nature based creative part of Waldorf style, the imagination part of waldorf, working with the child at her level of development,  the hands on approach of Montessori, the copy work and living books of Charlotte Mason style and doing unit style studies tying everything into one. (I don't think I explained Waldorf that well)  But I do love the natural part of its learning method, to bring rhythm into our daily lives.

So here is my goal for the 2014-2015 school year grade 4:

For me to be more relaxed in our approach. To not compare everything to what others or public school are doing. For Samantha to complete fourth grade with the skills of a fourth grader.  To foster the love of learning beyond the text books.  To bring the outdoors more into our schooling.  To embrace who Samantha is and and help her mature into who she is meant to be not who I thought she would be.  To show compassion for her struggles. To adjust to her learning style not enforce what others think it should be.  To bring more hands on learning experiences to Samantha's day. To keep looking outside the box more.  To keep the wonder and magical part of her life in our every day lives longer because before I know it she will be grown. To keep God a big part of our daily lives. To help Samantha to be kind and compassionate.

So here is a schedule I hope to follow loosely.

Monday- Five in a Row, math, spelling, Grammar, science and history (Heart of Dakota).  get out into nature
Tuesday- (hockey season time) Homeschool skating time, FIAR, math, spelling, grammar, Heart of Dakota, get into nature- when homeschool skate is not in session to use that time to explore something like yoga for children or some form of physical fun activity.
Wednesday- Spindle City Co-op science class, Math, Spelling, Grammar, music,  get out into nature
Thursday- FIAR, Math, Spelling, Grammar, Heart of Dakota, Health, History project, get out into nature
Friday- FIAR, math, spelling, grammar, Heart of Dakota, States learning.  get outside

My ideas of getting out of the house and into nature more:
doing school work outside in our backyard, doing a nature hunt in the woods, go to the beach, go bird watching, nighttime star gaze, art projects using nature things to make creations, bring school work to the park, woods or beach, go to the playground, study nature, or simply just get outdoors and enjoy it.  Enjoy each season for what it brings to our lives.

History project: in history she started learning about people immigrating to America. She is going to research her roots and do a mini report on it, trace our ancestors travels on a map, learn about the culture she is a part of, cook a meal from one of her nationalities. There is so much more I will add to this. I plan on it being at least a 4 month project.  I want a poster board done with her drawings of anything to do with our ancestry.  My mother has already done a book on some of her side of the family ancestry. This will make some of it easier for Samantha, I want a timeline for one branch of our ancestry. I expect her work to be done at her level.

Art & Gym- Heart of Dakota does art woven into the history. I might add some hands on projects like learning to weave, knitting, kite making, wood building(with Daddy) sewing, embroidering, and well other fun things I can think of.
Gym is all her physical activities- baton, ice skating, running around, and gym class at Calvary bible church.

I will also look into other opportunities like she had last year. Sam visited my great Uncle in the nursing home weekly. Well he has passed on. I need to find something else to help her keep on learning compassion and kindness.  Maybe some kind of volunteering opportunities.

I know this all seems like a lot but when you actually break it all down its doesn't take too much time to complete. Her spelling curriculum said it shouldn't take her more then 10 minutes for the written part of the work.  Some things aren't done every day.  Heart of Dakota we only follow the history, science, geography and art portion of it.  That doesn't take long as you don't do all each day... science is each day and some part of history is each day.  Some things like reading is done on her own time.

I am sure I will add to this and take things away.  But this is my goals.  Once school starts up again for us I will do a few post of this ... a day in the life of our homeschool .... I will try to document each day once a week through out the first month of school.

Stay tuned for Samantha's view of our goals and what her goals will be

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