Monday, 2 January 2012

Homeschool 2012 Outlook

It has been almost 1 year since we started homeschooling Aislin and we are loving it. I noticed that during December we were having issues staying on track and the whole schooling thing was just not fun anymore. I also started having my own issues with staying on track and getting anything done.  Part of it was that it was getting close to Christmas and the other part was that I just didn’t seem to have a schedule and it was really easy to goof off.  In order to rise above the rut, meet our schooling goals, and have fun again I am revamping our homeschool routine.  We are going to do more fun games more breaks where outdoor fun is on the menu, and we are going to use a schedule book.

I could have gone out and bought a premade schedule book, but it was much more fun to make one.  I got to use some of my scrapbooking paper stash, made cute cards to stick on each page, and was able to be crafty.  There is a page for everyday of the school week, mini cards that have the activities or lessons we are going to do, and it spiral bound.  I set it up in a weekly format so that I could set it up each Sunday and not have to worry about redoing it every night. I think it looks pretty cool, and it seems like it should help keeping us on track as long as we use it! Aislin also seems very motivated to use it, so that should be half the battle taken care of.

In order to incorporate more fun into our homeschooling lives I decided we are going to do more learning through play. Does that mean that we are not going to do our worksheets, required readings, or curriculum? Nope. It means that we are going to do those, but when I can I will add a game that teaches the lesson in a fun and innovative way.  For example, I prepped the other night for our weekly science lesson, and I noticed that the first week we were going to work on classifying as it relates to Biology.  So, yesterday, I packed up Stephen, the Little Monster and Aislin and we went off to the beach to pick up flotsam and jetsam so that we can classify what we found our beach instead of boring household objects. Aislin had a great time, we examined sea urchins in various stages of decay, found loads of stuff to classify, AND spent quality time together – BONUS!!

Flotsam and Jetsam we found at the beach.
I also found some great paint chip word games for spelling online, floating math addition games, construction projects that will give Aislin a better sense of measurement, creative ways to experience history, and some great cooking experiments to help all of us have more fun and keep the learning going on.   Above all, since I have to keep the schedule book in order every week, I need to prep for school the week before – sort of like my past life as a teacher – that way I can figure out where to stick games, and fun in so school becomes FUN again.  With all these changes, schooling should be fun again without loosing productivity, and I should be able to keep us on track. 

Our basic academic challenges this first half of 2012 is to have Aislin master her spelling rules, and master multiplication facts up to 6.  Stephen’s goal in math for Aislin is to not have her counting on her fingers at all, which means rote memorization but I will make it fun – I hope.  As for the other subjects, her reading and her comprehension are great so I am not worried about that at all.  Social studies and history are fun for her, and she LOVES science.  I do want Aislin reading and writing in Spanish by June so that might take a little work, but we are starting a new program called PowerSpeak and it seems like between me and PowerSpeak, that goal should be easily met.

Here’s to a fun filled 2012!

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