Lessons from Last Year

Have a plan for the full twelve months sorted out.
In advance.

Don’t try to do a few months at a time because small people and life in general will interfere with any feeble attempts to catch up and plan as you go.  And then your head can begin to spin.

If you’ve been doing this home ed thing for a while, please don’t laugh at me, I’ve learned my lesson.  What we need around here is some background structure, with associated goals and aims but not rigid “at school” days.  Otherwise I’m as well to send them packing to the local primary school.

In fairness, I did have a set of goals, but they weren’t easily visible and revised by me every day, or week.  Eeek!
Don’t fret about my kids though, they still learned heaps.  Miss Oh is definitely on a par with her schooled peers in both mathematics and reading – while spending much less time on it.  Master Oh is now happily counting up to 20* and beyond to 100 after showing no interest at all.  He also loves to use Reading Eggs.  I’m sure a fair amount of his progress is guessing until he gets it right, but at least he’s doing it as often as I will let him and the repetition will get him in the end.  He is only just four after all and I have no intention of forcing him onwards beyond his interest.  He has even recently shown signs of actual writing.  This is something akin to a miracle.  He rarely does any art other than some swirly scribbles and the odd splotchy painting and then over our Christmas break he produces writing.  A 4 year old’s style, of course, but writing nonetheless.   And with not one jot of prompting from us.  Goodness me!

So, over the next few days I shall be tackling the annual plan.  A guide for each area we want to help them develop, with backup extras listed at the end just in case they whiz through it in no time.  I’ve already got the year-at-a-glance spreadsheet underway, so that can be printed out and pinned up where I can see it each. and. every. morning.**  And since I’ve created it, I can alter it whenever I want or need to.
I may even do a monthly plan broken down in to weeks with some ideas for activities to reinforce any concepts or ideas we are currently learning.  At the very least, if I do it, it will be there should my head start to spin at any point in the year.

Finding the balance between formal learning and informal learning is something of a learning curve for all of us.  Can you tell?

There’s much more to share of the things the kids have been up to, but that will have to wait until next time, and for me to fossick out any associated photographs for you.

* with a missing 15.  Apparently my kids don’t like 13 or 15 since they both have skipped one or the other when learning to initially count in sequence !?!

** yes, I might just have a need for constant reminders.  Tell me you wouldn’t when you have two kids wanting your undivided (and indivisible) attention all of the time. (Note to self: encourage more self-sufficiency this year.)

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