Monday, January 4, 2010

Home Learning Year by Year

Getting back into the groove of planning school is slower going than I remembered it being before the holiday break! 
That being said, I was reminded through my process of planning for the upcoming week that I'm really aided so much in part by the book Home Learning Year by Year.

If you’re wondering how on earth we decide what to teach which week and how….THIS IS HOW IT GOES!!

1.  I take a look at this chart I have on my computer.  It is based off of one that a friend shared with me several years ago and I have continued to alter it to fit Jack's current needs.  I'd be happy to e-mail you a copy of it, as I've yet to figure out how to attach a document to this blog.

I keep each week's schedule in hard copy in a binder as well as on the computer.  The schedule helps me to:
-plan ahead what we will cover in each subject
-keep track of days off
-keep track of how many "school days" we've had
-stay accountable to what I cover

Once Jack became a reader, he now can keep track of what is on his independent work list each day and cross it off when accomplished.

2.  Next, I take a look at the Home Learning book and see what we might cover during the week.  The book has each subject area covered with what is standard for grade level along with a few book/internet suggestions for teaching.  I've taken to checking off anything we've covered with Jack in green.  We may take more than a week to cover any given topic area, which is okay...there is no time limit except up to our discretion. 

I've found during our "marine weeks" where I've asked Jack to choose the topic for our unit study, I'm still able to use the Home Learning book.  For instance, while studying sharks, we were able to make a graph notating several shark lengths measured in inches.  This covered an area of study in social studies as well as math.

3.  Finally, I take the subject area from the book and input it into the chart.  I have more thorough curriculum guides from state departments of public instruction, but they are laborious and user un-friendly to read.  For sure, I'll go through them at year's end to make sure we've covered all our subject bases, but for now I'm comfortable with the curriculum guide in the Home Learning book.

Okay...let's get learning!!

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