Sunday, August 07, 2011

Teacher Planning Day

Officially I am still in the cleaning out process... unofficially I am totally annoyed by it and stuck for the moment so I'm moving on with my life and keeping plans to clear out more stuff as I figure out what needs to go. But I must add that we've found the less stuff (toys, etc) we have out in the living space the more the girls actually play with their things. Good to know but hard to live out. It's also interesting to see the things they most play with- a box of wooden shapes and sticks from the craft area, blankets and pillows, books, dolls and stuffed animals, art stuff and dress-up.

And today is Teacher Planning Day! My first one ever for homeschool. I am loving it and hating at the same time. My table is covered in notebooks, folders, lists, curriculum, workbooks, pens, craft magazines, cups of green tea, calendars, page protectors... I'm getting there but I think it's going to take more than one day.

I started out by creating a list of subjects and goals within those subjects- things I want to work on with Zola this year. (this year means from now until next August) I am trying to set a pace for us but I've never done this before so I guess I won't see how it works until I'm looking behind us- and that is a very scary thing. I want to be able to say that if I do A, B and C then she will read and know how to add and grow a flower and recite the 50 states. But really all I can do is take into account what I know about Zola and come up with lessons that fit her and hope she will learn. It's frightening and thrilling at the same time to know I am responsible for the things my kids are learning.

Once I had the goals made I made a list next to each subject of materials to use...

Goal List for Zola August 2011-August 2012:

- Vowel Sounds
- Sight Words
- Blending Letter Sounds
- Word Families
- Letter Writing
(Hooked on Phonics Pre-K Level 1 and 2, Kindergarten Level 1 and 2, BOB books from library?, worksheets, WYKNTK)

- Count to 100
- Simple Adding and Subtraction
- Measuring; bigger vs. smaller, etc.
- Patterns
- Sorting
- Writing Numbers
- Money Identification
(Cooking with mom, Block Manipulatives; use number stickers to order and count, pattern art, mazes, worksheets, WYKNTK)

- U.S. and World Maps
- North, South, East and West
- Presidents
(wall maps, president and flag flashcards, money, WYKNTK)

- Baked Clay Statues
- Famous Paintings
- Weaving and/or Knitting
- Sewing
- Circle Time Music
- Seasonal Activities
(WYKNTK, Art manipulatives, monthly self-portrait)

- Growing Plants
- Seasons and Weather
- Animal Needs
- People Needs
- 5 Senses
- Protecting Our Planet
- Magnets
(WYKNTK, nature journal, experiment journal?)

I have no idea what I'm doing for this yet... We have The Jesus Storybook Bible and love it but I feel like I want to do something more specific using the stories and I'm not sure if I have the energy to create it all myself. So....this is still an argh for me.

WYKNTK = What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know I was introduced to this book by my lovely friend, Ann, who did pre-k homeschool with her daughter this past year. It's a whole series and I had been checking them out from the library but just found my own copy at Border's going out of business sale. The preschool version is good but we've already done most of it on our own so I'm using the Kindergarten book as jumping off place for us this year.

This is not an exhaustive list but it gives me a place to start. We can add or take away as needed. And our co-op hasn't had a planning day yet so I haven't included those units but I'm hoping they will coincide with my goals to make our months cohesive.

I have two 3-ring binders for Zola. One pink and one purple and each as a Hello Kitty folder in it. I'm going to let her decorate the outside with paint, markers and stickers and one binder will be for math worksheets and the other for reading and writing. She will be able to do worksheets each day and as she completes them she will get stickers and then she can take them off the rings and put them in the folder.

For myself I have a binder with my yearly planner (I tried but I just can't get used to a digital one..I need it in writing) and my lesson planner and a folder for things I want to try or lists of curriculum or whatever.

In my lesson planner I'm going to break down the Hooked On Phonics and list the lessons to do each week- then we can decide as our schedule dictates if we do more than one in a row or one every other day or whatever. That way it will take us about 12 weeks to complete the Pre-K levels and hopefully we can start the Kindergarten levels in January. I think she's going to love being able to read. She's already sound-spelling words when we talk so now we need to connect those sounds to the visual words on a page.

We've been doing math around the house and Grant started adding and subtracting with her and she's catching on pretty quick so we'll work with manipulatives for more of that.

History and Geography is going to be new for us. We do some map stuff with our hallway wall maps and we talk about places when we go on trips but I'm excited about doing more of this and curious to see how she catches on. And history is just more story which we do love in this house so I think it will be fun.

Art and Music are already constants in our daily life so this seems like it will be easy to continue. I would like to do more planning so I have a list of activities and supplies in order. This will lessen the last minute stress of wanting to do something but not knowing what or not having the supplies on hand.

Science is mostly about nature and being outside this year. Hopefully the weather will cool off soon and we get outdoors! I know our co-op is excited about doing this together.

Bible...until I decide what else to do we will continue with our praying together and talking about God and learning some songs and stories...

Zola has also started helping plan meals and cook more. Last week she made pancakes for dinner- she mixed, poured and flipped and she loved that made it for all of us. I would like to find more recipes she can do herself to keep her interested.

I also made myself a binder of arts and crafts activities. Now when I see something fun online or in a magazine I can just print it or cut it out and put it in there and then instead of paging through a stack of books every time I want to find a project I have an easy visual of a bunch of age-appropriate things we can do. This should make planning easier.

Now that I have my goals written out I want to create weekly lessons for the next few months to keep us on track and give me less to do on a week to week basis.

Oh! And a great site I found today for my homeschool and other teacher friends: Donnayoung I read through it today and am using some of her charts.


the holly said...

have you seen ? she focused on a letter a week and rotated cooking and saints, etc., around the letter. :) inspiring if not overwhelming at times. thought you might like!

i also saw that clayton and teresa posted about this book that looks quite interesting:

enjoy, dear emily! can't wait to hear how it goes!

Anonymous said...

For kids recipes you might check out the Taste of Home Kids Coloring Book website. They have monthly recipes on a coloring page format.
("Aunt" Susie)

Anonymous said...

Hey, Em! You have been very busy today! Please know we are glad to help in any way we can, even if it's just doing what we did today. There is a lot of nature out here, once the weather cools. Our house is your house. We love you!

Anonymous said...

Your kids are going to be even more of a genius. Can you homeschool me? There are things in there I think I still don't know-lol! Great job mama! It sounds like a difficult yet wonderful adventure.

These Crook's said...

Where in the world do you get your energy and motivation?????? :) what a wonderful mommy you are!

princess granola said...

ooo holly...i've been reading it now..but i think her life sounds great sometimes it makes me feel bad. i may to save it for an occassional read when i'm just perusing for ideas. :)

thanks aunt susie!! that sounds just like something we'd like.

haha, liz! i had an entire day to myself to do this! and just because i've listed all this stuff doesn't mean it happens and if it does it doesn't usually look very pretty. :) i'll have to post more about this... (ps. i haven't even showered today.. :) miss hearing about your life...