Sunday, October 2, 2011

Schooling with a Plan

The TOS Blog Cruise is a Blog Carnival through TOS Crew Member blogs. Each week, a new homeschool topic is addressed. Participants are encouraged to express themselves however the question leads them; everyone has a different style and personality when it comes to homeschooling, and that’s what makes this so much fun.  

Every May, I write out a report about the school year that is drawing to a close.  I don't have to do this for anyone buy myself;  it just helps me process our school year and I typically answer the questions-that-are-always-in-my-head, such as:

  • What worked this year?
  • What didn't work, but should have?  Why didn't it work?
  • How well did I do as an educator? What should I do better?
  • What new struggles and/or gifts did my children show this year?
  • How well are we abiding by our mission?
I also always write out goals for the following 12 months.  These are a mixture of year-long and short-term goals.  Sometimes the items on the list look more like a to-do list for me to prepare to teach my kids, but usually they help me direct the resources (time and books) to complete an educational goal or skill for the child.

For this year, I wrote out goals for Ben and Luke;  Levi didn't have a written end-of-year summary for his preK year, so his goals are just floating around in my head.

~Levi (kindergarten)~

1. Read.  I'm using the I See Sam books I reviewed last year and The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading.  I also have the MCP Red Plaid phonics workbook that I use for purposeful busywork.
2. Cursive First. Levi is reviewing the letters he learned last year, but by the end of the year, he'll know his alphabet and be spelling words using cursive!
3. Math. Addition/ Subtraction math facts.
4. Bible verse memorization
5. History, Literature and Science.  He's listening in on astronomy, our history of the 1800s, and  the literature books that Luke is using this year.  He's learning geography that the older boys are as well. He's doing arts and crafts, too.

~Luke (3rd grade)~

1.       Continue to focus on phonics, spelling and reading skills.
  • Restest with SWR diagnostic monthly
  • Us SL reader lists for appropriate reading material
  • Progress through WISE lists at 30-40 spelling words/ week
2.       Get back to doing science experiments weekly; Continue with Apologia’s Astronomy
3.       Be consistent with copywork for cursive practice and modeling sentences
4.       Have Luke write daily (copywork, dictation, journal, assignments)
5.       Introduce music lessons (he’ll take guitar lessons with Indra Edmonds in the fall)
6.       Bible verse memorization (especially with song) and some sort of Bible study with me.
7.       Use a lapbook for summarizing with history
8.       Investigate a Jr. Lego Team

~Ben (7th grade)~

1.    Begin to discuss literature and literary analysis using TOG’s resources and Teaching the Classics.
2. Continue with more systematic instruction in note-taking, graphic organizers, and outlining in history and science
3. Develop writing skills in expository and creative assignments, using IEW’s stylistic techniques as a guide for completion of a variety of writing assignments from both IEW and TOG.  Use Remedia Outlining for systematic practice.
4. Complete quarterly projects, based on a history or science or other topic.
5. Teach test-taking study skills.  Work toward completing history quizzes and at least 1 unit test in history.
6. Continue to provide opportunities for Ben to expand his knowledge in areas of interest:  computer programming, computer animation.
7. Participate in music lessons (drums)
8. Find service opportunities outside of Scouts for Ben.
9.  Pray about the next step in mentoring Ben spiritually after completing our 6th grade study.
10.  Ben will take more responsibility for maintaining his portfolio of schoolwork in a systematic way.

Do write annual goals for your kids?  How to you keep track of progress?


Mozi Esme said...

I love the idea of reflecting on each year as you make your goals for the next...

Julie Coney said...

I am going to use your reflection guide for myself this year. What a great idea!

brandyb said...

I love to take some time about a week after we finish up to reflect and make notes about how our year went. It definitely helps me to set goals for the next year.

nkttsmom said...

Alane, this is a great idea...I admire the way you organize! I hope and pray I can use some of your blog ideas in my homeschool. Thanks! What are you using for Ben's computer programing/animation opportunities?