Monday, May 24, 2010

Fall 2010 Homeschool Planning In Progress

I feel torn in several directions for the planning of our homeschool and family life for fall 2010.

As my older will be in eighth grade I'm feeling pressure to have this as kind of the last year to do catch-up on some academic subjects that I had hoped more would have been accomplished with. I want to get certain things done and over with before his freshman year for homeschooling begins. I have to nail down what curriculums or online courses he will use for this upcoming year. I am thinking of using some K-12 online courses and am up in the air about what math program to use as nothing seems to be a good fit right now.

I need to make decisions on what work my to-be fifth grader will do for homeschool lessons to be done at home.

Outside Classes and Events

We all love the new homeschool co-op we joined that is one day a week (10 sessions in fall and 10 in spring). I am proposing to teach four different classes this fall:

1. Science Olympiad event Compute This (grades 5-8)

2. Science Olympiad event Write It, Do It (grades 5-8)

3. Beginning logic using Art of Argument (ages 10-15)

4. Current Events discussion with critical thinking skills using teacher lessons (free on website), ages 11+

As of this week we have been accepted into a second co-op on one other day a week (10 sessions in fall and 10 in spring). I will be teaching a cooking class focusing on cooking and baking from scratch, showing how cooking at home can be more frugal and better tasting than prepared foods or even restaurant foods.

My kids want to continue their experiential learning class focusing on pioneering skills, building shelters and useful structures in the woods and learning some survival skills all while hiking or working outdoors. (One day a week for each child, different days of the week, 10 weeks in fall and 10 weeks in spring.)

At present that leaves us one weekday to be at home with no appointments (well until that gets filled in with orthodontist visits, guitar lessons and everything else). Oops, I have not yet asked the guitar teacher if he has time on those days to switch lessons to...oh no...

My ten year old son is asking to play football. That is three practices on weeknights and one weekend game. I am overwhelmed at that idea yet he needs exercise and he would be with nearly all the kids he has met in Lacrosse this season and it would provide more opportunities for that 'team spirit' feeling and to get to know those kids from town better.

Both of my kids are feeling burned out of Scouting right now. My older son is close to making Star rank and wants to make Eagle ASAP. I don't want him to receive his Eagle at age 14, because I think it is too young. Maybe this burnout feeling is just because it's the end of the year. Both plan to do Scouting for the year that begins in fall 2010.

I am going to limit field trips to once a month as this year we did way too many. We did four museum trips in the month of March, it was too much.

I think it is time for a change (yet again) to put even more responsibility on my now-twelve year old to follow lists or schedules to get his homeschool lessons done, rather than having me sit by him and tell him what to do all the time.

I am concerned that I'm over-booking outside classes that do not fulfill the foundation, the core of my children's education. I'm worried that they are over-dosing on extra-curriculars.

I need to wrap my brain around this and make some decisions, because now is the time that things are booking up for fall 2010. I'm not in the mood to think about any of the stuff about what I'll teach and home and how and when as I'm too busy running here and there doing stuff with my kids!


TaraChristiane said...

I'm in the middle of planning too, although not quite so detailed yet. Good luck with everything -- it sounds like a lot to fit in! Have you looked at the Painless series for math? We used Math U See but found it didn't work so well for Algebra/Geometry. Tried the Painless series and loved it.

Carrie Schmeck said...

Oh my dear. If it makes me tired to read your plans, does it mean you might be doing too much? Yikes! You have alot on your plate. Those hwo know me know that I am quick to say "no." There are so many things we WANT to do and so many would be GOOD to do...but we all suffer when we do them all. Just sayin'.

My son will be in 8th grade also. For math, I am tossing between Teaching Textbooks and Aleks.

I am (um, he is) super excited about the possibility of getting a Lego Mindstorm Robotics kit to cover physics, mathematics, and engineering. Also, I ran across a book that walks teens through designing fun and simple video games.

Looking forward to the materials you land on. I'm always looking for great ideas!

dstb said...

Hi Christine,

This is unrelated to the post, but I wanted to pass on the title of a book I thought you might find interesting. It is called Love in a Time of Homeschooling by Laura Brodie. I thought you might be interested because it does share some of the "bad" days of homeschooling. I know you have mentioned before how you wish people were more real about what happens and this seems to fit the bill.


Diane said...

We too have alot coming up in the new school year that is outside classes. Volleyball, drama, and art along with some co-ops. Sometimes I wonder if it is too much, but she enjoys them all. I figure if we can get all our academics done and she still wants to go we will do it.

Shay said...

Hi, I found you through the Carnival of Homeschooling. Sounds like a busy (but good!) year! I just wrote a post the other day about our homeschool plans for the upcoming year too, although ours are a bit different since I only have a kindergartner. I'm trying not to do too much to start out with but he is excited about schooling so I want to keep that enthusiasm.