Thursday, January 23, 2014

2014... Back to a Schedule

After a lot of experimenting with minute-by-minute schedules to NO schedules last year, we're going back to using a schedule this year. It's not written in stone, and it can accommodate and adapt, but it seems that both Lu and I work better having an idea of what we're doing.

So, at the end of last year, we sat down together and talked about what our learning priorities are. 

Together, we agreed that these should be regular activities:


Every morning, after breakfast and washing up, Lu will have time to practice his guitar-playing and singing. Sometimes he plays in the kitchen, and sometimes he comes up to my office so that I can sing along. On Saturdays, he'll also be taking shared lessons with another homeschooler.


Twice a week, Lu will continue to learn where things are in the world, with our favorite Geography Site and with our Children's Atlas.



We'll be doing math in Spanish this year with this workbook. It's based on the Guatemalan public education curriculum, to get Lu ready for a test he might need to take in a year or two. Just this week, we went over mathematical sets, Venn diagrams, and cartesian product. 

Lu will also work with this book:


And, of course,
we'll keep working with Khan Academy


We plan to get through half of our "Great Scientists"
book this year - from Aristotle to Charles Darwin.

 Then we'll move on to Evolution.

Once a week,
Lu will try out different science experiments with this book:

This week, he made a wind-powered winch.


Lu asked for lots of cooking time.

He'll be making dinner on Mondays, 
researching new recipes on Tuesdays,
and baking on Fridays.


We'll be learning about Ancient America,
Medieval Europe, and Asia in the Middle Ages.

Then we'll zoom in on Guatemalan history.

Reading and Language Arts

This year, Lu's starting out with Rudyard Kipling's

He reads a story in the evening,
and retells it to me the next day, for retention,
and story-telling skill.

I don't have a huge reading list for him this year,
but I'd like him to read these two Roald Dahl books:

For Spanish we'll be using a Guatemalan Language Arts workbook, and spelling worksheets for English. Most of our writing will be done in our history notebook. Lu will also continue taking private lessons in Kakchikel - the local Mayan language of our town, working on his typing, and learning ASL (American Sign Language).

Physical Education

Mondays - Hiking

Tuesdays - Circuit Training

Wednesdays - Swimming and Dance

Thursdays - Circus Arts 
and Team-building games (with other kids)

Friday - Basketball (with a friend)

And that's the plan!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Just A Little Bit Longer

Our homeschool year runs from Jan-Dec with two months off in 1-3 week breaks. We are usually "back-to-school" by now, but we're taking another week off instead. We really needed a vacation. And I can't stress the "really" enough. 

Last year was a hard year. Math was hard. Our mom-son dynamic was hard. Our learning dynamic was hard. We got lost in the schedule and the routine. We formed bad habits, especially in the way we talk to each other. 

So, we're taking this time to find Peace again. 
Quiet. Simplicity. Patience. 
And Getting Along.

Lu's become very passionate about really learning to play his guitar.

He plays "Wild Thing" and "Beat It",
 and "Summer Lovin'" (from Grease).

It's fun to hear how his playing develops.

Over the holidays, we had lots of friends come to visit.

On Saturdays, 
Lu's been taking guitar lessons with another homeschooler,

followed by Improv Theater with more kids.

We've been having lots of lazy PJ days too.
And kayaking, and parties, and movies...

Breaks are SO important.
Don't forget to fit them in.