Thursday, October 17, 2013

Week 7/Yr 2: Blink And You'll Miss It...

How can it possibly by Week 7 already?!? Where has the year gone? Really?! I do think it is a good thing that I haven't felt the need to stop and document every week of our second year, because it means I have  more of a "feel" for things this year and it's becoming more organic for me to do. 

Even though this is technically Week 7 of our second year, it is really a "planning week" for Mom (me). Daddy was out of work during the government shutdown for 16 days, so this week, he wrangled the boys to field trips while I did alot of lesson planning. Actually, we also did do some "catch-up" things like completing assembly of our solar system mobile, finishing a Sonlight novel called "The Candymaker" that we started over the summer and were reading for fun, finishing a Math quiz and having Homeschool Band with Encore Academy today. This band is great - after watching the boys the first week (and seeing another mom learning the flute), I decided to join the fun and re-start learning the flute again after quitting in the fourth grade - and we are all having a blast!

I can't figure out why it takes almost a week to plan every six week cycle, but it does! I think this is the only way that public school teachers have it easier than homeschool moms...they usually have to figure out lessons plans for one age of child each year. And many years, they repeat the lessons from the previous year! Each year, I have to advance each child a grade AND create a new lesson plan for both of them. Yes, some of the materials for my older son I can repeat for my younger, but for our history, we are using the Sonlight curriculum, so it's the same for both and advances each year. Yes, thank God for Sonlight curriculum! However...I do have to modify it for my boys abilities and speed. Some things we have to skip and some we have to supplement. 

This year, I took this time to review how the first six weeks had gone. Before school started, I had planned a six week "goal sheet" to help me figure out where I hoped to be by the end of this stretch, basically to make sure I don't get too far behind and have to cram everything in at the end of the year like I did last year! So far, we aren't too bad. I found out that we really are only doing full days four days a week, and doing catch-up and field trip adventures on Friday, so I have to adjust my next six weeks for four "real" days of work a week. 

I have managed to work art, PE and music into their schedules pretty well, but haven't found a way to work our Spanish and Programming lessons into the week as well. I know they aren't necessary, but they are the fun stuff, so I'll just have to figure out time!

We completed our first section of the second year of American History and are finishing with the Gold Rush this week. Coincidentally, the Discovery Channel is airing a new, fantastic series on Gold Fever each week and we are loving it! It shows places and events from our Sonlight novel "By the Great Horn Spoon!" and really helps when they can see the landscape of places we have read about all fall.

Our next six weeks is pure Civil War history. I'm feeling overwhelmed. It's a huge amount of very important material to cover and I want to do it justice. We have so many great places nearby to visit while we study this - we even were in Gettysburg last week for a relative's wedding! Unfortunately, I was a late bloomer American History buff, so I'm learning alot about this part with the boys, but I want to make sure I do it right. I know we can always revisit it later, but I know this is a special time with my guys and I just want to be there when they see it the first time :)

Well, I think that catches me up for now. I'm sitting on my bed surrounded by texts, curricula and spreadsheets and it's after 9pm, so I think it's time to hit the hay. One more day of "planning week", then we are off at full speed again on Monday. You may not hear from my again until after the holidays, the way things are going. Wish me luck!

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