Thursday, August 19, 2010


Summer just flew by me this year. I absolutely can NOT believe we are starting our regular schedule on Monday. The books are almost all here...a printer is ordered and on its way...the lesson plans are...

...not ready.

Hey, who needs lesson plans anyway?

I do know what books I'm using. This little impromptu bookcase (obviously we don't have enough bookcases in our house at this time) came about thanks to a sale at Walmart. I'm not a huge fan of this particular shade of green, but it feels peppy so I guess it will work.

I split the crates up by subject: upper left is writing/grammar/spelling, the middle row- left to right, is reading, math and fun math games. The bottom row is science/health, geography/history/civics and a bin of fun. I have a magazine basket with our art and music books. I also have a couple Spanish workbooks and other odds and ends on another bookcase. Each crate has EM's books to the left and JT's books to the right. I wonder how long all of this organization will last? It is helping me to have them laid out like this as I plan.

JT requested a more scheduled approach to our school days. He wanted certain subjects assigned to certain days. I'm willing to give it a try but know it could change quickly. I would really like to try to make it work. One of our biggest problems last year was the way we would waste time throughout the days. Sometimes my fault, sometimes their fault. JT would delay work as long as he could. This year I am starting out with a new rule. Each assignment will have a designated amount of time to complete. If he goofs off and doesn't finish something in that time, it will become...homework! This is a radical idea in our house. One of the joys of leaving public school has been the lack of school work in our evenings. But I am tired of begging and pleading with children to finish their work. I am tired of not getting to the 'fun' stuff because of it. So, I'm cracking the whip! All unfinished assignments will be completed on their own time.

Today something came in the mail that really excited me. A magazine called, "The Idea Book for Educators". It is put out by A&E, Lifetime, History and Bio. I think I must have signed up for it at some point and forgot. It is full of cool ideas and lesson plans related to programs put out by the sponsoring channels. I am not sure if we will be able to watch all of the programs as we do not have television access. However, I'm hoping we can catch some of them online.

I am feeling very optimistic about my plans for this year. JT has also told me he is excited about this new venture. He really likes the idea of less structured learning and more hands on. I have promised him things like that in the past, but it always turned back into the race to complete the Calvert material. I keep wanting to write out a detailed lesson plan, but I think that is exactly what I shouldn't do.

Maybe this time procrastination will result in success.


Annie said...

I got the same magazine in the mail today and had the same reaction. (Indeed, I was going to mention it in a post!) Great minds think alike.

It looks like you are off to a sound start. The room looks great. I want to hear how the homework thing works out for you. It sounds very logical. I fear that I would end up policing mine into the evening if we tried it, though. I hope you get better results.

Sabra Wineteer said...

Looks like you're ready to go! We, too, don't use lesson plans, but I have a general gist of what we'll cover. I find that long-term curriculum plans are the best approach. Check us out-

Cyber Momma said...


Thanks so much for your comment! I am reading through your blog and finding we have a lot in common.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried using a timer and asking them if they can beat it? If they beat it, they get free time till the timer goes off.

Ideas. I have them.