I have officially declared it Homeschool Teacher Planning Week in my home. :) Sounds a lot better than Teacher In-Service Week. My two youngest boys have bdays this month and we will be having a combined party for them this weekend. Dh has taken the last 3 days of the week off to help prepare the house and yard, and I have given the children the whole week off so I can do a little planning and evaluating for our homeschooling.
Day 1 is going well. I spent my morning preparing ds2's unit on elections and the government. He will study these for this month and compile a lapbook along the way. Sometimes I don't think people understand just how much planning and preparation goes into homeschooling. It took me a whole morning to prepare for just a few weeks' work! For one subject. For one child! Now add in all the other subjects and 2 more children and oh boy, pass the Tylenol lol!
During my break for lunch I read through one of the homeschooling mags that have piled up on my nightstand. This one was a free copy I must have signed up for because it has an address label with my name, but I don't subscribe. (My memory is just horrible, people. That's one reason I love blogging. :) )
The mag is called Home School Enrichment. It's little motto says "Enriching your life, your family, your homeschool." Sounds promising. :) I did enjoy the issue I read as a whole, although as a "veteran" homeschool mom a lot of the info was not new to me. But it is nice to be reminded of things and be encouraged to succeed in my homeschooling efforts. One article I did appreciate was a story about the constitution by Amy Puetz which will come in handy for our election/government unit. Another article was about integrating young kids into your homeschooling by Cynthia Carrier. I liked her "quick guide" reminders:
- Remember that children are a blessing.
- Keep first things first (family before school)
- God's timetable isn't always our timetable
- Focus on integration not compartmentalization
All good points to remember when homeschooling with wee ones underfoot. :)
Kim Kautzer wrote an article about improving your student's writing that I enjoyed because she gave real advice. What I mean is, she actually told you what to do and say! I have never liked when an author will say something like "You should be creative with your praise for your child's work" and then not tell you how to do that! Kim Kautzer does tell us exactly what to say:
- What a descriptive narrative!
- I love your simile
- Great word choices. My favorites are shimmering, twinkling, and lustrous.
- You surpassed my expectations!
Aren't those great? I'm going to write them up on note cards for myself to use with my kiddos. Mrs. Kautzer also prompts us on how to criticize constructively:
- I see that you used two similes in a row. Which one would you like to keep?
- This is a solid basic paragraph. Now you are ready to add more detail and pizzazz.
Now that is a useful article imo. If I had the money to spare in my homeschool budget right now I would probably subscribe to this publication. I'm going to plug away at lesson planning until early afternoon and then break for some home blessing (in serious need of it around here lol.) More updates soon!