Our plan….for now!
One thing we’ve realized from the start is that it would take some time for all of us, the least of which being NDEW, to make the transition from an away-from-home education to an at-home education. For many, many years, our school life has focused on the schedules and requirements of someone else teaching NDEW. This doesn’t even get into the fact that hubby and I both attended public school from kindergarten to 12th grade so we don’t know anything else either!
When we started planning this transition it was really, really tempting to just transplant NDEW’s school schedule to home. Times, subjects, and all. As a former public school teacher, my first inclination was to break out all of those planning resources and use them to educate my kid. Luckily, we kept reading and realized that, if we did that, we would not only miss the opportunity to offer NDEW what we feel he really needs but we would also miss the beautiful freedom that homeschooling gives us to allow NDEW to direct a good portion of his education. As we were reading we came across a great article that said what has become our (at least for right now) homeschooling motto.
It’s not about what we can teach NDEW, it’s about what he can learn.
It’s not about what information NDEW can retain it’s about whether or not he’s learning to learn.
So with that as our background, we started reconsidering our plan. Now, I fully expect that this plan will change again, possibly even by the end of the week! What’s that saying…”No plan survives first contact, in tact.”? But here’s our plan as we get started:
- NDEW will be participating in a music class and a PE class with other local homeschool kids. This is in addition to other evening activities that we already do, like church. We fully plan to plug in to other local homeschool co-ops and activities as time goes on and as we settle on a more set schedule and curriculum.
- We will start each day with a “100 minute homeschool”. Hubby and NDEW will do four, 25-minute lessons at the beginning of each day. Each day will always include math and writing. The other two lessons for each day will rotate through history, science, geography, reading, and spelling/vocabulary. These lessons will be a combination of lessons that hubby leads NDEW through and independent work for NDEW.
- Wednesdays will look a little different than other days. Hubby has a lot of conference calls on Wednesdays so NDEW will do quite a bit of online skill practice on Wednesdays.
- Each day will include an 1.5 to 2 hour “time out” period. The point of this time is for computers, TVs, phones, etc. to be off (unless the computer is needed for research) and for hubby and NDEW to do something very hands-on together. NDEW will actually take the lead in planning this time at the beginning of each week. I have made up a list of suggestions for this time, but just to get the creative juices flowing. We really want NDEW to take direction of this time, including planning what they will do and what materials they’ll need to do it. We realize it might take a while to fully get to this point. We’re thinking this time will include building stuff, reading, making things, cooking, science experiments, etc.
- Each day also has an afternoon activity time that’s designed to get hubby and NDEW out of the house. This time could include running errands (How about a budgeting and math lesson at the grocery store? ) but also could include going to the library, volunteering at the humane society, going for a hike, going swimming, etc. We do know that it won’t be possible for them to get out every day based on weather or hubby’s work schedule, and we have some options for that as well.
So that’s our plan right now! For all you veteran homeschool parents out there who may read this, please don’t laugh. Remember we’re new at this! I’m sure we’ll look back at this plan in a few months and laugh at it too! This is going to be a learning experience for all of us!