Daily Archives: September 16, 2010

School planning

I just realized I haven’t said anything about our school planning for this year.

Some of the planning just took care of itself, more or less, in the sense that someone else did most of it. That’s part of being a part of a Gileskirk co-op (history, literature, worldview — actually, Moral Philosophy is the term, I think). The syllabus is laid out, and the lead mom in the co-op has worked out what she wants in the way of quizzes (er, Opportunities), discussions, projects and papers. Bless her! It’s making the transition to the greater complexity of high school so much less intimidating.

So I just take the Gileskirk assignments and plug them into our weekly plan. Am trying for a mix of working together and independent work, and it seems to be going fairly well. I need to keep checking, though, I think. What’s that old saying, “You get what you expect when you inspect.”

Anyhow, I worked out a schedule, included here.

Yellow are blocks of group time, blue are blocks of individual time. The chores listed at the bottom are just the after breakfast chores. Whoever is chief cook for the day also bears the title “bottle washer” and washes all dishes, and that’s a rotating job so it shows up on the menu plan rather than this generic chart that fits every day except Thursday, our outside lessons and errand day.

Some individual activities have to be coordinated. Math, for example, involves a book used by all (at the moment) but since everyone is at a different lesson, only one person at a time can do math. Same thing for French on the computer, and music practice.

CheckUp is accountability time. I want to see the fruit of their labors. It might involve inspecting chores, or it might just be a glance at their progress page to see what they’ve been working on. I might ask for a short oral narration, or read a 200 word summary, or look over a worksheet or page of math problems.

The blank progress page looks something like this (it’s a work in progress).

The lines at the top are “off” because I haven’t fixed them yet. I deleted a child’s name, for one thing, and a term and a year that had been typed into my blank form, and it messed up the lines. It’s an easy fix, just haven’t taken the time.

At the moment the girls are doing several lessons of Life of Fred a day. That’s because they all started the Fractions book last week and are going through at their own pace, from two to five lessons a day, depending on the ability of the student. Eventually I expect them to find their places in the program, to where they might not be whizzing through the math books. (After all, LoF goes on to higher math, stuff even I don’t remember how to do.)

The “Assignments” column gives an idea of how to document their work in a particular subject. This form was adapted from an earlier version where I filled in chapters or page numbers that needed to be done by the end of the week. I assigned a week’s worth of work at a time. At the moment, though, I’ve given them responsibility for figuring out how much work they’re going to get through. So far it’s working. I think. I had a bad headache yesterday and didn’t do any CheckUps, and today’s Thursday, the weird day with the crazy schedule, so tomorrow is when I’ll find out how far they got this week. It would be nice to be pleasantly surprised.

I’ll let you know how it goes.