Baby Steps on School Planning

Isn’t this guy awesome?  Look how his little leg pouches are totally full of pollen.  (Probably if I had allergies I wouldn’t appreciate this photo quite so much.)  I’m still learning how to use my new camera, and I found trying to get this shot in focus was hard, between my trembling hand and the wind moving the sunflower.

I’m starting to think concretely about school for this fall.  I think I’ve already bought most of what we need– I have our math (Singapore primary and NEM), our history (Genevieve Foster’s The World of William Penn and The World of George Washington), our writing (Classical Composition from Memoria Press), and a lot of our literature– already on the shelves.  I have a list of a few more titles I’d like to find used.

I’ve written out the actual expectations for what “a clean _______” looks like in hopes that it will minimize the number of times we have this conversation:

Me: Why are there dirty socks all over the floor?

Kid: Are there?

Me: Look down.

Kid: [looking down, apparently for the first time] Oh.  I didn’t know I was supposed to get the socks off the floor.

Now the expectations clearly state, “Put all dirty socks in the laundry basket.”  It may shift to, “But I don’t WANT to touch the dirty socks!” but at least they won’t be able to say they didn’t know they were supposed to clean them up.  I still want to revisit when we do our given chores, and I haven’t decided how frequently we’ll rotate.  Each child doing their certain chores for a month has worked well for us, so that they have a chance to work toward mastery before we switch… and it eliminates the protests from an interruption in the routine shortening one person’s turn at a dreaded chore, since they all think a month is way too long for ANY chore.

I’d still like to make a sewing area at the top of the stairs– my friend Ruth suggested it when I said I wanted a small space (so it wouldn’t spread everywhere) that wasn’t in my bedroom.  We have a small shelf atop some built-in cupboards, and I think it will be just right (or at least better than any other option we’ve tried) for making a sewing nook that is accessible to the kids.

Also, I’d like to find different baskets for our daily work.  And I need to make a specific plan for SweetP’s projects, so I’m not scrambling by Thursday wondering what I should set out for her for the day.  I’d like to have 2-3 activities planned for her each day in different combinations of content (like specific books to read, or a cooking project) plus skill (like cutting with scissors, or lengthening her attention span).   Any predictions on how long my grand preschool plan will last?  Two weeks?  A month?

What are you changing up for the fall?


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