Well that was a long Christmas break 🙂 I hope you all had a lovely holiday (although, it seems so long ago now, hey?) This year is going to be a big year for our little family. I now have two official homeschoolers with Sarah starting Kindergarten and Jack moving into Grade 2.
Mostly what that means for us is that the kids are at an age now that all of their extra-curricular activities are in ‘after-school’ time; so, no more regular morning activities – we have the whole day to ourselves 🙂 .
Jack will also be picking Occupational Therapy up again (after a three-year-break) to support him through some aspects of daily life which he is finding challenging. I am really looking forward to these sessions and incorporating some of the strategies in our daily rhythm.
Throughout January, I have been working through some big picture questions and thinking about how we, as a family can all be supported and grow this year.
I think it is so important to consider the big picture when planning your homeschool year. It can be very tempting to start planning specifics, but I think we need to look at our year as a whole first.
Here’s some of the questions I asked myself. I took a while answering them; over a couple of weeks, so I could get a nice, clear image in my mind of the direction I would like our homeschool to take this year.
- What do I want to do this year? ~ What are my aspirations for the year?
- What do I value most about our family and our life?
- What parts of our family and our daily rhythm are working well?
- Which aspects need a little more attention and consideration?
- What do we all need in order to grow this year?
After I have given some thought to these questions, I can start thinking more specifically about homeschool:
- What are Jack and Sarah’s interests?
- What are their strengths?
- How do they learn? How do they express themselves and make their learning visible?
- Where would I like to see growth in them this year?
- What would I like to incorporate into our homeschool this year? ~ Maybe more time in nature, more inquiry work, maybe some new materials?
- How am I going to document and collect learning samples for record keeping? ~ It’s good to get this sorted early so you are not panicking when annual reporting comes around
- How am I going to store materials and supplies?
- What are my departmental requirements and how do I plan to meet those requirements whilst maintaining the integrity of our inquiry-based approach?
Once all these questions have been given some thought, then, I think, we can move on to planning specifics like a weekly schedule and topics to explore together. Your answers to these questions will give you a nice solid foundation for planning as well as help you to feel confident in yourself to continue (or take on) homeschooling.
Next week, I’ll share our weekly schedule as well as some of the books and materials we’ll be using this year.