I don’t know about anyone else but I love checking off the last minute things before getting to that first day of school. This past summer was very busy as the last school year ran longer than we expected. That’s one of the things I truly love about homeschooling. It’s flexible. I’m not locked into anything except getting the main concepts down in the span of 12 months. I don’t even have to have a set plan, but I like to do so because it gives me something solid to work toward, as well as my students.
To help me with some basic planning during the month of August, which was actually only a week or so since we started yesterday, I decided to take part in the #HomeschoolVisionPlanning challenge on Instagram. It was a great way to kickstart my posts on our new IG account and kick off my year with something shiny. To see these posts on IG click here.
The first post asked us to share an overview of our planning method. Planning the year is one of my favorite things…usually. But in a normal summer, I’m not nearly so busy as I was this past one. I always purchase a simple planning calendar that also has enough room to jot down activities we participated in during the year. I note all the expected holiday dates, the first day of school, and the projected last day of school.
The second day, we were asked about our vision for our homeschool. I have one overarching vision which is to teach my children learning is fun and never really stops. I want to help them love to learn.
I also try to set up a yearly vision goal. This year, it’s all about focusing on positive mental perspective. You can read all about that on our home page by clicking home in the menu or clicking here.
My husband works at one of our parish school board offices in the tech department and he learned about Google Classroom there. He’s been encouraging me to try it in our homeschool setting. I couldn’t get past the first page because when I read the terms, they weren’t processing correctly in my busy mind. I finally understood this year that for single people/entities using Google Classroom, there’s nothing special to do. You just use the site. Schools, it seems have another step to take. I’ve been using Google Classroom to set up the daily assignments and prepare videos to share with our daughter.
I’m so excited about learning how to use the program (day five’s prompt) and I can’t wait to see how it helps us stay consistent this year, which was the third challenge prompt. Organization is not a problem for me but staying consistent isn’t. This way, we’ll get prompts that let us know when assignments are due and what’s coming up. Good stuff!
I’m also excited about joining a couple of homeschool groups. For years I’ve been looking for an active homeschool group dedicated to making sure the kids are able to get together for field trips and general outings. It looks like I’ve finally found some awesome ones. Yea! It adds another layer to my busy schedule but it’s one I can easily handle.
On the fourth day, we were prompted to share something we were worried about. My trouble area is math, particular higher maths which dominate high school learning. I can tell you now I’ll be scouring the internet for as many free math aids and resources as I can find. I’m so thankful for sites like Khan Academy who are dedicated to helping all kids, rich or poor, grasp STEM concepts. However, the way they teach isn’t always best for every student. It wasn’t interesting to my oldest child, who is a hands-on learner.
We’re using Lifepac by Alpha Omega Publishers this year in the hope that the workbook format will help cement the “I can do this!” attitude necessary to tackle any project. I like the way each topic is broken down. There are small sections of reading and practice with review tests and unit tests included. I’m looking forward to the results.
Next week, I’ll share the final five prompts with you and how I responded to them. (PS the highlighted days take you to the respective posts on our IG page.) I’m enjoying the challenge and it’s also helping me check things off my list. Even though school has started for us, we’re just getting going so these planning prompts are just the ticket to starting on the right foot.
Also, don’t forget we’re still running our Back to School Giveaway. Have you entered yet? Click here to visit our post and follow the prompts to enter to win a homeschool teacher appreciation packet. See the photo below to view what’s in the bundle.