Saturday, January 05, 2008

New start to school almost here!

I have been planning things out a bit and realized that I did as I typically do: totally forgot that Monday morning, when the two oldest arrive, they will need some time to give gifts, everybody will talk and share and my kids will show what they got and all that. So, now it's factored in. I will set a timer after they get here so that it all stops and we get to work! (How un-Montessori is that! lol)

Actually, I'm not going to be very Montessori this week, or really the next 3 weeks (16yo's exams are in 3 weeks). It is vital that the 16yo hop on board, get her work done and study. I also know that the 13yo, sorry, "Bob", needs a lot of structure to get things going. Once things are going, then he's able to make some choices. We have no outings scheduled except for skiing/snowboarding Friday afternoons. I'm not even sure if we'll do our regular Tuesday library outing. The 16yo really needs every hour she can get!! Her sports take up so much of her out-of-school time, plus family stuff, like her sick grandmother. We need to make the most of every minute of school time.

For her, I've done up a time-slotted schedule, but where the subjects will actually fall can be changed. She has 3 hours in the morning, split up between two subjects. That's just to get her basic work done. Then an hour lunch. Then 1.5 hours of a third subject, then 30 minutes of French, then 30-60 minutes of study time, where I will guide her through her studying so she learns how to really study, how to assess how it's going, little techniques to help her learn the tough stuff. I will probably also use that time to give her short quizzes here and there as I need some marks!! Oh, and for her social studies study time, we will work on essays. Probably super short essays at first. I also have scheduled in first thing in the morning that she spends about 5 minutes to work on visualizing herself for her exams: how prepared she feels, how focused she is, etc. Everything how she'd like it to be. Then sending out a little prayer and giving thanks. My hope is that spending 5 minutes a day until her exams will help make a huge difference in her exam anxiety.

For Bob, I have a schedule that isn't based on time. Why not? I was going to put it to time but realized that there have been problems with that in the past: distractions or just lack of effort get to the end of the time and little, or nothing, has been done. So, I've done "blocks" instead. Each day, the block will have a certain amount of work assigned to it. He needs to go through all blocks. Doesn't matter if he finishes before lunch or after lunch, he's got to do all the work assigned. What does his schedule look like?

Monday/Wednesday: math, LA (phonics, spelling, reading, copywork/handwriting), science, French, write, project/interest-based learning (this continues for an hour after lunch if it was started before lunch!)

Tuesday/Thursday: LA, math, social, French, write, project/interest-based learning

Friday: math, LA, health/religion, French, write, project/interest-based learning

Dd has a checklist. She likes checklists. She has also decided to do Saxon math for the next while. What's on her list? Multiplication tables, Saxon (at least one lesson, every other question), French reading, French writing, French grammar or spelling, social studies or science, her choice (English, Spanish, music, art, whatever).

Ds--I just need to make myself do our morning routine. My niece will be coming part-time again, and he spend his time with her. It's so cute seeing the two of them together. He's like a 2nd big brother, and he gets to have a chance at being the "older sibling". Very good. I've just remembered that I haven't done up any new words for him. MUST do that for Monday. I can work on a list of words while the kids are swimming--which I've got to go get ready for now!!!

No comments: