July Homeschool Planning

 

 How is everything going for everyone?  I know a lot of mothers who have gotten their curriculum and are reading through everything now.

 

So, my challenge to all of you who are homeschool planning for fall is to make time this month and into August to work on your plans daily if you are not already doing so.  You can get quite a bit done even in fifteen minutes!   I know many homeschooling families who will start mid to late August or right after Labor Day, and the time will be here before you know it.  I am knee- deep in planning for fourth and first grade with a toddler in tow; I think it is going to be a great year!

 

I would love to hear from you all what you are working on and what plans you have. If you have a blog and are posting plans, I would also  love for you to include the link to your blog.

 

Can’t wait to connect with everyone,

Carrie

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20 thoughts on “July Homeschool Planning

  1. Hi Carrie,
    I am starting tomorrow to lay out our daily main lesson verses and songs for the seasons, as well as verses and poems for ‘circle time’ for the two foreign language blocks.
    I have most of them already gathered, now I just have to choose the appropriate ones for each season and celebration.
    I also want to plan a couple for my toddler as she enjoys them as well, I want to do those with her first and than move on to the main lesson with my first grader.
    I hope I will get these done in the next week or so, after that I want to read a bit more about the mathematics curriculum.
    One thing I am struggling a bit with are the field trips in relation to the blocks, I know I should incorporate at least one excursion in each block, which will be fun, but I am not too sure what kind of a field trip I could do in the first language arts and maths block. In September I thought a corn maze with form drawing would be great as both relate to each other but LA in October and maths in November, I am a bit stumped for ideas.
    Do you or anybody else have any suggestions?
    Warmly,
    Maggie

    • Hi Maggie,
      What stories are you using for LA and math? And what part of the world do you live in? The corn maze for form drawing sounds really fun. I might add that into my plans as well.
      Peace,
      Sarah

    • Maggie, I think of field trips in relation to the block more for third grade (ie, farming trips, orchards, visiting a goat farm where they make goat cheese, etc, craftsmen at work) and fourth grade (things in relation to the Man and Animal blocks) and in first and second, I still think mainly field trips that have to do with the usual seasonal things such as berry picking, apple picking, the corn maze you mentioned..

      Just my take on it,
      Many blessings,
      Carrie

    • Carrie,
      Those trips you are mentioning do make sense for all those grades,…the thing is we do most of those trips annually anyway, as our family is pretty outdoorsy and we love fairs. DS might not pay that much attention on the craftsman’s handy work yet, but when we go to fairs he loves the whole atmosphere and I think subconsciously he still absorbs it somewhat.
      I planned a trip to the pumpkin field for October, due to Halloween and the harvest, just thought I could come up with a bit more connection to the curriculum stories, as those have nothing to do with pumpkins really.

      Sarah,
      We live in New England, for the LA I planned to use the ‘Golden Goose’, ‘Snow White and Rose Red’, ‘the Fisherman and His Wife’ and ‘The King’s Son Who Feared Nothing’.
      For math I do not plan to use stories as such, more like a story line, as suggested by Marsha, I will introduce the quality of numbers and the roman numerals. Due to all the baking and cooking I plan to use counting while we cook, but as far as doing an excursion? Maybe I just stick to our original seasonal outings which we did in Kindergarten as well.

    • Maggie, Subconscious planning for third grade with the craftsmen and seeing workers at work…lovely! I think your original seasonal outings are just fine at this point, First Grade is a still slow and long awakening from the dreamland…

      Many blessings,
      Carrie

  2. Hi Carrie,
    I do hope you will share more of your plans as well ;-) Right now, I have my skeleton plan for the year for my first grader and my fourth grader (which blocks when). I have also been reading up on Man and Animal (Kovac) and went a bit into the Norse Myths. I will be using Marsha Johnson’s files for the local geography block and have a loose weekly plan for that (this is the first block for my fourth grader) and my first grader will be starting with a short block of form drawing and some drawing/painting lessons (I got this idea from Live Ed’s website). Hoping to get our circle and stories planned out for my kindergartner and toddler this week. Honestly, I tend to not plan out my whole year before we begin as I find it stresses me out too much if we don’t “stick” to the plan. So I plan a few blocks in advance and then once the school year begins, I will plan accordingly. I hope to share some of my planning on my blog soon and I will come back and repost when I do!

  3. I’ve started planning earlier this year than I normally do. My husband took the kids on vacation for a week, so I got quite a bit started then. In two weeks my oldest will be at overnight camp for the week, and my youngest will be in day camp. (She gets to ride a school bus, and is beyond thrilled at the idea!) So I plan on spending lots of time that week working on my school plans. I’ll be spending LOTS of time reading folktales from several different areas around the world to go with my third grade plans that I discuss here:
    http://sistermama.typepad.com/sistermama_gets_real/2011/07/thoughts-on-third-grade.html I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed by this, and have enlisted my husband into the process of locating stories. He loves folk and fairy tales, so I think this will be a good way to incorporate his willing assistance into the planning process!

  4. Thank you for the gentle reminder to build planning into every day! I’ll be posting about plans at some point this summer, but haven’t done so yet.

    For Maggie, if you’re using stories as part of your LA block, could you tie a field trip to the story? For example, if you used a story about the harvest, you could visit a farm. Or a story about animals could involve a trip to a zoo or wildlife rescue center to see one of the animals featured in a story?

    For math, you might be able to think about math problems that could come out of a field trip experience. For example, if you went to a bakery on a field trip, you could work in math problems related to pounds of flour or to the numbers of cupcakes needed for a festival or something like that? Just a few ideas.

    • Thanks Kathy for the suggestions!
      For the LA block we could actually go to a farm and visit the geese there, …a fishing trip would be nice, but I think not too seasonal at this time here, but our season at that time might suggest a turkey hunt….;-)
      Maggie

  5. Whew, I guess I was feeling a little behind for some reason. I have lesson blocks tapped out for the year and through November planned. I’d like to have everything on paper by the first week of August so I can focus on collecting supplies in the late summer.

  6. I am almost done planning for my third-grader. I have one block left to go (a math block). Then I need to go back and make sure I’ve got all the holes filled for the year for things like spelling, grammar, etc.

    I’m about half done planning for my kindergartener. I’ve chosen the stories we’ll do throughout the year, and now I need to go back through and decide on how I’m going to extend some of those stories (puppets, etc.). I also need to create a circle for each season, choose the appropriate rhymes and songs and things. I’ve planned our daily activities, baking, crafts, etc. for fall, but need to do winter and spring. I also want to choose 1-2 little verses each month that would be appropriate for my 8-month old baby, nothing formal, just little rhymes or something that I can say to him as we go about our day.

  7. Hey Carrie,
    Yes, I am knee-deep in planning too: grade 4 and a final year of 6 year old kindy for us. In addition to our blocks I have laid out other monthly goals that I want my 4th grader to work on. These include a physical challenge, reading a novel, reading a biography, memorizing a verse, completing a handwork project, plus progress toward his Scouting for the year. (As I write it out like that, it seems like a lot! Although he is choleric and loves a challenge and a checklist, I may adjust this to bi-monthly or quarterly goals.) It just seems as though these “extras” get lost in the hustle and bustle of the year.

    I am particularly enjoying the Christopherus resources like the Homeschooling Overview, Joyful Movement and Living Languages. I am also following Melisa Nielsen’s 4th grade curriculum for an idea of monthly, weekly and daily scheduling.

    Sheila Petruccelli

  8. This is our first season with waldorf homeschooling. Our Sunshine turned 5 in June so we are using the Christophers Homeschooling: Kindergarten with your 3 to 6 year old. It is really helpful and gives you a great guide in creating a wonderful rhythm for your home. My biggest thing I am working on is our daily schedule. . . I am sure it will be trial and error until we can find our flow (we are going heavy with nature stories and natural crafts). Just so much to soak in, but we are loving it so far.

  9. Hi everyone, I’m in midwinter here in NZ and halfway through my year doing Grade One (and Kindergarten). Last term we sort of stalled. I had surgery and the children all have been sick. And in fact I think they are going to all come down with chicken pox soon as good friends of ours just have got it :(

    So I have 2 weeks ‘school holidays’ (plus however long it takes for everyone to recover from chickenpox) to plan the 2nd half of my year. I really want to get into more maths – the maths processes. We did a combination of Marsha Johnsons Numeria and the Christopherus intro to numbers and roman numerals. I enjoyed it a lot. I think it was my most sucessful unit so far this year.
    Carrie I find it encouraging to read your urging to plan a little often. I really need to get back to it. I’ve just bought Jodi Mesler’s recorder/ tin whistle resource which I think will be great, plus the maths, plus I want to do quite a lot of stories from other countries … African tales, lndian tales, (local) Polynesian tales. And craftwork has been a challenge. We have half finished knitting projects, long chains of finger knitting languishing in the cupboard, and also some stitchwork somewhere downstairs I think. I have a huge tray of randomn unfinished work, loads of pictures, unfinished birthday cards that we have been making, letters to friends that should be posted away. Arghhhh! Its all quite a big sorting job! My daily weather tree is looking a bit leafless, and the nature table hasnt really progressed from Autumn to Winter.
    Lastly, I ‘d like to find a way to bring back more of our kindergarten work into our week. The children have been asking me to repeat the winter stories, rhymes and games we had last year. I miss all those lovely little simple stories. I wonder how I can ‘do it all’ without burning out.

    • Carla, I am so happy to hear from you I could just hug you over the Internet, LOL. I love your point about not losing those little stories that make the seasons bright – my children ask for Shingebiss every year in the winter – I mean, who does not love Shingebiss? (Look in the back of the Wynstones Winter book). I also wish I was down there to expose my children to chicken pox, LOL. I think once everyone is healthy you will have a renewed sense of vigor. Little and steady is a good mantra. :)
      Hope everyone is healthy again soon!
      Hugs,
      Carrie

  10. I am in the midst of planning for Second Grade and Kindergarten. I have the Christopherus Second Grade curriculum and while I prefer to plan the entire year myself, I am not quite sure how to go about it. I would appreciate any suggestions. I also have a one year old in tow.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Robin,
      Did you see my back posts on second grade under homeschooling? Are you new to Waldorf homeschooling? I also have many posts on planning on this blog, have you looked at those yet?
      I usually start with the basics: how many days I need to homeschool, when vacations are, how long the blocks will be and when they will fit and what order I would like them in, and then look at what blocks fit in with that grade, choose stories for each block, think of the artistic and academic pieces and think of the “others” – am I going to do math one extra lesson a week in second grade? Handwork? Cooking? Gardening? It sounds like a lot, but it is very do-able once you go through the process a few times…

      I find the Christopherus syllabus to be very flexible, so I suggest you really sit down and read the whole curriculum cover to cover, and decide what pieces really resonate with you, or what you would want to bring in that is different.
      If you need further help, I suggest you contact the Christopherus office and arrange a consultation. The consultants there should be able to help you tailor things the way you want.

      Many blessings, hope that is helpful, but do try the back posts under Homeschooling/Second Grade as well.
      Carrie

  11. Hello Carrie,
    My oldest boys just graduated in May and are off to college in August. Luckily, I have been planning all summer for my youngest two, ages 8 and 12. I am trying something new as far as history goes. I’m working on the 3 time periods: Ancient, Middle and Modern. I have to admit, it is a bit overwhelming! But I feel too far into it to go another direction. I have plans to incorporate music, art and literature into this study, but I know we cannot cover it all. My hope is that by the time my daughter starts 9th grade (in 2 years), she will have a basic timeline of history in mind.
    What do you think?

    Jennifer in Colorado

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