Thursday, July 4, 2013

School planning for child #2

When we first started homeschooling, David was a first grader, Grayson was still attending preschool, and Ella was only two. My planning and prep efforts revolved largely around David. I had some things for the littles to do to keep them busy while I worked with David, but I wasn't planning a curriculum for the other two.

In our second year, I needed to do more to weave our younger two into our days. Grayson's kindergarten year was simple - reading, handwriting, math made up his main school work. Now that I am planning a school year with a first grader and third grader (and a preschooler!), I'm realizing that I can't just fall back on David's first grade school work for Grayson and call it a day. Planning for Grayson's first grade year is proving to be a lot different than planning first grade was the first time around.

Rather than seeing Grayson's school work as being a completely separate thing, I'm trying to weave him into the mix and combine things when possible. Instead of planning a third grade curriculum and a first grade curriculum, I'm finding it helpful to plan a Frank Family Curriculum for the year. This shift in my perspective is helping me to put things together that will help our days flow more smoothly and efficiently than if I were planning as if I had two classrooms to teach.

Sometimes reading practice is more fun with someone to read to

Granted, Grayson will have some things that will be different, and his alone. He'll do his own math, and his own reading practice. And the work we do together as a family will have to be modified for each of them, so they're getting what they need out of it at their level.

The trick too, is not to simply plan for my third grader and throw Grayson in and assume he can just tag along for the ride. I want to be mindful of his interests and the things I want to cover in his first grade year, so he doesn't get pushed to the side in favor of his older brother in the planning process.

I have important things to say too!

I'm finding it helpful to shed some traditional-school thinking and remember that I'm not planning for a third grade year, a first grade year and a preschool year. I'm planning for David, Grayson and Ella. Functioning smoothly as a family, even during our school time, requires a bit of creativity, but each year I learn a little more about how to accomplish that. I think focusing on working together, instead of having completely separate school times for each child, is going to go a long way to helping our days flow more smoothly and keep me from going completely crazy trying to keep up with the needs of three kids at three different levels.

Of course, these things always sound so good in the planning phase. We'll see how it all rolls out in implementation!

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