From the looks of my homeschool lesson plan Google Sheet, it would appear that we haven’t done much in these first six weeks of school. But it feels like we’ve been going non-stop.
Keeping in mind that I’m still working around 20 hours per week and we generally have 2-3 appointments to work around, here’s how we’ve been spending our time:
- Getting used to working in a new environment with new materials. Ronnie has had to transition from an expansive classroom full of materials to our small workroom with just-enough. I’m glad that he’s had the flexibility to decide where he likes to work and how he likes to do things.
- Figuring out a routine and flow. Trying to fit in two 3-hour work cycles every day, when we’re as busy as we are, was a fantasy. We’ve had to redefine what a work cycle means to us and how we get things accomplished on the go.
- Discovering where Ronnie is in the Scope and Sequence. While I had an idea of where Ronnie’s third-grade class left off, I seriously underestimated which lessons he had already been given. Several of the lessons I tried to give him were way off base, and I discovered that some of the curriculum choices I made weren’t going to work for us, so it took a few weeks to feel that out and land where we needed to be. I think we’re on track now.
- Printing, laminating, cutting new materials. We ran out of room on our shelves quickly! Which means that we’re having to transition to printing as many materials as we can. I’ve found some awesome options, which I’m excited to tell everyone about. And when I haven’t been able to find what I need, I’ve been able to whip something up pretty quickly on my own–which I will also be sharing soon!
- Reading. Lots of reading. One of the first things we started doing was weekly trips to the library, where I encouraged Ronnie to check out books that interested him and books about what we’re currently learning. I’m also reading a ton–mostly to prepare myself for our version of the “Great Lessons” (note: how we handle these is going to look very different from traditional Montessori). I’ve actually listened to some of the books through audible.com, which has allowed Ronnie to listen in–and really pique his interest before we even begin! We also started a novel study on A Wrinkle in Time. We’re definitely taking our sweet time reading through it, but I think this has been worth it.
- Started co-op classes and took a class at NASA. Ronnie chose a class on Extinction and another on Chess for this semester. He’s really enjoying these, but most of all I think he’s loving making new friends. Leaving his friends at Montessori school was the biggest challenge for him in deciding to homeschool. So seeing him light up after that first day at co-op because he made a new friend–that was the best!
- Nailed down how we’re going to use a digital work plan. This took a lot of iteration! But I think we’ve landed on a process that is going to work for us. I’m excited to share how this works–the entire process–through a video and screenshare, which I’ll make available soon through Patreon!