Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How do I Plan

I plan differently almost every year it seems. This year I am going to plan loosely by month with a checklist for the older kids to get done so much of each subject. I haven't planned a daily plan or even weekly in years, because I know myself well enough now that it will only last a month or two. I simply sit down with my goals for each child (I have short term and long term goals that I want for them and also, goals that they have told me at our interviews), I then look at each subject and start selecting products, classes, projects, experiences, stories, movies, tapes, field trips etc. that I think might help reach the goals in each subject area and that I think would best fit with that child. If I have selected a book I will then say about how many chapters should be accomplished each month and then I try to subtract a few to give us space, and if it is a month I know we will be crazy busy (performance months, usually) I might subtract a few more-I have to do this because I tend to want to plan the kids to death. If it is something I want to do with the kids I will put it on the kids list, because they will then hold me accountable-"You need to do a manners puppet show for me, Mom." I go through every subject and every child-this takes a good week at least. Then this year I will be creating a simple excel spreadsheet with a place for them to x off each item within the month. We did this this summer and it worked really well. My kids woke up motivated and I could not believe how easy it is to get them to do some things if they know they would be able to check it off after "Mom, can I learn to take out the garbages this week?" "Mom, I need to learn to make a new type of bread today." "Mom, can we look up how to tune pianos on youtube today?" etc. I loved it.

Monday, July 09, 2012

What we have been doing

I am in a more busy season of life and do not get to write as much as I would like. Here is a catch up of what we have been doing. It seems almost all classes etc., which is not all we do, but just what I seem to take pictures of-
Brennen has entered his first pinewood derby. Last place-he took it well.
The kids took a PE class taught by their Aunt Julie for about 8 months. It sparked an interest in several other physical fitness areas.
This isn't a marriage blog, so I'll just say I have fallen even further in love with this man this year. He's my favorite person on earth.
Aubrey moved up to young women's. The group is such a great group. The older and younger girls all get along and are so kind to each other-what good influences.
Speaking or Aubrey-she has gone through great changes this year. She has become more confident, more soft spoken, more guarded in speech, more helpful, more peaceful and such a joy to be around. She has lost her little girl giggles and has developed a desire to be productive. It is fun to see but occasionally I feel like I need to do a double take.
Aubrey developed a desire to do gymnastics this year. It is a bit pricey so I did not jump on it, so she started quizzing everyone she knew in the sport for tips and to help her. After months of this and several skills she developed I saw she was serious, so I told her if she could get to a certain spot in her math I would sign her up. She lived and breathed math for about three weeks, covering more than half the program, so we signed her up. She had to start at basic 1 and all of the kids were younger than her. This did not even phase her and I knew she was not studying this for social reason she wanted to learn it.
Science experiments on air pressure.
Aubrey was Meriweather in a musical theater. This was the largest production any of us have ever done. It was a great experience.
Army games are a given. I love that they still all love to match.
Nanny helped prep Brennen's family history presentation he gave for scouts. I learned a lot too.
Yes, some of us hike in tutus.
Hammocks on the stairs. I'm not sure my Mom would have allowed this, and I occasionally question why I do.
One of Aubrey's hands on lessons with the younger boys.
This hike was so cute. The kids found a pole and Kamron got them all to hang on to it as he told them why they needed to hang on to the iron rod and then they sang the song.
Hands on math.
Yes, that is the same boy shirtless again. This was at one of our extended family home evenings, which happen on Sundays a couple times a month. Uncle Steve led the lesson.
Aubrey doing walkovers in the Western Festival parade which goes right past Nanny's and Pappa's house and is an annual tradition.
Logan and Brennen's piano recital. They both played perfectly and sang very well. Logan created his own variation on a song he learned, because he wanted to play with two hands the whole time.
Kamron performed as Prince Aragon in the Merchant of Venice. This is the local LDS homeschool group. He loves this group.
This picture of my husband makes me laugh and especially because what he was doing so mismatch what he was looking like at the moment. He was asking me if I wanted to go square dancing with him. I love this guy so much- I'm so blessed.
We were at family day at Brennen's twilight camp. We watched part of a reptile show and then they asked who wanted to hold a boa constrictor Aubrey nearly leapt out of her chair. My kids are so much braver than I.
We studied crystals and learned to use a microscope. This mama is thankful for kits.
Bike day for scouts. Logan mastered the two wheeler this month.
Brennen loved all the projects and activities at Twilight Camp. It was held at the middle school I went to twenty years ago-it seemed so much bigger back then.
Aubrey advanced to level two in gymnastics.
Aubrey and I took riding lessons-so fun. I feel like I got my seat back and she is no longer scared to canter. It was a lot of fun to do together.
She learned to catch, wash, brush, pick hooves, saddle, mount, post, dismount-really a lot of fun. Didn't help my desire to move to the country diminish though.
Kamron attended the Sacramento stay-at-home EFY. He had such an awesome time and grew a great deal. All the guys in his group picked flowers for all the girls in their group. He got to dance with several of them also. I am not sure I am entirely ready for this.
Origami class.
Milly took a kindermusik class. She was so excited to have her own class she fairly skipped around in circles with a huge grin on her face the whole beginning. She loved dancing with a flashlight and with scarves. She listens to her CD at home and tells others about her class. It is very cute.