Friday, April 11, 2014

My weekly, mental, homeschooling, checklist

I think one of my biggest "problems" with homeschooling lately is my lack of a plan.

I have so many ideas of activities I'd like to do with the boys, I have so many topics I want them learn about and that we want to cover that I am often unable to really focus and come up with a plan.

Yet, when I do sit down, write up a plan, and really think about what we're going to be doing I don't EVER follow the plan!

Some days I don't want to pull out all the paints, craft supplies, and set up the hands- on projects I want to do.

Some days the boys just want to quickly "get through" school so they can go play.

Lately, I feel like we've had a series of those days.  Days where I don't want to set- up and plan and they don't want to participate.  I'm trying to work within those constraints and still pull together a fairly decent week of lessons.

In deciding what we'd do today I had to think back over the week and see what we covered. 

I do this often because I've found that even when I feel like we aren't doing anything for school we're actually covering quite a bit!

Instead of having a weekly lesson plan I use a weekly homeschooling checklist to keep us on task




In making sure we cover what we need to in our homeschol I tend to have a weekly mental check list.  I try to make sure that we have covered what I think of as the 10 subjects we need to touch upon each week.  Some weeks we don't get to them all and that's OK but I do try.  

Here are the 10 subjects we try to hit upon each week.

  1. Math
  2. Reading
  3. Sight Words (with Evan)
  4. Geography
  5. Science 
  6. History
  7. Writing & Language Arts 
  8. Art/Music
  9. Physical Education
  10. Life Skills 

It's like a little mental check list I have going in my head and this week it went something like this:
  •  Math-- Check-- we did math; the older boys each filled out five pages in their math workbooks, took a daily math minute test and passed their 9 times tables.  Evan put together a hundreds chart and spent the morning working with our magnets; counting by 1's, 10's, 100's and adding "one thousand plus another thousand is two thousand!"  Ian worked in his extreme dot to dot book and Evan is telling me math facts as we work in the kitchen together.  Ian and I also had discussion in the car while shopping talking about percent off and figuring out what 50%, 10% and 30% off of $100 and $90 would be. 

  • Reading-- Check-- We've been listening to The Heroes of Olympus on CD and they're acting it out in their play constantly!  Evan read many of his little readers to me this week and the older boys have been reading to us at night as well as to themselves.  Ian read a story and filled out the questions that went with it in his new reading comprehension book.  Alec read over four chapter books that I can think of off the top of my head (two while driving home from the library and two while running errands).  We read lots of signs and captions while at the Air museum too. I'm sure we've found even more reading than that so I know reading is covered. 
  • Sight words-- Check-- Evan found lost sight words in his bag of paint, wrote sight words using a  q- tip and a bag of paint, and has started slowly pointing them out when he sees them on signs. 

  • Geography-- Check-- we just about finished up all the boys' geography reports and display boards, we watched Families of Mexico, the boys have been learning all about South Korea and their flag at karate (the meaning behind the symbols and colors used, what they're called, etc.), we followed Amelia Earhart's flight around the world and studied many maps at the Air Museum.   
  • Science-- check-- we watched the Disney Science of Imagineering movie on magnets, watched many (MANY!) episodes of Wild Kratts, we went on a few nature hikes, learned about flood control dams, we learned all about the science of flight on our Air Museum trip, and have started checking on our caterpillars that we're watching turn into butterflies. 

  • History-- Check!- I was so excited about this check because I feel like it's one topic we rarely cover and we covered it big time this week!  We learned a lot about various wars and the history of flight at the air museum, we learned about the first dozen or so presidents in our Disney Presidents movie and the correlating history of the time that each president had to deal with while in history.  I also have to link the Greek and Roman gods in here and we've been learning a lot about them while listening to our book on CD's.  We're not only learning about mythology but they also talk about the history of Rome, the history of Greece and even a bit about the Civil War in the two books we've been listening to.
  • Writing (language arts & spelling too)-- check-- the older boys worked in their cursive books and used Mad libs several times this week (they read, spell and talk about parts of speech).  Alec wrote a story while Ian worked in his language arts workbook.  Evan wrote spelling words in the paint.  I know it's not much but for my boys that's HUGE progress! 

  • Art/Music-- check-- We made our jelly bean trees on Monday.  Alec painted a Cherry Tree painting and worked on many coloring pages on Tuesday.  Ian colored in his extreme dot to dot page.  We watched another video in the Disney Movie series and the boys are constantly singing; some made up songs, some popular songs, some theme songs. 
  • Physical education-- Check-- the boys all went to karate twice this week, rode their scooters, ran around outside (a lot!! both at home, in the woods, and at the Dam).  Evan played soccer and tried really hard to learn how to ride a two wheeled bike though he finally settled on putting the training wheels on the highest setting).  All three boys spent a good portion of the afternoon yesterday riding bikes and even helped me inflate the tires, adjust seat and handle bar heights, etc. so they learned good bike maintenance too. 
  • Life Skills-- check-- all the boys worked hard each day helping me get the whole house cleaned, they helped me make up our dinner menu for the month, they worked on making their own breakfast and lunch most days, and we've had many talks about our family budget and financial planning.  They each put away their own laundry too.  We've talked about personal hygiene and have touched on the topic of puberty with the two older boys. 
 (I also try to make sure we've taken at least one day trip a week and made ample use of our ability to get outside and get learning each week but typically that turns into a subject above)

     Linking Up with: Top 10 Tuesday, Together on Tuesdays,

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4 comments :

  1. Oh that is a lot of accomplishments! Its really good that we have a checklist because we tend to forget the things that are needed to be done.

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    #TWINKLYTUESDAY

    nhengswonderland.blogspot.com

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    1. I tend to forget things that we have done! I try to keep a running list going of what we have covered each week so I can remember that while it may feel like we don't spend much time doing schoolwork we really are doing a lot.

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  2. What a great weekly checklist! Such a lot of wonderful activities and learning is going on at your house :) Thanks for sharing at Together on Tuesdays!

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