Thursday, August 4, 2011

I Need a New Calendar

*Let me preface this blog by saying that it's mostly a rambling of my thought process happening online for you all to see. Feel free to skip this and click over to the next blog if you don't really care about my brain-crazy.

I was just looking through a sweet friends blog and her August Calendar Crazies, and it really got me thinking.

I think I know what my problem is. (Good luck with that, right?)

I need a new calendar. You see, every year this time I sit down and create a schedule for school. Just like a school teacher would. Start school at 8:00 a.m., Bible, an hour of Math, History, blah, blah, blah.

But this is not school. Ours isn't a classroom and I'm not a school teacher. I'm a spontaneous schedule-bucking kind of mom who is led by part "Ought-to-do" part intuition (this stuff is making my kids & I crazy today, we're going for a hike). I am not going to build a schedule and stick to it unless it's a loosey-goosey suggestion schedule.

Now mind you, I ought to do Math, Language Arts, Bible every school day and I do. But the rest, I'd like to be notebooking, building a Timeline book, memorizing our CC grammar, reading aloud a lot and exploring some of the major interests of ours. For me, that would be History. For the boys, Science.

Can I be an eclectic Classical, Charlotte Mason heart-lead schooling mama? I think so, friends.

I'm thinking a lot as I plan this year not just about the "what" but the "why." Isn't this the real question that matters? Why do I homeschool?

Individualized education, Bible-based World view, family relationships....and maybe the thing on the front of my mind; a love of learning. My goal is to help my boys love to learn. To love it, and to know how to learn anything they want to learn. I want learning to be rewarding and even fun.

How do I put that in my calendar? This is the very reason my calendar won't work.

So I need a new calendar, a calendar of suggestions, maybe. A place to be reminded where I'm going with this whole educating thing, why I'm doing it. A calendar that lets me change the schedule every few weeks if necessary. Anyone have a calendar like that?


Cathy said...

I think you do an awesome job no matter how you do it!

I wish I had what it takes to do it!

April said...

hi amanda.
our schooling sounds much the same. i keep a calendar for things we HAVE to do OUT of the house, so i won't forget and people won't hate us. then i try to keep a general listing for what we need to get done in a given day--and not every subject every day...this is just a subject heading as i never get to the point of writing down pages/lessons. one thing i attempted to do regularly this past year(and i like it but follow-through is a severe issue here!)is a divided page of paper with each child's name, one per day, where i make notes of that day's activities--school and play. most of our living can count as part of their education, and this note-taking is documenting that without constraining me to geography map intensive when we need to be out playing with tiny toads.

you'll get there, like every year. if you're like me, though, a multi-section planner just won't DO. :)
happy homeschooling.

Hazel M. Wheeler said...

I don't know if this will help, but this is one thing I did for preschool-- a circular calendar.

I did this on a huge tablet, so get a large piece of paper. Make a circle that just fits into the paper (big!) and then divide into 12 sections, one for each month. Then, make it like a spiderweb (concentric circles within each other), one circle for each aspect you are teaching/thinking on. I drew the months on the outside and worked inward from there (nature, science, literacy, math concepts, social/emotional topics, music, outdoors/gross motor, fine motor/art, etc.) and this was my reference for building lesson plans.

I like to see it all in one place, so this sort of assemblage helped a lot. And I liked everything that April said.

You know me: I need a plan, some structure, or my day gets lost. Give me a plan and I'll be fine. It becomes the skeleton to build on and allows flex for me, more than no structure at all-- that just depresses and frustrates me.

Okay, this is turning into an essay. Just console yourself with the idea that if *always* got it right and had it down pat, life wouldn't be as interesting!

Love to you~ hz

Angie said...

So- Um - Usually people read my blog and I'd expect them to be thinking - "I know what's wrong with that chickie. . ." I've never thought it would get turned around to the reader. ha ha ha.

I'm writing a followup to that post sometime today after I get through the blogs and fb and forums. . .

I think the schedule, for me, is a practice run - of all that I'd like to do - in some contived crazy unreality place of perfection - and then I realize - my life is perfect! It's exactly what the Lord has given. Consistency, discipline, training and love calendar. I'll make a million bucks. Wait. It will be marketed to single income family unplanning homeschoolers - I hope I make back my postage and handling. ;)

April said...

when you get it figured out, i will be glad to pay postage! ;)
i love hazel's idea of the circle, but i am thinking i will start with a seven-piece "pie" for days of the week, and work out to the 12. since i'm highly visual, it may really help!