Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2 Years Already!?!

I cannot believe it was 2 years ago this week, that we pulled Monkey out of school. I was both scared and excited to start! Looking back, I think I was TOO eager to start, we started right after coming back from our Christmas vacation trip, when I think we should have taken a few more weeks off to 'de-school' before jumping in.  Anyway, hindsight is 20/20, and while it did take a while to get into a groove, I think we have finally found that groove! Adding Bunny to the mix only slightly stirred the pot, but overall, we have gotten in a good routine that seems to be working.

After 2 years, I think we've finally settled into a routine that feels comfortable.

Each week, I pencil in what they'll do for the week. Sometimes I don't know what we'll cover on which day until the night before, so I don't fill it in until after we've completed the day. For History or Science, I have a list of readings, activities, videos, links that we plan to do over a whole unit, which might last 1-2 months, so we just go down the list and try to plan how much to cover each week.

I write up what they need to do for the day on a white-board (sometimes separating the independent vs. work I do with them), and they erase it as they go:

And generally, this is how our day goes: 
  • Morning Bible lesson/devotional together at the breakfast table
  • Science/History - read aloud and any activities together (We are alternating Science/History every couple of weeks)
  • The rest of the morning is spent doing what is on their white-board, which usually covers math, geography, Chinese, and/or language arts. If I need to spend time individually with one of them for any subject, I do it one-on-one, but mostly this is when I do my work for my job.
  • Lunch - While they eat, I will often read aloud some light geography or history when our focus is science, or we will watch a Chinese kids' video over lunch, or practice some Chinese words. 
  • After lunch, they finish up any other individual work that needs to be done, and can read, play, whatever until whatever afternoon activity we have (sometimes shopping errands, or extracurricular activities or playdates). They get screen time if they've finished their work, read something, done something creative, and played outside (or inside if weather is bad). 
It's not quite a schedule and every day there's flexibility for them to choose in which order to do things. When we have co-op or field trips or other activities, we just push things back or skip the 'schedule' for the day. 

So as I enter my third year, these are some of the areas I want to work on:
  • Adding more formal Chinese teaching, maybe introducing more reading/writing, since we've mainly focused on listening and speaking.
  • Getting them to pick up more life skills/chores, such as cooking or cleaning. 
  • Give them some practice with studying and taking tests, since we have not done any testing (we will do our first standardized test this spring).
  • Doing more discussion about their reading. We don't have any reading plan or curriculum right now, so we need to work on understanding more complex literary elements.  
We're in a happy place right now so I don't want to rock the boat too much, but hopefully I'll add these in slowly as we continue. 

1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog and look forward to reading more. I'm in my first year of homeschooling in Chinese and it's always nice to have a fellow "traveler" in what seems like a lonely road. I'm part of a Chinese/English homeschooling FB group if you ever need ideas, too.