St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Monday, February 06, 2012

Planning for the year that ends all…

……of course, I’m kidding…..but not about the planning part, just the ending part!  There is so much floating around out there about the end of the world; you know….the Mayan calendar, the predictions….well, of course these things interest me, I mean seriously who wouldn’t want to be prepared for the end of the world IF they knew it was really coming?  I’m not sure what kind of preparations would be needed, come to think about it.  I guess we could start stock-piling Hostess Twinkies?? 

Okay, to the planning…..for me, this time of year marks my sudden urge to plan next years’ curriculum. I’m not sure how that happens for other home schooling moms, but it just hits me like a sudden craving!  I’m far enough along to see where I need to steer my children in the academic sense and see enough accomplishment that I feel I must prepare for streamlining the next year together with this finishing up of this one.
For both my youngest boys that are still be schooled at home, I have to incorporate therapies; for my autistic son they are weekly, for my OCD son they are monthly.  But for EVERY DAY there are academics, at-home therapies mixed largely with many challenges.  Just a typical day of school here is not a typical day….

But looking ahead, and feeling pretty confident that the end of the world isn’t coming very soon….. I’m glad to be going somewhat generic in our curriculum and right on grade level at this point with Mother of Divine Grace.  I’ve already plenty of curriculum on our shelves from having schooled our two oldest from K through 12th into college.  But here and there I am adding just a couple items to satisfy the needs of the Mother of Divine Grace Teacher Planner per grade level. (link takes you to third grade planner)   I am doing 3rd and 8th grade for the next year.  To keep myself sane, I want to use the planner (a day–by-day, at–a-glance calendar, of already plotted out curriculum); I mostly decided this would be the best way to get my oldest son a little more independent of me, and give him exactly “what is next” at the touch of his hands.  I think it will help me and help him at the same time.  I think my youngest son will appreciate it too, because of his high functioning autism, he loves to read directions… know, assemble directions, information inserts, the dictionary :) …..LOL, so yes, I think he would like this system also.

We have always followed the “syllabus” per grade level, but the teacher planner only follows “one” choice per category, written in stone basically.  So say like in grammar there are several choices broken down in the syllabi, in the planner there is just the most popular one broken down to follow.  So, I am needing to fill in with some of the more popular choices.

In the meantime, I am catching up on some curriculum I never did get around the purchasing in the first place, such as the Child Size Masterpieces, Levels 4 & 5, (learning names of artists, and learning about famous paintings).  We have the other levels and I just never purchased these levels…hard to find or something….but I know my autistic son will love the cards and matching games, and learning the names and paintings as it is this kind of thing he indulges in.

So, books coming the mail is my “thing” right now….planning, thinking, hoping, guiding them….Attempting to keep myself spiritually fortified for the challenges and journey ahead with them.  While all the while, keeping in mine my oldest children who are in higher education dynamics and getting more “out there” in the mix of life among people, places and things.  Praying they make good choices, and stay strong in their faith and the foundation we gave them here at home. 

When mothering wears lots of different hats to fulfill her vocation, it is hard not to keep oneself contained to oneself……so I attempt to blog, chat on Facebook, discuss on the different education forums I belong to, and get together with some beautiful moms at our parish for a monthly get together, sharing our successes and seeming failures.

In the end, it is so true that we (and our children) are all works in progress.

If you are already home schooling….stay the course, more power to you..and if you are considering home schooling, pray and be courageous; may God bless you with the strength and wisdom and courage you need.

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