Four, on a good day that is the number of subjects we attempt to cover. That’s with me combining writing with their language arts/reading work. To be honest…I hate it! Think about it, how truly effective is it to try and cram so much into one day? Even with the freedom homeschooling affords us, it still feels like we are rushing to keep up with our lesson plans. If we spend more time on math then we are a bit behind on science/history in relationship to what is planned out. While sure it’s not really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things because we can just school during a day that was normally planned as an off day, but who really wants to give up their off days? I sure don’t! I look forward to those days where I have no errands to run, no playdates or field trips, no lessons to deal with; just me, myself, and reruns of my favorite shows.
One thing I despised about my public school experience was the way we bounced from subject to subject. One minute you are knee deep in a novel during English class, the next you are trying not to fall asleep while you stare at your textbook listening to the teacher drag on about the Revolutionary War. Part of the reason I was so passionate about homeschooling T.B.M. had to do with wanting to avoid what I view as the short comings of public education; and then I went and planned our day just like what I spent 12 years hating, what the frick frack was I thinking?!
I've mulled over the decision to go to one subject a day for a while now, awhile meaning about two to three years, I kept telling myself it was a crazy idea. My biggest concern was that they would forget what we covered during the week with such a big gap between their lessons in any given subject, but then I thought, if I plan just right then, hopefully, they won’t. Multiple subjects a day is draining for us, school becomes a checklist of assignments to complete instead of the full immersion experience that I'm aiming for.
So I’m doing away with a schedule that involves trying to squeeze multiple subjects in one day and replacing it with the following schedule:
Mathematical Mondays (Math)
Test Tube Tuesdays (Science)
Wordy Wednesdays (Language Arts)
Time Traveling Thursdays (History)
Foundation Fridays (Life skills, Etiquette, character/virtue study, etc.)
Does this mean there will be no reading work at all on Mondays? No, there will still be daily reading; it will just be more relaxed because the actual reading lessons will be on Wednesday. Math will also be worked in as well; on Wednesdays we’ll do a few word problems that tie into the math objective of that week, while giving the boys a chance to hone their reading skills. There will also be math and reading on Tuesdays during our science work, and plenty of reading for history. My goal is to weave various subjects into the day, but keeping the main focus on the that day's subject. So on Test Tube Tuesdays if we do chemistry experiments we will use a bit of math, followed by reading and history when we learn about an important chemist, and teaching proper lab/safety information ties into our foundation work since I consider lab/safety knowledge an important life skill to learn.
Next week will be the start of our one subject a day learning, I’m a bit nervous, but also extremely excited since I've wanted to make this move for a while now. It seems far more practical and I think it will ensure the level of subject mastery that we are striving for. Plus, it will be fun to spend all day fully immersed in one subject! Oh the projects we’ll create!
How do you organize your day? Do you focus on one subject, multiple subjects, or something else entirely?
Copyright(c) 2012 Rayven Holmes