Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year

In which I resolve to blog every single day. WOOPS -- I guess I forgot to blog yesterday. Well, there's always 2008. No, but seriously, in which I make 10 homeschooling resolutions for the coming year.

Not all unschoolers are freewheeling rock stars with no thought for tomorrow. Some of us wild woollly renegades who eschew formal curriculums still make plans and goals for our homeschooling year. Last year my objectives were pretty vague and insubstantial, but this year, since Benny is old enough to kind of understand and participate in his own goal-making, I decided to formalize it somewhat.

1. Benny gets his blue belt. Benny does Tang Soo Do, which is Korean karate, at the Norfolk Karate Academy. He got his green belt shortly before Christmas, so I'm hoping the blue belt will come before the end of next year. He has to learn the next form, which is pretty hard, and he also has to take his behavior in class to the next level. No nose-picking, for sure, for the blue belt. Possibly even no spinning and humming.

2. Benny finishes the Rosetta Stone Spanish curriculum, level 1. We've been toying around with this for a couple of years, and it's time to get serious. We're probably going to be going to Guatemala later in the year, so all of us have this one on our lists.

3. Finish Suzuki book 3. This will be good and bad, since for book 4 we have to find a new teacher, but since he's already on the third song of a seven song book, I'm anticipating this one will be done by the end of 2007.

4. Read 12 books. In December we read Charlotte's Web, which was our first real chapter book (besides books like Mrs. Piggle Wiggle where the chapters are episodic). So I'm thinking we read another chapter book each month, titles to be determined, as we see what works. Considering Alice in Wonderland first, since they're kinda familiar with that, and maybe Charlie and the Chocolate Factory after that.

5. Memorize 12 poems. Last year we memorized "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear and "Have You Seen The Wind?" by Christina Rossetti. I want to do another poem each month, learning vocab and also general stuff about each one we do. This month we're doing "The Walrus and the Carpenter" by Lewis Carroll. Benny picked it. I was going to push for "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" but whatever!

6. Do 50 science experiments. The kids love to do these and they don't have to be fancy or complicated. We have neat books to choose experiments from, and I'm just going to let them pick what they want to do each time.

7. Teach Sadie her letters and numbers. She kinda knows some of them. I don't know if we'll do a really straightforward "Letter of the Week" approach, but we have to knock that out before she considers going to preschool.

8. Learn multiplication table. We actually started this this morning and got through the 7s. I mean, he doesn't have them memorized, but he gets the concept. I just let him draw numbers into grids that I made, and let him figure it out on his own. It was actually very magical to watch this, and it all happened before 9 am! Tomorrow we'll do 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, and isn't that as far as the official multiplication table goes?

9. Do H-Z in South America. We did interesting lessons and songs that we made up ourselves for A-G, on South America topics, then we abandoned the project when Sadie became, let's just say, an obstacle to progress in various ways. Mostly that she was 2. Now she's going to be 3 and we're going to finish this project.

10. Get Sadie into ballet, and graduate from Prezuki to regular Suzuki lessons on the violin. And potty trained, but hey, that'll happen soon, RIGHT?

There you have it. Our fun year. Let the learning begin.

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