Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Homeschool Goals

So FINALLY I have had time to sit and reflect on the past year. It was a big year for me school-wise, since I went from homeschooling one child to teaching two. I've thought about what has worked out...and what has not. I went back and took a look at last year's resolutions goals.

(I don't really like that word, resolution. The first word that comes to my mind after hearing it is broken. Too many negative associations with this word, even though I love the word resolve. So I have resolved not to use the word resolution any more. Instead I prefer to say goal.)

Anyway, I was happy that with the exception of a few, I pretty much accomplished what I wanted to do. That said, you will find one or two of the same goals on this year's list. So here's what I have worked out in my own head.

At the top of this list is my decision to post the following list somewhere visible. Some place where I will see it on a daily basis. Otherwise, out of sight, out of mind.

For my daughter who is beginning the second half of her 2nd grade year, I want to:

Find or put together a really good spelling curriculum. Yes, yes, I know that I had this on last year's list. But I just wasn't happy with the curricula that I tried. So I'll continue to search, though I've found one or two that look promising.

Find a good reading list that is appropriate for her reading level. I've actually already started researching this and received some great suggestions on The Homeschool Mom's FB page.

Decide on a better grammar curriculum. The one we have now is a little too dry - for both of us! I'm thinking about using one from Critical Thinking Company.

• Continue with her happiness training. My daughter is so much better than she was last year. But she is still emotional and moody. And her attitude towards school is sometimes pretty sour, which is strange because she enjoys it when she is actually learning. It's just hard getting her to the table. She still resists math, even though she likes the new curriculum and is doing really well with it. But in my opinion, she's got to learn to be still and do the work when she has to. I don't ask it of her for very long, but I do think this is an important part of self-discipline.

For my son who is beginning the second half of his Kindergarten year, I want to:

Find a good writing curriculum. This boy loves to read and write...but his handwriting isn't so great. I need something fun that he will enjoy doing. I'm investigating this program and this one.

Sign him up for classes at the museum. My daughter has had so many class opportunities through the museum, 4-H, and other venues. I want him to have a chance to enjoy something similar.

And for myself:

Find balance. Since I moved away from a structured curriculum this year, I'm definitely less of a slave to it...but I'm also more disorganized. :( Which is especially sad because getting organized was one of my goals for last year, but I seem to have gone in the opposite direction!

Use more software. I'd like to find more interactive software for my kids. I especially like School Zone's programs, and so do my kids. That said, I do believe in careful monitoring of their time spent on the computer: each one gets no more than 45 minutes on the computer each day... it's really more like 30 minutes.

Make a decision about using the Internet. I found some great interactives online this year and I'd like to be able to use more of them on the kid's computer. However, their computer is not hooked up to the Internet, which is really important to me. At the same time, I don't want them on mine! What's a mami to do?

Use more audio books. I am really happy with some of the audio books we used last year. And after reading about this in The Well-Trained Mind, I want to continue to pursue this practice. I really like the books with CD's I purchased from Barefoot Books, and have found other resources for audio books that I want to explore.

• And lastly, I want to continue exploring Spanish curricula. I like the one we are using now and so do the kids, but I need a more structured curriculum. So it's back to the drawing board...again.

¿Y tu? Have you created new goals to go with the new year?

Con mucho cariño...


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