Having decided that I'd better be a bit more structured this week, I've planned out a (supposed) week's worth of work.
I've mapped out what we're doing when - including all the National Curriculum subjects plus French. I haven't planned the individual lessons very much. For English and Maths we'll be working through the Collins home-study books. Music will be singing and violin practice, with some theory. DT and Art and Craft will be whatever arty/cooking/making thing we feel like that day etc.
Science, I need to come up with an investigation to do.
Geography and History also need some kind of mini project each. I might do a play-park comparison for Geog and a project about the childhood of our grandparents (that's you, mum and dad!) for History. TBC.
It's all very well me knowing what we're going to do but I've got to have a way to convey the idea of a time-schedule to the children. So... I've made a series of cards, showing the time-slots throughout the day. On each one I've put a detachable piece of paper showing what will be happening in that slot. I'll be interested to see how we get on trying to stick to our timetable. I'm envisaging the girls seeing the 'slots' all laid out on the table and noticing how we work through the tasks. They may even be able to look forward to some tasks, whilst knowing that others are only temporary. It might help us to have cut-off points and boundaries, although quite why I'd need them in homeschooling, I'm not sure*. Part of the point was flexibility. Anyway. We'll try the more rigid approach to this week and observe what we achieve.
*It's with the aim of feeling a sense of achievement.
Already, invitations to socialise are mounting up. These are being accepted, I might add, since I definitely want my children to have plenty of chance to socialise with other children.
To that end, we already have three 'bookings' including a day at Beamish, so our actual work time is eroded. Then again, the benefits of the experiences that the children will be having as they socialise/visit Beamish cannot be underestimated.
This being holiday time is going to skew our results somewhat - in term time, I won't have such social distractions from our timetable as the others will be at school too. I'm certainly not going to ban socialising in the name of our homeschool experiment - it IS Francesca's holiday time afterall, especially if she ends up returning to school in September.
So, a second week commences, on a slightly different tack. I suspect that we'll find the timetable too rigid and that the happy medium will involve being fairly ad hoc around a range of pre-planned activities, carefully noting how much is done over each week and adjusting the balance of activities for the following week accordingly.
Some kind of check-list is probably needed - perhaps a spreadsheet of objectives that I can check we're meeting. These would probably be based on the National Curriculum, although homeschooled children don't have to follow the NC.
For these three weeks, we could legitimately not to Geog and Hist, planning to cover those later in the year. On the other hand, those are some areas I feel least confident about teaching, so maybe it would be wise to have a trial run.
OK, to bed. Francesca is expecting me to wake her at 6 again, for a walk. Zzzzzzz.