Some of the activities that truly relax me are exercising hard, reading non-fiction, and lesson planning. No, you are not reading the about me section. Last night I spent 8 straight hours lesson planning. It began because I wanted to do something I enjoyed, the kids were in bed and Chris wasn’t home. So I gathered up all our supplies for next year, made a giant mess of our living room floor, with post it notes and highlighters everywhere and I mapped out the year. I used a combination of Weaver, Science Detective, Christian Kids Explore Biology, Story of the World 1, 2 Encyclopedias(one science, one history) and several art curriculums.
At first I was going to use Weaver to go through the bible, but as I read through it last night it seems a little dis-jointed to me. So when we begin our day with the bible, I plan to go through one Proverb each week. From there we will select a memory verse. The memory verse is more for practice on “presenting” than it is for memory. It’s important for children to learn to “present” things, apparently. I decided to hang on to Weaver’s bible, just add it onto whatever science we use from it. Weaver is a unit study and a great one at that, but my children are very young so in order for it to be complete, a lot of supplemental work on mama’s part must be done- which I LOVE.
I learned about 2 years ago that the curriculum I choose to use does not become my slave master. It is rather more of an idea book. What’s so great about that is this, I can make just about anything work for us. One of the trickier parts of this, is that I have a hard time fitting what we plan on doing into the neat little spaces in my lesson planner. It’s a lot like my life and my personality. I generally have this great big idea and I think outside the box so much that I have trouble fitting into pretty little boxes. The problem is this… I desire to have the ability to be flexible enough to fit into the box when it comes time to use that planner. Because eventually there needs to be some sort of outline, one way we can all connect and understand each other. In knowing that most people tend to be the pretty, well-used and tried and true tested, pretty little box, lesson plan people, I desire to have the ability to bend and fold and twist until I can make a relationship work with anyone who uses one.
Outside of the institutional church we have different ways of talking. One of the main things Chris and I say is that we have to “die to self.” What does that mean? Well, I am one of those people who has my life- and my life with the Lord- scattered about like all those notes, and plans on my floor last night. And instead of just throwing up my hands and saying “this is me, take it or leave it”, I clean it up a bit and organize it for the sake of being able to connect with other people. One of the harder things for me to do has been to voice when something seems off. I think about it, I talk with my husband and get his input, and I leave it in the pile of papers labelled “I don’t know what to do with this so I’ll just ignore it.” Well, eventually it’s got to get pulled out and dealt with. Where do I put this thing I don’t know what to do with? I’ll use a certain unit study for example… Most of the study was about geology, rock formations, volcanoes, and that sort of thing. It seemed beautiful to me. My boys are going to love that! Then out of nowhere there was a one-day lesson on electricity and water usage in cities, right smack in the middle of it. I didn’t know what to do with it. To me it made no sense so instead of trying to make it fit my schedule, I left it out for the year. I will come back to it when it seems to flow with another lesson. Because I am talking in analogies here, in life there are some things I can’t just push to the side. I have to accept that for some, it makes sense to have electricity in this stage of the unit. And because the curriculum says we should do it, everyone else who uses this curriculum does it. And it’s okay. If something works for everyone else, why try to change it? Should I write to the company and ask what they were thinking and ask them to change it? No, I let others do what’s working for them and I move on to do what only I can understand.
And so last night I got tired of trying to make this particular subject fit (no longer talking in analogies here, just homeschool stuff) and I stopped feeling bad about leaving it out. There are going to be so many opportunities during the year to study electricity- there had better be because I bought a stupid kit for this unit! I wrote in another unit that this year Ben will be keeping his own planner… very exciting! We are well on our way to self-motivated learning. He seemed excited at the idea of having a stack of books and plans in front of him and deciding how he would like to organize it. In the beginning I plan on helping him and we do have a few “rules”. One of them is that he can not schedule time “off” during the beginning of the week when no work has been done. If he wants to schedule a heavier load at the start of the week, he can have that time off at the end. For now, he says he wants to do a little each day.
If you are reading this you may be wondering why I do lesson planning if I am going to have my darling son write his own? Well, I need to know what has to be accomplished so it’s a map for me and also it’s a guide for Ben to use. Instead of going through each topic and book himself and finding page numbers and names of chapters, he can just look in my planner. It won’t be so overwhelming for him. Also, I still have 2 other little ones I have to plan for. Most of all, I love doing it. Today I will finally post the page of our upcoming year’s schedule, so if you are a Weaver mama and you’re looking for ideas on how to do this(like I was months ago), take a peek.
Thanks for reading!!