I finally had that A-Ha Flowing Moment of Planning on December 31st. When it all clicked – I needed an anchor to my planning. I’ll try to explain – in less than 900 words – But I feel that I’ve really grown in our lesson planning and learning these last 4 months, and have now found the focus – at least through June – to step up our learning. However, it means that in our Growth – I step back to my roots – in Unit Planning. Let me explain .
I know that I want to cover a wide area of topics. When I sit down to plan, it all gets sorted out. It’s like when I work on a Beading Project. I like Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, in a pattern. I want the mixed up necklace my friend is making next to me, it is so beautiful – we both have the same result, but her’s seems, well, better. Yellow, Yellow, G, G, G, B, R, Y, B – – in the putting it together, I can’t do it – but in the end, I see the more beautiful result.
I know that I want to incorporate Daily Learning Practices, no matter what we are working on. I understand that each practice point does not need to be a separate curriculum. And I know that once the “necklace” is complete, it will be beautiful. But. How?
Last semester was fragmented. We finally hit a groove of dropping presidents, really hitting art and music in a big way, clinging to our nature studies and spending quite a bit of the extra time in robotics. Math and Daily grams carried us through. But it felt like we were sorting beads, not making a necklace.
I was writing down all of the topics for Art/Music/and Nature – with a desire to do more Geography and Bible Reading . . . . when a few key words kept coming up.
Looking at the list – giving myself the freedom to use my resources the way that works for us – I came up with the following plan for January – March.
Looking through the Harmony Fine Art Grade 8 plans, I wrote down the country where the artist was most well known to live in. It gave me Russia, France, Italy, England and the good ol USA. Then, I went to the Galloping the Globe book and wrote down historical figures that were known for those countries, looked at the Science Unit ideas, and Bible Verses. I saw a pattern that connected the Science Unit and the Winter #2 Plan from Handbook of Nature Study. So – Using the Winter #2 plan as the anchor for a timeline – I matched up the Country, and then plugged in a few Artists/Composers. Do you see the huge light going on over my head? Has it faded since Saturday? Then I got on the computer and entered in many of the books from the Galloping the Globe into the Library Online Reservation System, along with the books recommended by Harmony Fine Arts and Handbook of Nature Study – and – in the
twinkling clicking of the keyboard – my Unit Study was born!!! WOO HOO. I wrote it out on paper, and then plugged in the topics into the iPlanLessons so I’d have the topics handy when in town looking for books, and I just can’t tell you how excited I am!
Each student can work at their own level – using individual resources for 9th and 5th grades – but we can stay on the same topics! Woot Woot. Happy Dance!
Here are a few topics that I will be looking for in books and movies for the weeks. When dad is off on a weekday, he likes relaxing with Netflix. We’ll be looking for movies in the areas below, as well as audio books for the car and reading books for afternoons.
Today is day 3 of the “new old way”. And I’m excited. If it only makes sense to me, I’m sorry about that . . . . I’ll be sharing our days with you, and maybe you’ll see how you can use Unit Studies, Great Curriculum, Notebooking, Art and Movies – to have a great learning unschooling relaxed day . . . .
Or maybe it’s just me. . . .