Friday, December 7, 2012

15 Day Sprint to the Finish Line

Countdown to Christmas Break! A sprint to the finish line.
So, over the Thanksgiving weekend, the kids and I discussed how we would handle the relatively small amount of time until Christmas. As is the usual case, the days leading up to Thanksgiving week were getting more and more loose and we weren't exactly where we wanted to be in our subjects. [not that I feel you have to live by a schedule, but if you have Goals, you do need to work on them in order to accomplish them- so balance those 2 truths!]  We all agreed that we wanted to get further and end the 'semester' on a winning note.  So to that end, we decided what would be realistic goals for each subject  and what would be a realistic number of days until we took a break. [I, the mom, love the breaks almost more than the kids!]  We decided on 15 more days of  official 'school.'  We determined that Cordell ought to finish out the current math book, reach list Q-5 in SWR, complete the current SoTW book, stay current in Latin, adding in vocabulary work, and memorizing his Sneetch Duo for our Speak Out.  Melodie would get 15 sides of math and 8 drills in, reach Q-3 [or catch up to her brother if desired], complete the current SoTW book, stay current in Latin, adding in vocab. and Memorize the Sneetch Duo for our Speak Out. I also added working w/ their younger sister as a goal. [either phonogram game or reading a book] and 1 hour of recreational reading per day and piano practice as those things were being neglected too.  They just tested into new TKD belts, which was also a goal. It is Nice to have 1 goal checked off early on.  So, to help us all stayed focused,  I made up a grid and wrote each day's goals on it for each child.  They are to check them off as they do them.   In practical terms, I am only homeschooling 2 students- so that's all that is listed here. But I am also including the pre-schooler on the 15 day 'sprint to the finish.'    And you could say the 15yr is on the same sprint as his community college classes and his co-op class are also winding down- all to be done by the 18th.  That is also our Speak Out night and so with that last deadline, we can truly start our Winter Break.  Just in time for parties, visiting siblings and all kinds of other good things!

Since Christmas [or any holiday/birthdyay] can be a distraction to the regular routine, I try to find ways to combine them.  I came up with a way to use our Christmas Train to encourage phonogram work with the preschooler. You never know if kids will cooperate with your fantastic ideas, but thankfully this time, she agreed it was neat.  The game worked like this: I held up a phonogram card, which she was to 'read'. If she read it. [and of course, I helped if needed] the card could have a ride on the train.  She was the conductor and in control. Always a plus.  She was to say 'Bye bye ____ [insert phonogram] and 'Hello ___' as it went around the tree.  We'll be doing this activity often while we have the set-up available. Who doesn't love to play train conductor and enjoy the Christmas scenery?
The phonogram gets a ride around our Christmas tree

Well, we still have other things going on too, with Tween parties, homeschool dinners, bake sales,  a field trip to the spy museum and of course, the Midnight Showing of the Hobbit. [for the teen group].

Add to all that- shopping, baking, decorating and cleaning,  it will be a great accomplishment to keep up with the schedule. But so far, with Cordell's help mostly, I am staying on track and it looks like we'll be able to reach our goals!

All I have to do now is come up with wrap up history activities to go with finishing the book, or for co-op; finishing a unit.  That's today's task, along with s'more cookie baking . . .and maybe some gingerbread if I can fit it in. . .

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