Monday, September 26, 2011

Progress of Organization

I thought I'd share how the Lesson Plan form has been changing as I get more in to the rhythm of our learning process with a 22 month old. I'm a visual person so I definitely like the color, organization and symmetry of a spreadsheet. My prior professional experience gave me quite a bit of exposure to Excel. I know, nerd alert, but it works for me :-D

You can see we will have daily tasks for our basic learning that can happen as we work on our two major themes for the week. How M experiences those concepts each day will change.
For now, I'm going to use a guideline for what I've some to see is the primary ways we learn through Printables, Manipulatives and Arts/ Crafts. The days that can fluctuate every week. There will be:
1. Intro day on Monday that will be about every day living learning with toys, books, conversations with mommy, errands, doing laundry etc. I listed a few toys but, we never run out of teachable moments.
Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, the core days will include : 
2. Printables Day- Activities with corresponding print outs to help with the major themes and  concepts
3. Craft Day- Art & Crafts. Aka: M gets to wear his smock day
4. Manipulatives Day - Montessori style activities that are M driven like the sensory bin.
5. Field Trip/ Assessment - Just to give us a planned activity for the day. We work well with focus & structure. I have Ladies Bible Study each week at my church which also gives M some group play time with other children. 

 I have listed all the resources at our disposal so I can pick which we will do that day. It's not my intent to  fill every waking moment of M's with an activity. We do school for about an hour and a half a day broken up by nap and lunch time. M learns in maximum 20 minutes spurts, then he goes off to play. He'll come back or respond when I suggest and then I know he's ready to learn again. The ebb and flow to our day works perfectly for us.
Screen shot of our week at a glance

Books & DVD's happen through out the week: I read to the Bible stories and repeat scripture to the boys during breakfast, lunch and snack.  We have a reading chair and box that has all of our basic academic books I've posted about before by a reading chair. M through out the day will bring me which ever books he wants and says 'read pease'. While I nurse D, I have accumulated quite a few Educational and Bible DVD's for M to watch that apply to our numbers, colors, shapes, letters and bible stories. D has to feed in the football hold. Mommy doesn't feel comfortable being mobile with a baby in that position using a shield. We make that time as positive and constructive as possible.  This is our phase in life and I remind myself  both the joys and challenges are temporary. Life's too short for guilt. Where was I before I felt the need to defend our choices?? Anyway.....

I've spent the last few days organizing Printables, Manipulatives and Craft supplies. The Arts and Crafts required some extra TLC. Tubs, boxes, cups and caddies help keep all the craft supplies handy for what ever M is inspired to do.  The materials listed in the first column can be used with any Letter, Number, Color, Shape, Bible or Unity Study Craft. The craft idea list is great for vocabulary and counting too :-)

Craft Ideas for 26 of our 43 weeks of learning.
14 of those left over weeks are Unity Study based with built in crafts
So, I have 3 weeks of craft ideas to come up with
and the first one isn't until February.
 I'm trying to streamline the Craft process. I'm efficient, not necessarily creative. So I've researched ideas to help inspire me on Craft Days. Once I feel the process itself is not time consuming, I can start adding some other fun activities I have in mind. The result of organization give me a more peaceful feeling and also eliminates distractions in our surroundings. Plus, we donated our old small TV and stand to charity over the weekend, so that freed up some space in our playroom.

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