Friday, 19 December 2008

So I have a bit of a Plan!

I haven't got it quite sorted down to a daily schedule type plan, but nevertheless it's a plan for Issy. Hettie's is pretty much sorted already, but I have warned Issy that the New Year we start, up early and work done, no arguments. And after some recent posts here it may be a bit surprising :0)

I've been looking at everything we own HE wise which is a lot LOL. When it was just Hettie at home we were 'doing' mainly Waldorf curriculum and it was going great, until we added the little minx Issy into the mix and then it didn't work at all. Hettie didn't like losing our time alone together, Issy wasn't wanting to do much at all and we've kinda drifted since September, although Hettie has been doing well with any work I've given her.

We've got a couple of practical problems which are their tables and chairs are really too small for them now and we haven't got enough shelf space. A traditional style desk hasn't really got enough workspace - they need lots of room, dh wants a dining room table that's not folded up behind the sofa & has to be dragged out every night, and they can't work together at the same table without one distracting the other. As for shelf space, well just not enough, I've cleared and cleared books out but I'm buying at a faster rate than selling! So that needs some thought although I've got my eye on some tables and chairs!

So back to what we have curriculum wise. Its got a bit can't see the wood for the trees round here. I bought Sonlight Core 1 thinking they could both work together, which they did but Issy kept drifting and ambling off, didn't like the read alouds and Hettie couldn't concentrate. I was reading bits of books all over the place, Hettie didn't like the Bible reading which matched in with Language Arts and Issy loved the Bible. Added to the mix was trying to read the book for our HE book club. Hettie can't read well enough yet to do the reading on her own, Issy can read but flits from one book to another and its never the one she's meant to be reading. So after 8 weeks I gave it up as a bad job, and thought we can still use all the lovely books and readers.

However after some 'Sonlight' discussion with HE friends, some of whom have used Sonlight for a long time, I came to think my error had been firstly in expecting them to work together when they are 2 years apart, and Hettie has been out of school for 2 years and Issy a couple of months and secondly in not realising that although intellectually Issy is way ahead of her age in terms of actual ability of grammar, writing, etc etc she is about average with her peers, and emotionally she is average with her peers, and she has a learning difficulty which means her concentration levels are poor - well actually about on par with a gnat tbh.

So I purchased a lot of Montessori equipment and its worked well. Issy loves getting down something to 'play' with whilst actually teaching herself maths, and I have about 10-20 minutes input before she gets on with it. We started some of the Zoology Montessori curriculum and again we actually started to get somewhere. So, back to Sonlight discussion after which I began to think I had perhaps aimed a little high and been to slavish to the plan. Issy likes a timetable and knowing what shes doing everyday - she needs the structure, so finally after much waffling here's her plan:

Sonlight Core K for history/geography/language arts & readers

Montessori Language Arts as it fits in with Sonlight K

Montessori Maths and Zoology (science)

Living Maths books to reinforce maths work

Any time left over for arts/crafts/lapbooks

Not sure if that sounds a bit much, but we can just slow down when necessary. Now to fine tune Hettie's :0)


Luke said...

I'm glad you are adjusting your program to match your family's needs. If you need more help/suggestions for modifying your Sonlight experience, you can find great help on the forums or by talking with an SCAs.


Lisa said...

Ah Ha I thought you may pop in Luke :0) I've gathered some comments from us Brits where in the forum would you like comments?
Fingers crossed this time we'll be away!


Shirl said...

There is something to be said for having a table that doesn't fold down because you can't ignore it! Our pine table cost us the princely sum of £30 and it's been used for cooking, arts/crafts, experiments and is now being used as a dress-making bench; as well as for meal-times lol!

Good luck with your new schedule for the New Year and I hope you all have a lovely Christmas ... :0)

Shirl x