Staying On Track With Homeschool

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Earlier in the fall, I blogged about how I keep records in my Montessori homeschool. I have changed planners (because I was running out of room in the old one) and Aidan's individual planning has changed quiet a bit since the beginning of the year as he has grown and developed, but I am still using primarily the same system.

Right now, Aidan and I are working on time management. When I shifted our school schedule a few weeks ago to add group time, I added more choice time into his day with fewer daily assignments in areas such as handwriting and spelling. This was somewhat of a leap of faith on my part, because in the past he has not always done well went left primarily to his own devices. It isn't that he wouldn't work, but that he wouldn't always challenge himself much. Since I couldn't control the environment by removing the works that seemed to be distracting him (because his brother and sister need them) I was left with giving assignments to keep him working in the right direction and with appropriate materials.

That isn't the goal of Montessori, however, and I knew I would want to help him move away from providing so much structure to his work time eventually. I needed to help him learn what to work with and how to structure his time for his own learning, not just his own enjoyment! Daily work assignments was my first step.

Now we are moving back into one lesson per day, with follow up work. The kicker being his follow up work has gotten a big bigger but also less strict on being done on the same day. Feeling he still needed some guidance to stay on track, I came up with a work plan for school work to be completed by Christmas. For each major subject area (Math, Language, Geography & Culture, and Science) he has 2 or 3 assignments he must finish by Christmas break.

At least one work in each category is relatively straight forward, such as completing a layout of a certain material, receiving a specific presentation, or finishing something he has already started. There are also assignments that take his previous work one step farther. For example, he has completed several of his own North America maps but I have asked him to make a labeled one now. There are only 12 items, which leaves him less than 4 per week to complete so he should have plenty of time to finish everything and still explore his own interest areas as we go!

He seems very open to the concept of a work plan for the rest of November and December. My hope is that if this is successful, we will be able to then start working on him tracking his own assignments and work after the first of the year. I'm still not sure how that will look, but I'm not going to put too much thought into it until I see how this works out. We may need to do more than one round of work plans to get the hang of things before he is ready to write his own!

1 comment :

Kylie said...

Thanks for sharing this Heidi, Ihave exactly the same problem here with B. Although we have only just started with the Montessori philosphy he will always choose work that is beneath him (his sisters work).

I moved to requesting that he reads at least one reader, chooses one actvitity from his language area and one activity from his math area each work session. However most of the time we get to the end of the session and I ask him what of his 'must dos' did he get done (of which I already know the answer) and most days it is probably only 1 out of the 3.

I have thought of labeling things for each of them and/or writing out his work for him but to me that is somewhat defeating the whole 'child directed' process. (I realise that work plans in some sense are part of Montessori). I just want him to feel the sense and pleasure of being able to choose his own work for a while.

I'm letting it go for now since our year is nearly over but I will be giving this alot of thought over the summer holidays to see how I should work things with him.

Anymore thoughts on the topic you may have would be greatly appreciated.

oops sorry for such a long comment lol!