Friday, September 26, 2014

Our Family Chunk Clock

I listened to a wonderful seminar from The Homeschool Coach, Mary Ann Johnson, on Hecoa's free Not-Back-to-School Summit about the family chunk clock.  It was so amazing, I watched it again and took a LOT of notes and then also listened to the audio and printed out the handouts to make ours.  My daughter K has voiced to me before that she feels like she doesn't know what is next each day.  I knew that this would not only benefit me, but especially her!

How it works is, you divide your day up into chunks of things you do.  If there are days where things come up, someone gets sick, etc. (and they will!) this chunk clock helps you see a visual of what is important to finish that day, what you can skip and to help you refocus when you get off track.  You can listen to the audio on her website, just google the homeschool coach and family chunk clock.

We wanted a catchy funny name for our clock instead of the generic -- Family Chunk Clock, so we came up with "Got Chunks?" LOL! 

You may be wondering what is up with the weird names on each chunk.  Well, my daughter created each of those names to add some FUN to our chunk clock!  Here are the why's of each chunk:

  • Snore No More - because we are not morning people and we must stop snoozing
  • Moddy Time - She took Mo from Mom and ddy from Buddy (my son’s nickname) to show it was for me and Buddy (Z) to have time together.
  • Hope Lu - She took Ho from homeschool, pe from P.E. and Lu from lunch!
  • Kazm Time - Ka from K, Z is for her brother Z and M from Mom - since this is our time to do individualized things
  • Chep Hour - usually 5-6pm, so an hour and she got Ch from chores and ep from prep (dinner).
  • Foing Up - Fo from food (dinner) and ing from Washing (dishes)
  • Chee - Ch from church and ee from Free(time)
  • Spied - Spi from spiritual and ed from bed

I didn't put every detail in our clock (showers, time with husband, etc.) because I wanted to keep it simple and this is our guide to show us our natural flow and/or routine.

This has already helped K KNOW what is next and have a visual of how our day will go.  This also is helping me in the same regards and also to have my priorities highlighted, so I don't lose sight of what is important - God, School and Family!  It will also make a great conversation piece when friends visit!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

5th Grade Writing

I shared our 5th Grade curriculum choices in this post and you may have noticed that we do not have a writing curriculum.  We were going to do Writing With Ease 4 but after Susan Wise Bauer's updated recommendations, we decided to forego WWE 4.  We were almost done with Writing With Ease 3 and both of us were really done with the dictations but we kept pressing on through the pain of them.  I ended up giving K the evaluation in the back and she passed with flying colors, so I knew that she was ready to move on.  I also didn't see a need to do the next level because it was just more of the dictation but in paragraph lengths and that made us both cringe!  However, K loves reading the little snippets of stories out of WWE 3, so we may still do those.

So, I knew I wasn't going to do the WWE 4 book but what would I do now for writing for 5th grade?  As I was re-reading the Logic Stage section of The Well Trained Mind, that is when I saw it:

"If you choose to use Rod & Staff, the composition exercises provided can fulfill the middle-grade student's need for a writing program."

I think I heard a choir singing the Hallelujah chorus (in my head of course) - little did I know that we already had our writing covered with our grammar book: Rod & Staff English!  I quickly got it out and saw that it taught outlining, paragraph formation and all that good stuff - awesome!  Then, I also realized that K gets dictation in spelling right now anyway and she will be writing narrations from books she reads and in history and science.  Enough - I have to tell myself that IS enough, she doesn't need a fancy, shiny new writing curriculum - we got the bases covered throughout the curriculum we are using.

I do eventually want to use the Institute for Excellence in Writing's program but for 5th grade we got it covered!