Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Getting Organized

I make things harder for myself than I need to. I feel great about the decision to go back to working in main lesson blocks, but short of buying a new curriculum I had to make Oak Meadow work with the new format, which of course it was not designed to do.

For review: I bought Oak Meadow to make things easier this year; I hated the lesson format; I organized the lessons into block format; and now I have to see if it works. Next year I need to remember to buy a curriculum that is already in blocks or to put together my own!

I had insomnia lat night so I worked on the conversion, and this is what I came up with. Again, I apologize for the size. There are columns for the week of school we are in, the focus of our main lesson block, the week of the block, the dates of the block, the subject we are studying, and the weeks of the corresponding Oak Meadow lessons.

We're not covering everything in the Oak Meadow syllabus, nor are we covering it in exactly the same order. We have studied some of the topics previously, plus we bring in much that isn't part of the syllabus. But it is an excellent springboard and we will have covered most of the syllabus by the time week 36 rolls around.

I am excited about is bring back the secondary, or afternoon lesson. This concept came from the Christopherus First Grade Syllabus and is one that we really enjoyed. Rather than approaching handwork, craft, and art as one-off projects we focus on one for a period of 2 - 4 weeks; this allows in-depth exploration. Some of our planned secondary lessons are quilting and baking (to coincide with fractions), modeling (using Arthur Auer's excellent book Learning About the World Through Modeling), weaving, painting, and book making (something we'll do during our creative writing block).

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