So this week saw the return of the heat and the official start of Willow's year 11. She has been busy working on restoring her bike and doing lots of music.
Gabriel and Arden will start our organised section of the year in a couple of weeks. With that in mind I sat down to plan our start to the year. Since Arden is in year 3 and we are focusing on aboriginal culture, local environment and the old testament this year I thought that it would be a relaxing start to the year if we focused on some outing on these areas Gabriel is also doing a bit of work on the local environment, so we are starting out doing very similar work.
My overviews for the year
When I sit down and plan the year, I always try to keep the similar blocks for each child at about the same time, so that we can do as much cross over work together as possible. Also I'm trying to encourage interested learners in my home, so I like have some differences in new topics and some cross overs- everyone is inspired by each other, and because we use a Steiner inspired philosophy the older students get to revisit areas of interest and explore them again, and possibly more deeply. (As an example Willow's focus for essays this year is music and mythology.)
My plan for our first block.
When planning my blocks in our early days of home ed, I was quite restrictive, but always if we came across something that was of interest to anyone we would explore the new thing further. These days when planning I start with a theme, how many days we're looking at it for, and then have a chat to the kids as to what would be of interest to them. This time we came up with visiting Bold Park, Kings Park, and doing a walk along the river front from Canning Bridge to South Perth and then catching the ferry (In the process of this, Gabriel said that he would like to visit some waterfalls this year). In between we will be doing some writing, gardening, nature studies. Arden will be listening to aboriginal mythology, and Gabriel will be reading "Oaxaca Journal" by Oliver Sacks. I try to make much vaguer plans for our blocks these days, so that we have more room for spontanaeity and creativity on the spot, but I still like a plan, so that I have a sense of what we are aiming for. That said if something else amazing comes along, the plan is totally able to be rearranged!
So that's how we are planning Willow's home ed this year. We have a starting point and goals that are being aimed for, and weekly meetings to discuss progress and outcomes. It will be interesting to see how it goes!
Some fun Irving has whilst I was planning today.