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Monday, August 25, 2014

Our 2014-2015 Learning Map

Whew, in less than a week we’ll be diving into a new year of learning!  Our oldest is officially a high schooler and our youngest is officially “school” age (our state has mandatory kindergarten).  I’ve already talked a bit about the big picture for this year.

Our 2014-2015 Learning Map @ Homeschooling Hearts & MindsBut I’m been hemming and hawing a good bit about what the particulars of that picture are going to be.   Well, it’s not perfect, but I’ve finally settled on a plan. 

This is going to seem a bit convoluted as I’ve got 4 kids who will be working independently for many things, but their educational paths also intersect at certain points---an infographic or at least a graphic organizer is what I really need here…hmm….

I think I just figured out why it’s been so hard for me to wrap my head around our plans---I needed a less linear way of looking at it. 

A picture is exactly what I needed…here’s my new map for learning:

Our 2014-2015 Learning Map @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Before I got this far, I had a clear picture in my head for each child’s learning goals for the year, then I decided upon resources that would support those goals AND support that child’s personality, temperament, strengths, and weaknesses. 

But keeping the picture with the resources and how they overlap between the kids was requiring too much of my working memory, and writing it in lists or spreadsheets was too confusing for me, so I drew myself a map.  I’ve printed a copy of this on cardstock and will keep it available so I don’t lose sight of what I’m doing.

If you have more than one child and you’re a visual person, like me, I recommend taking out some paper and drawing your own map. 

You can color code it.  Do it in a fancy software program like I did.  Create a flowchart in Word.  Write each piece on a index card, arrange it all until if fits together and snap a photo.  Whatever works for you.

It might make it all seem a little less wibbly-wobbly.  Or better, it keeps the wibbly-wobbliness intact, but allows you to see the patterns.

Later this week I will post some more details of what I’m doing with each child, complete with links to the resources (I’ll link them to this post so they are easy to find).

My next step  for me is to mark out a block schedule for the younger kids---we’ll be working on the foundational skills (language arts and math) every day, but will divide up content so that we don’t have to jump to a new idea every 20 minutes.

The 9th grader and the 5th grader will have weekly assignments, but I’ll help them to work on creating their own schedule until they’ve mastered that themselves.  I think it’s important for older kids to own their education by not only helping to choose what they learn (they have both had major input into their materials this year), but how and when they will learn it.

I’m not quite ready yet for the whole year, but I think I will be ready for a light start on Wednesday.

Check out the details for each of our kids this year:

David’s 9th Grade Plans (live 8/26/14)

Mary’s 5th Grade Plans (live 8/27/14)

Peter’s 3rd Grade Plans (live 8/28/14)

Emma’s Kindergarten Plans (live 8/29/14)

Are you beginning a new year of learning soon?  Are your plans made?

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