Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What Planning Looks Like in My Head - The Arts and Science

Next year we will have six 6 week long terms with 1 week breaks between them, a Sabbath Week schedule. Well, technically one term is 5 weeks and the last term is 7 weeks due to the spring break scheduling we need for our high schooler, but you get the idea. I'm eclectic in the school resources we use which means some planning and organizing needs done. I thought I would share another peek at that process. Right now I'm contemplating what mix of artist/picture study, composer study, Shakespeare, poetry, and science topics to do. I need to choose who and what we will explore. Here are some of my thoughts on those:

Artist/Picture Study - Will we coordinate with our history time period? Who do I choose? Last year we focused on three specific artists for 10 weeks each (Bev Doolittle, Beatrix Potter, and John James Audubon) and looked at their work for an extended time while reading a book about them. this was outside our art class, where we had exposure to more artists and lots of technique. This year we could do that again, or we could have more variety. I picked up some fun art books that could have us following a topic such as landscape art, animals in art, or Early American art. Other books are a mix of artists without a unifying theme so I could do a different artist every week. Between the volumes I could even pull three or four pieces by an artist for a short focus on them (1 piece per week) and hit a series of 9-12 artists.

Composer study - Who will we study? Is there a biography to read about them? Will we coordinate with our history time period? How many pieces will we listen to and how often?

Shakespeare - How many of his plays will we study this year? Who will learn about them - with my variety of ages this could mean doing 1 play with everyone and another play or two with some of the older kids. There are children's retellings, the actual plays to read, and finding a performance or video to watch. Will we memorize any passages? Act some of it out in a reader's theater?

Poetry - How often will we read? Will it just be during Poetry Tea Times or will poetry be a part of every day? How often will we do poetry tea time? Will we read only one poet's work for a few weeks before moving to another poet or will we work our way through a poetry anthology? We've done both before and liked them.

Science - This is for everyone but the high schooler. We'll be doing a living book based science this year so I need to choose topics and gather books from my attic boxes and shelves for each topic. These will then be put away until we reach that topic. I want 1 broad topic per term (6 topics for the year). I also need to make notes of the experiments we will do for each topic. Oh, and this doesn't include our nature study and nature lore plans for the year. But I'm not thinking about those just yet.

As you can see, I have many things going through my mind right now in just these areas! We've got 2 weeks left of school after this week and then I will start pulling out resources for each subject area and making our plans. For now I just get to do a lot of daydreaming and jotting down my thoughts and ideas.

Are you in planning mode or waiting until the school year is over? Do you have more books than your shelves can hold? Have you catalogued all your books?


  1. I've begun thinking--mostly informally, but I did jot down a few notes about each kid the other day.

    Otherwise, I'm mostly looking forward to a more relaxed schedule. I'm so hoping for a healing summer!!!

  2. Planning for 10th grade next year. Since many online classes with good providers fill up earlier and earlier, I've started planning some time ago. Chemistry with lab will be online. Math (Algebra 2) will be with a local instructor. I am currently planning which 3 Shakespeare comedies to read. My student requested comedies since they seem to be the most palatable way to study the bard in a household where we are not fans. It seems like planning needs to happen earlier and earlier each year.


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