Planning the summer.

We are going to start this home learning journey in June. I’ve been planning my unit studies to fit the seasons, so we are starting with a unit on Gardens.

I should mention, I am not by nature a planner. At ALL.

This has been an adventure for me, but a fun one. You would think a non-planner would just buy a curriculum and be done with it, but the thought of having to stick to a schedule or curriculum freaks me out a little. So I am making it harder than it needs to be I’m sure, but I want to go with whatever Grace is interested in, and whatever fits the season we are in or what is happening in our lives rather than following a book.

Our garden is already growing and we’ll be adding to it all summer, so that felt like a natural place to start. I have a unit plan but not a day-to-day plan, so if we don’t get through everything we need to each day we’ll just explore some more the next day. (Can you tell I’m using the summer as “practice” for this whole thing? I have a hard time planning way ahead when I don’t even know what works yet!)

I’m anticipating that the garden study will take 2-3 weeks, followed by a unit on insects and the art of Eric Carle. We’ll work Presidents/America in around July 4. After that I’m torn between an ocean study, or ponds/rivers/lakes. It will depend on if we decide to take a late summer trip to the beach or not. We have plenty of ponds, lakes and a river nearby! Grace’s birthday is around the time traditional school starts, so we’re going to kick off the actual school year with an About Me lesson.

I have my other unit studies grouped by season, but not planned out yet. They could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and I’m just going to go with how long Grace is interested. If she doesn’t seem to want to study it we’ll move on to another unit, as long as nothing crucial is missed. I’m afraid I’m going to have to skip some topics for time’s sake, but I may find I will be able to fit them all in once I see how summer goes and start planning a little more carefully. Here are my topics, if you’re interested: Gardens, Ocean, Farm / Little Red Hen, Insects / Eric Carle, Presidents & America, Fruit of the Spirit, Helpers & Heroes, Pioneers & Early Settlers, About Me, Dinosaurs, Space & Creation, Leaves & Trees, Transportation, Pirates, Thanksgiving, Explorers & Inventors, Arctic, Nativity, Poetry, Medieval, Fairy Tale, The Mitten & Woodland, Dr. Seuss, Circus, Birds, Zoo Animals, Family & Friendships, Earth Day & Community, Ponds & Lakes. I have a few secondary topics on my list, but they will either last a few days or fit in with the larger topics.

I am also going to incorporate lessons from Kids of Integrity into each unit. (Patience with gardens, Acceptance with family & friendships, etc.) I am excited about that!

And of course we’ll be doing reading and math daily. Some of the free unit studies I found online have hands-on math ideas (measuring plants and recording data on a graph) but we’ll obviously be doing daily work with addition, skip counting, patterns, etc. And Grace is already obsessed with sight words – she knows at least 20 now and we haven’t even started official homeschool yet, so I’m hoping that keeps up.

And that’s my unplanned plan! We’ll see how it goes!

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