Sunday, June 21, 2009

Our Learning Schedule!

I think I have finished our learning schedule. We've worked our way into some of this already, but will officially begin July 1. I'm very excited. At first, I looked at the calendar to divide it up into quarters at various logical places, and then I realized we can just arbitrarily start our "quarters" on July 1, October 1, January 1, and April 1. The only reason to have quarters at all is so I can keep tabs on our progress and adjust our goals or speed up as needed. That simplified things. And each quarter just happened to end up having roughly the same number of days anyway.

We'll have an afternoon and a morning block of learning time. The afternoon block will be flexible during the summer, since it's awfully nice to throw in the towel and go play in the park when the weather is nice. We'll see how it goes, and then modify it (no doubt) as we get into it. So, here it is!

KODESH (religious studies), 2-hour morning block
davening w/all
parsha stories (weekly torah reading) w/all
biur tefillah w/Amirah (studying the words or meaning of a particular tefillah/prayer we are working on)
lashon hatorah w/Amirah - learning the vocabulary and grammar of biblical Hebrew in preparation for reading torah around November/December
kriyah w/Amirah - mechanics of reading Hebrew (i.e. phonics)
ketivah w/Amirah - learning to write Hebrew script
alef bet w/Eli and Raizel
Hebrew songs w/all

CHOL (secular studies), 2-hour afternoon block
looping subjects (Monday/Wednesday/Thursday)


looping subjects

Looping subjects are four areas of what I consider "secondary" skills. They include history, science, art, and music. Our loop schedule will be: history, science, history, art, music. If we don't get to a particular looping subject one day, we can scoot it off to the next looping subject period. That way we never actually miss it. I can also put off some of our kodesh studies to shabbat if we don't get it all done. I would love to have more time for music and art... we may limit history to simply reading the stories, but I really wanted to make time for map work, etc.

I'll post the materials we will be using on the sidebar as soon as I have it all in front of me. Torah Umesorah's book on curriculum and methodology was such a tremendous help in clarifying my thoughts on kodesh studies. Our primary goal really will be to get those Hebrew reading and grammar skills down really, really well. Everything that comes after depends on a firm foundation here.

And what will the littles do all this time? That will be the slightly tricky part. A fair amount of the kodesh studies (one of the two hours) will involve everyone, so that should be (and has been) pretty easy. During the afternoon block, Avi will take his nap. The secular subjects are focused on Amirah. Any time we finish early, I'll do some with Raizel and Eli. The looping subjects involve Raizel and Eli for science and art. We'll do other things not on the schedule too, like story time, physical exercise activities, cooking, etc. that will involve them.

Amirah requires the greatest amount of concentration for her reading lesson, so I'll probably let Raizel and Eli pick a 30-minute educational video to watch during that time. I'm a little hesitant; I don't like using a movie to "babysit," but I think it will make everyone happy for that half hour. Usually, they only watch a 30-minute video when papa works out and I am making dinner. I'll have to see how things go.

Sometimes I wish I were an early riser, then we really could get all of our learning done in the morning, 8:00-10:00 and 10:30-12:30. Right now we start at 9:30, which gives us plenty of time to have breakfast, do a couple of morning chores, and get going. The earlier start might be prudent, especially if I can cut my planning time down to a more minimal amount. We'd only have to get up about one hour earlier and not dilly-dally, so it's not that far off. We'll see... I've been such an unrepentant night-owl lately. Gevalt... and good night!

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