Monday, June 13, 2011

Starting the School Year… in June?

image Well, it’s a weird time to be starting a new grade, but I think we’re ready, the books are here, so why the heck not?  This is roughly my plan for scheduling, though it looks better “live”.  I have  no idea why it’s not outputting the subjects in numerical order the way it displays on-screen.

I’m back to using Google Calendar for schedling, by the way.  Our whole lives are in there anyway.  I tried using an online program called Homeschool Skedtrack, recommended by Angela at Satori Smiles, but beyond the awful name, it’s much more formal than we need in terms of planning the number of hours in your school year and exact start dates of terms, etc.  Because our reporting requirement is so much less here in Ontario than in some places, the program is totally overkill.  Not to mention a bother to start using, inputting students and courses into etc.  (But it’s FREE, so if you do need to report and create transcripts, etc., that  might be a worthwhile way to do it.)

And yes, I know it’s summertime.  But we’re having so much fun with school, I figure why stop?  As I’ve said before, it’s all about the momentum.

We will certainly have more than a few “interruptions” over the summer as school is pre-empted for things like camp (3 sessions), swimming lessons (2 weeks) and cottage (1 week). 

There are 16 weeks between now and Rosh Hashanah.  So even given those missing 6 weeks, during which we’ll still be able to fit in some school stuff here and there, there are 10 weeks, which is not a bad semester length.  After that, except for maybe a chagim lapbook, the semester will effectively be over until after Simchas Torah.

Even with a good amount of time spent outdoors, school is still only taking a couple of hours a day at the MOST, so I don’t imagine this will impinge much on the “summeriness” of our summer plans.  And I am always happy to preempt school for anything more fun or interesting, like a farmers’ market.

So here’s the question:  when and how do I to tell Naomi that we’re starting a new grade?

I don’t even know why I’ve put it off.  Most of the work she’s been doing (math, phonics, writing, Hebrew) is already at a first-grade level, but she still thinks of herself as being in SK.  I imagine she’d be very excited, but how do homeschool parents do this?  Just announce one day:  “Welcome to Grade One!”?

Maybe I’m secretly disappointed that we’re not having any sort of ceremony to mark the end of her kindergarten years?

Homeschooling parents or any busybodies out there, help me out:  how do I mark this transition when there really isn’t much of a transition going on here???

6 comments:

  1. You aren't allow. We do schooling year round too.. I've noticed that the structure and familiarity helps my daughter.. So breaks aren't always a good thing. Sounds like you have a great plan for this new year for school. :)

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  2. what about a graduation ceremony for her? with friends, or just family. or a 'siyum' sort of thing? Or a gift toward grade one, something that will be useful and pretty in grade one that she couldn't/didn't have for SK? Or a special fieldtrip of some sort with an explanation that it represents her passing from one grade to the next?

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  3. I think a siyum sounds like a cool idea... I could sew her a new Grade One pencilcase...

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  4. We've ended up just celebrating finishing up a level in a particular subject rather than a "grade", esp. since we learn year round-ish too. In June and July together we try to get a month's worth of work done. Ditto for August and September. Each kid is all over the map as far as what "grade" they're working in. But of course when people ask we just give the grade that matches our age! :)

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  5. Since we school year round, I usually just announce it when we've made a change in curriculum into a new grade level. Usually we don't emphasize the actual grade too much since there's times when they're split between two grades. Also even in the homeschool community here, people are really touchy on staying in your "age appropriate" grade level which I don't agree with! When we finish a math book year we usually take a picture with them holding their new book (or other book that took them awhile to get through). We also just give the grade that matches their age when people ask- it keeps it simpler. I think starting first grade should have a celebration of some sort though!

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  6. My oldest is finishing grade 1 now (he likes to stick with a grade, even though he might be doing other levels). He wants to have a "party" on Shabbat, which is like a siyum kind of thing in his mind. He'll invite two friends for an afternoon playdate and we'll have a special shalosh seuda, complete with the all important jelly beans. And then he's been promoted on!

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