Plans for July

It is full-on summertime here in western North Carolina: the fields are a sea of red clover, Queen Anne’s Lace and chicory. The fence rows and stream beds are covered in blackberries, a full month early. There is not a lot going on in the schoolroom, but there are some things to report.

Vincent: 10 years old, rising 5th grader Vincent always does a one week camp in the summer at the local science museum in town. It runs from 9am – noon and will focus on designing vehicles and contraptions. (At least that is what I remember from the registration brochure we received back in February!) This summer we also added a woodworking class taught by a local Waldorf teacher. This class is for 2 hours, 1 day a week for 4 weeks.

Jude: 7 years old this month, rising 1st grader Jude is excited to be turning 7. His party remains pretty much in progress until about the week of his birthday. My mom, who makes his cake every year, has the patience of a saint when it comes to the various themes and baked goods options.

Sheila: 42 years old, glad she is still rising every morning If you have been reading this blog in recent weeks, you already know what I’ll be up to in July: planning, planning, planning. Every week finds me getting more and more specific with what we will be doing with our days come the end of August.

Because my posts (hereherehere) on my in-progress planning have been slightly stream of consciousness, I have attempted to list the steps I have taken so far. First I try to get an overview of both grades, then an overview of specific subjects (language arts, math, science). After this big picture planning is done, I will get specific with individual blocks. I hope this provides a better idea of my process. I am keeping a list of details updated here.

If you haven’t already read this post entitled “Gathering Grace” by Carrie over at The Parenting Passageway, I would highly recommend it. My thoughts had already begun to turn to the deeper, spiritual underpinnings of my planning, but for some reason her words really helped me to shift my focus this past weekend. I didn’t read any curriculum and instead spent my mornings on the back porch reading one of my favorite theologians and poets: John O’Donohue. His book To Bless the Space Between Us held so much wisdom for me these past few days as I think about the beginning of our school year. He says, “A beginning is ultimately an invitation to open toward the gifts and growth that are stored up for us.” Opening, gifts and growth . . . isn’t that wonderful? I tried to balance these heavy thoughts with some practical work by cleaning out the schoolroom and arranging things with an eye for simple beauty. I’m so thankful for friends like Carrie who remind me that homeschooling is more than lesson plans and art supplies.

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