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It is great if you have already got lesson plan sequence that you prepared early this academic year. We don't prepare completely all lessons for all subject in the beginning of this academic year. I just thought that there might be a lot of tweaks regarding the curriculum as some subjects might work while the others might need to change as they don't work with us. Basically, we don't want to work hard for the curriculum, but we want the curriculum work for us. Curriculum is a tool for us to achieve our goals in learning.
In the middle of the academic year, what do you do to close and to start the semester? Here are 10 things to do to close and to start our semester:
- Evaluate how each lesson has worked daily in terms of time effectivity, curriculum for each lesson, hands on use, learning and teaching methods. Here is our curriculum list that we are using in our first semester of 2013-2014. We would like to analyze which ones have worked well for us and which ones that need to replace or revise to make our learning more pleasant and effective.
- Check all of our stationery stocks. I purchase our stationery in the beginning of this academic year. Some of them are in bulk, but some of them is just in retail. I just want to make sure we don't run out of any as it is quite frustrating when we run out of stationery in the middle of our semester. We would have to go to the stationery store just to get some few things. What a waste of time and money.
- Check all of kids' work and keep them into their storage. We have got our finished work box. When kids have finished their work, they will put their works in the boxes so that I can check them out later. They cannot put the work to their binders before I check them out and giving feedback. End of semester is the time to look back what they have done during this semester and to gather the scattered ones to the right place.
- Evaluating how we have done religious routines. This is a discussion session with children and husband. We are going to see how they behave themselves in church, personal prayer, reading the bible, and morning cycle. We will share how our relationship with God has been going on. It is also a kind of activity to make the spiritual resolution for the new year.
- Evaluate how the character education has been done both formally and informally. This should be a warm discussion with my husband about what we have done in building up character education in our kids daily life, which ones that need to be improved and which ones have shown great achievement. This is part of our role as parents.
- Redo the scheduling matters. As we change some of our curriculum, we need also revise our daily schedule or time table. We also have some change regarding the standardize test preparation that Ken needs to take. There are also some subjects and lessons that kids can do it independently right now. They also start to leave napping time. Therefore, rescheduling is a must for us.
- Evaluate the assessment matters. For the standardize test, the government needs some formal report. Therefore we need to be more organize with the assessment so that we are prepared when the time comes up. All benchmarks, scores, and portfolio need to be collected in a bind.
- Tidy up the learning area or our workshop with kids. This is the biggest part we are doing at the moment. Everyone are cleaning up. We did it last Sunday. I change my table into bigger one and kids tidy up their drawers. They check their daily need stationery supply, clean up their scrap paper, check all of the markers and coloring or arts things, tidy up their lockers and binders. When the atmosphere is clean we should be able to work well. We also still build up our announcement board to make it work more effectively.
- Prepare some learning areas that needs further preparation. I start preparing some notebooking pages and lapbooking sets for our coming up lessons and topics. I just bought some of them in the black friday through the cyber monday, but some of them need to be adjusted with our need.
There will be also some nature walk, field trip, and experiments that we can plan and prepare ahead. Rather than preparing in the middle, it is better when we can prepare ahead.
- Check and revise planning. As I have mentioned before, we just move to electronic planning and I use Olly Homeschool Planner with iPad Apps. I need to feed up the lesson and course to adjust with the curriculum change and the next year holidays. It might need some time, but I know it will worth a lot. It just works out in the beginning and my schedule will flow along the next semester much better.
What a huge list of job to do, isn't it. I plan to finish them before Christmas so that we can have the holidays peacefully and start our year with the new semester and new “atmosphere”.