As much as I am tempted to give an apology for not blogging more often and list reasons why it has been hard, I am just going to forego all that and jump right into the topic at hand. In January we started our third year using AmblesideOnline as our homeschool curriculum. This year is the first year that I had not previously read all or most of the books we are studying. The reading is getting a little bit more demanding, but my son is also such a proficient reader that he is ready to take on more independent work. As such, I knew that prereading would become an important part of my planning so as to not overload our schedule on some days of the week. Since my daughter will eventually be coming along behind, I also decided it would be helpful for me to have a written record of my pre-reading notes to reuse when it is her turn.
My intention was to get a month ahead during our long Christmas break, but life happened, and the time slipped away without me getting ahead by more than a week. It even got to the point last weekend that I was cramming a bunch of reading in on Sunday afternoon to prepare for the next school day! Needless to say, this week it is my goal to spend a little time every day on reading for Year 3 so that I can keep a little farther ahead of schedule.
One thing that I decided to do in organizing my pre-reading and notes is to read chapters week by week according to the 36-week schedule. I could have just read through a big chunk of each book at a time, but by reading each chapter as scheduled, I am able to make connections in the same way my student is likely to make them. It also makes it easy for me to find notes on a specific reading easily since they are organized by term, week and subject type. The same advantage will be true in a few years when I need to use these notes again as reference for my daughter.
The other thing I decided would be good for me as a pre-read is to actually write out narrations of each section I read. These narrations form the bulk of my notes, along with a few lists of key names, dates and places. This process of writing a narration for each reading does significantly slow down the process, but I am reaping the benefits of the practice of written narration. Plus, when it is my son’s turn to start writing his narrations instead of saying them out loud, hopefully, I will have more empathy with him because this is not easy! The truth is, handwriting these narrations is really helping me solidify the information in my mind, so I am glad I decided to do this, even though it is a good bit of extra work I would not have to do.
So if you are wondering why I am not writing blog posts as often this year, even though I have said many times I want to be here more regularly, it might just be that I am busy reading and trying to be a better teacher! Because, after all, my roles as a wife and a mother definitely come first, which means that the online world, as much as I enjoy being part of it, has to take a pretty low priority. But I hope you will stick around and be part of the conversation when I do get a chance to visit you here at Tuning Hearts!
Until next time,