It’s only four weeks until Christmas break! So far this school year, I’ve been planning one or two weeks of lessons at a time. (That was usually how I did things when I taught public school, too. Planning bigger blocks of time inevitably led to frustration when we’d miss an activity here or there… I’d have to cross it out or rewrite it… and I’d feel angsty about my now-messy planbook.) This weekend, however, I’m sitting down to plan out the next four weeks.
I’m going to plan out our math, science, handwriting, phonics, and writing lessons, as well as holiday activities, in detail. We are ahead of the curve in math, so by looking ahead over the month, I’ve spaced out some of the curriculum lessons and will interject a few review days so that we’ll complete the unit “on time.”
Our Tapesty of Grace materials are the most time-intensive, so “lesson planning” in that area actually involves a lot of reading on my part, then picking and choosing from the smorgasbord of suggested activities and books, and arranging them in an order that flows with our weekly schedule. So I’ll plan this upcoming week TOG in detail, and *if* I have time I’ll plan ahead. If not, I’ll continue to plan TOG lessons each weekend. The next four weeks will take us back to the Promised Land, in the time of Joshua, the judges, and King Saul and David. I’m personally excited about seeing new connections I’ve probably missed, even after growing up hearing some of these Bible stories my whole life!
Mainly, though, I want to make sure I have holiday crafts and activities for Tuesdays and Thursdays this month (when we are all together). I’ll be moving my collection of Christmas books into the family room when I put away the Thanksgiving books – but I set aside a few titles so that we can read them together with special focus. The Littlest Christmas Tree: A tale of growing and becoming by Janie Jasin, The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell, The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado, and How Many Miles to Bethlehem? by Kevin Crossley Holland will each coordinate with a craft for the kids. In some cases, I’m planning two separate crafts for Jonas & Susannah’s differing abilities.In addition to the “school” things I’m planning, we’ll bake plenty of Christmas goodies and watch all the favorite shows and movies. I’ve got my iTunes Christmas playlist fired up, and we have a CD in the car to help us learn all the music for the church play (Susannah is going to be a lamb; Jonas refuses to get on stage and plans to watch from the pew). We’re going to have a Thanksmas celebration on December 8th with my Dad and Barbara, our Sunday School party on December 9th, and another Thanksmas on December 15th with Chris’ mom and sisters, so we get to spread out the cheer the whole month long.