Thursday, 9 May 2013

See you in September

I like to think in advance.  I don't always get to the full-out planning in advance, but I'm usually thinking about things early on.  For example, each Christmas I'm usually in charge of some sort of Christmas Devotional program for church.  This requires breaking out the Christmas music in July, in order to choose music, write a program, transpose/compose/order sheet music, choose the musicians, get them the music, and be ready to start practicing by the end of September.  Starting in September just wouldn't leave enough time.

And so currently, I'm starting to think toward September.  Benjamin will start at the boys' school, which will give me three kids in school and just Juliette at home.  I love many, many things about our school, but its one major short-coming is the lack of extra-curicular activities.  With only 6 teachers, there just aren't the resources that bigger schools have to run all sorts of sports teams and special interest clubs and art programs.

Enter me.

While I'm not a master of many areas, I would consider myself a "jack of all trades."  In other words, with a little planning and some YouTube "how-to" research, I'm fairly confident I could teach most things at a basic level.  And at the elementary grade school level, most kids aren't after master classes; it's about exposure.

My ideas have been evolving, but I think I've settled on going into the school once a week at lunch time to run different extra-curicular clubs.  I had wanted to do two or three things on different days and run them all year, but I think that might be over-reaching myself.  So instead I'll run 6-8 week long programs, changing it up about 5 times over the year.

I'll probably start with an outdoor sport, given the nice weather, then once winter arrives do a music program (choir, recorder, maybe rhythm), a visual art (yikes - that's going to take serious research because it isn't my area of expertise at all), then maybe as the students if there is something specific they'd like for the 4th session, then finish off with another outdoor sport.


But before September, comes summer, and I'm starting to think of ways to semi-structure the summer vacation.  I want to encourage reading, perhaps via a sticker chart since it worked so well last summer.  I also want the boys to pick a summer project to work on, something of their own choosing.  And Colin, very much like myself, loves math and math worksheets (yes, I used to do them for fun as a kid!) so I'll probably get some workbooks for them to work through.

I'm not great with scheduling, so I will probably ask the boys when they would like to do their daily work: first thing after breakfast, or in the afternoon during naptime.  Hopefully with their encouragement it will help me stick to something throughout the whole vacation, instead of starting strong and fading away halfway through.

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