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#1 sangtarah

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:28 PM

How do you determine what goals to set for each school year?

If you use a math textbook, for example, do you determine that learning everything taught in that level is the goal? Or do you follow a more "in this grade, we should learn x, y, z" plan?

#2 Mrs Twain

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:08 PM

I made my goals by using the Core Knowledge K-8 Sequence, which I think is still free online.  I didn't follow it exactly, but I used it to get an idea of where my kids ought to be with both skills and content through 8th grade. 

 

After I made my goals in each subject, I was able to choose curriculum that met my needs.  I used some programs, such as R&S English, almost cover-to-cover because they were nearly a match with what I was aiming at.  At other times, I would mix and match parts of different resources to put together material that would meet my objectives.


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#3 MerryAtHope

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 01:16 AM

It varied. Sometimes it was "get through this math level" and sometimes it was "work on multiplication facts daily" to work on speed or "work on copywork to scaffold student up to the stamina needed for writing 4 sentences in one sitting." 

 

Sometimes the goal was also something like, "to work on this subject X minutes per day this year," and with a minimum number of days in mind (so that we had wiggle-room to take off for field trips, but not so much that it was easy to skip a subject, for example). If the curriculum accomplished a goal I had in mind, I wrote that down so I could look at the end of the year at whether the curriculum was a good match (assuming we used it well). If I needed to be more eclectic, then I pulled from various sources to meet those goals that I had. 


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#4 fralala

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 06:22 AM

I also find the Core Knowledge sequence handy, but I think I mostly fall into the camp of deciding how much time I want to devote to certain things and what resources I like rather than having a goal in mind of finishing a certain thing or wanting to have my kids master a list of topics. My main and overriding goals are to be flexible and to make sure they remain challenged but not overwhelmed (and enjoy lessons!), and I find this is hard to plan for on a yearly basis. (I also won't move on in a subject if I don't feel like an important topic has been mastered-- I'm a fan of slow and steady, and this is probably why I don't like feeling hurried by a list of things I am required to cover or achieve.)

 

Caveat: I am free to do this because of the hospitable homeschooling laws in my state, but I imagine I'd have to do it differently if things were stricter here.


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#5 Tawlas

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 10:48 AM

I also find it really hard to set solid goals for my kids because they never really do what I expect them to do. I guess my biggest thing is just to improve each year. Show more mastery in skills subjects and broaden their awareness and (hopefully) enjoyment of content subjects. I do choose a yearly focus area, though. With one or two dyslexics, up until recently, the priority has always been reading. Reading. Reading! Omg, more reading. Finally, this year, I was able to ease up on the reading and make writing more of a priority. That just means that if I only had to make tough decisions on what got done that day, it was easier to decide what would stay and what would go.
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#6 MistyMountain

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 01:37 PM

So far I do not have a set schedule to get through a grade level or textbook in a school year. I just keep going and move at whatever pace they are moving at. If we finish a book we just move onto the next no matter what time of the year it is. I have a idea of long it might take or when I would like to finish but it is not set in stone.
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#7 Hunter

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 01:27 PM

I am surprised at how much I now have a set scope and sequence in my head that will probably remain constant no matter what books I use. 

 

I took a break from tutoring and really had oodles of time to read and read and read teachers manuals from the past 300 years and even a few from ancient times. Reading new curriculum used to yank me off my current path and put me on a new one. Now when reading new curriculum I mostly just look for what will reinforce what is already set, and discard the rest. It has been interesting to reread book and find myself reacting to them so differently than the first time I read them.

 

I'm still in a lazy mood, but I've been offered some tutoring this summer that I'm going to take advantage of, and as I plan for individual students, I just have so many dead set ideas, even as I individualize. We will get as far as we get, and I will tweak as necessary, but I know which basic path we will follow.

 

Yes, homeschooling and tutoring is about the opportunity to individualize, but successful teachers are usually confident and grounded and opinionated. They know who they are and where they are going. They know what they believe, and know their strengths and weaknesses. They are self-aware. They bend with the wind, but don't uproot.


Edited by Hunter, 21 May 2017 - 01:28 PM.

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#8 Hunter

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 01:38 PM

How do you determine what goals to set for each school year?

If you use a math textbook, for example, do you determine that learning everything taught in that level is the goal? Or do you follow a more "in this grade, we should learn x, y, z" plan?

 

Not so much what should be learned when and at what pace, but more these topics and at this depth before moving onto the next topics.

 

I tend to teach fewer math topics, than is the current fad, drill them more, and only move on to what a student is developmentally ready for. So I do have an x, y, z plan, instead of teaching what is in the book, but I don't expect individual students to magically be developmentally ready for certain topics and to progress through them at a set pace, just because they are a certain age or enrolled in a certain grade.


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#9 IEF

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 02:10 PM

 

Yes, homeschooling and tutoring is about the opportunity to individualize, but successful teachers are usually confident and grounded and opinionated. They know who they are and where they are going. They know what they believe, and know their strengths and weaknesses. They are self-aware. They bend with the wind, but don't uproot.

 

I am seeing this happening with my caboose baby, and also when I was tutoring. My student was enrolled in a charter so I could have borrowed curriculum that I only dreamed of for my own children, but only at my tutored student's grade level, which was not where he was academically or developmentally.

After a bit of self-involved oohing and aaahing over the complete Oak Meadow seventh grade curriculum, I pulled the oldie moldie goldies back off the shelf, sat down on the couch with my student, and re-entered the worlds of Vad of Mars and Laura 'n Mary and Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace that he had not experienced yet.

It's even funnier after the 16 year age gap between my sons and the 6 year gap between my two youngest students. I was like a kid in a candy shop with the used curriculum ads for a few years but now that I am planning my goals for my rising fourth grader, I find myself just shrugging and telling my fellow homeschoolers that our favourite curricula aren't any better or worse than the newest, hottest curricula in the flashing banner ads or the supply closet of their charter schools, they are just OURS.

The English program I longed for and couldn't afford for my 28 year old (currently working on her Masters in Philosophy at U.C. Berkeley) sits gathering dust while I hand copy her old © 1989 Daily Grams into a spiral notebook with a pen and paper. One isn't better than the other, it is just that familiar tools are easier to use, fourth grade is challenging, and I'd rather spend my time and energy teaching my student than shopping for products.

My student never did learn the scope and sequence of the Oak Meadow seventh grade curriculum and he did not choose to take out the student loans that he would have needed to continue his formal education past high school. He did learn that books contain stories and can be every bit as pleasurable as movies. He learned that Shakespeare wrote for people like his family and not for the upper classes. He learned that I wanted to share my books with him because I loved him and I valued what those books contained. He learned that education is not something that can be bought and sold and that the man in the suit who just bought a new car with the profit he made on his dreams is not better than he is.

My student still knocks on my door from time to time. He calls me his "second mother". That is a far, far higher compliment than "Professor" and infinitely more valuable than a six figure salary.

Edited by IEF, 21 May 2017 - 02:12 PM.

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#10 Catheryn

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 12:38 PM

nm 

 


Edited by tentwelve, 04 June 2017 - 08:34 PM.


#11 Homeschool Mom in AZ

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 07:29 PM

We do the next thing for mastery subjects like phonics, math and grammar.  My goals is that they master each concept before moving to the next.

 

Content subjects like history, literature, science, logic are planned out for the year because I do the 36 week hanging file folder system. In history, science, logic we finish the book by the end of they year.  I count the chapters/lessons/readings/assignments and divide by 36.  That's how many we cover in that week.  If a week is insane I often drop the least important one or two as necessary. Literature is directly related to history.  If we're having an insane week we may just read through and skip the discussion if it's not a really important book, or if we just hate it (it's happened a few times) we just drop it entirely.  Since we typically read aloud something to our kids at least 2 hours a day between literature for school, mom's early afternoon/evening read aloud and dad's evening read aloud, we can skip things now and then. In elementary school literature works out to about 1 book a week, occasionally 2 weeks, and in middle school, depending on the length of the books, it can be 2-3 weeks per book.  I plug them in as I plan history. 

 



#12 sangtarah

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 06:57 PM

I am surprised at how much I now have a set scope and sequence in my head that will probably remain constant no matter what books I use. 

 

I took a break from tutoring and really had oodles of time to read and read and read teachers manuals from the past 300 years and even a few from ancient times. Reading new curriculum used to yank me off my current path and put me on a new one. Now when reading new curriculum I mostly just look for what will reinforce what is already set, and discard the rest. It has been interesting to reread book and find myself reacting to them so differently than the first time I read them.

 

I'm still in a lazy mood, but I've been offered some tutoring this summer that I'm going to take advantage of, and as I plan for individual students, I just have so many dead set ideas, even as I individualize. We will get as far as we get, and I will tweak as necessary, but I know which basic path we will follow.

 

Yes, homeschooling and tutoring is about the opportunity to individualize, but successful teachers are usually confident and grounded and opinionated. They know who they are and where they are going. They know what they believe, and know their strengths and weaknesses. They are self-aware. They bend with the wind, but don't uproot.

 

I think is what I'm striving for as a teacher - to know where I am and where my students are and to know where I want them to go. I've been homeschooling for 6 years, but I still feel like a newbie. So many things looked like the latest and greatest and I thought we had to have THAT. Now I'm craving a steady path and trying to avoid going from one thing to another. I'm trying to formalize my goals for each student so I can choose a resource that will fit. Goals are not usually my thing, though. 

Thanks for the other replies, they have all been helpful. 


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