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Big Picture Goals for 2021


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So, there is the Chinese proverb goes:

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The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

Following in that vein I figure that the best time to post this thread was 6.5 months ago, and hopefully the second best time is now. ūüėĄ

What are the big picture goals for your AL for (the remainder of) 2021?

2020 thread

2018 thread

2017 thread

2016 thread

2015 thread

 

Edited by Gil2.0
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The goal for the next week is to finish up the 2020-2021 school year work for DS12 & DS9.

The goal for the summer for the entire family is to do something to challenge their brain and their bodies every day. For DS12, that is AoPS Intro to C&P, Henle Latin, and training camps for soccer and cross country. For DS9, that is to start AoPS Pre-Alg and MP Greek, and daily trips to the town lake and/or playgrounds. For DS7, we will continue with daily phonics, spreading several short lessons (new, review, & practice) throughout the day. He's coming along slowly, but he's still got a long way to go before his reading ability matches his abilities in other subjects. (Apparently, for *me*, I'll be working through C&P, Henle, and MP Greek, in addition to my own review of discrete math *and* a teaching course to renew my license. I'm tired just thinking about it!)

In the fall, the goal will be to get out into the world as much as possible (pandemic permitting). I'm planning a trip to D.C. for the fall, and hope to add day trips every couple of weeks to go along with our history study (early modern period, founding of America, etc). I also want to get my kids walking around town more, so that DS9 & DS12 could walk to the store, library, or playgrounds together. DS12 will also be taking an online writing course and will start in-person piano lessons at a music school (that he could probably walk home from).

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For ds11:

Languages: reading fluency in Latin (he's starting to read with expression, but is still halting), listening fluency in French, and back to a working vocabulary in ASL

Executive functioning skills: develop a higher degree of independence in organizing and scheduling his short term tasks and goals

Violin: finish his Suzuki book

Fine motor skills: tying his own skates.  It seems like a pretty simple task, and yet.......it's not.

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Last year!!  In fact, last 5 months because we are on the Southern Hemisphere school calendar and are done at the end of November! 

My main goals are to fill in gaps -- big picture gaps -- that could be a problem at university. He plans to major in either physical or cultural geography, or possibly earth science. 

1) Shore up his executive function, study skills, how to take notes, how to take tests, how to work with the disabilities office, how to advocate for himself, etc -- In the first half of the year he took his first university class and I helped him to deal with all of this. Looks like he might have gotten the top mark in a class of 150 at a university ranked about like Georgetown or UVA. However, this effort took up nearly all of our time, so I'm a bit behind on the rest of the shoring up!

Next up:

2) Shore up his writing -- He needs to increase his writing speed and referencing skills. He has decided to write 7 research papers in 14 weeks, each taking about 20 hours. 

3) Shore up physics concepts- We have decided to do some of these research papers a physics, given that he is not very good with textbook learning and physics. So one paper will be on Chernobyl to learn about radioactive decay, and one will be on geostropic flow in the atmosphere to deal with forces and mechanics. At that point all that is left is EM, and I'm not sure how we will attack it yet.

4) Shore up mathematical science - Because of his dysgraphia, maths and science have been very difficult to blend. So we will be doing a mathematical unit on Solubility and Buffers in Chemistry to make sure that this is even possible, because if it is not, that will rule out certain classes and maybe even majors in university.

5) Shore up his biology -- My dh will be reading and discussing The Way Life Works, to make sure he has the basics down about transcription, translation, replication, etc. Being a biologist, I just kind of thought he knew a bunch of stuff through osmosis I guess, but I found out about a month ago, that he really knows nothing. oops. 

6) Learn some Maori language and culture -- This is a requirement to work in NZ at this point, and I have been very bad a teaching it because I don't know it having grown up in the USA and then worked from home for 25 years. So we are learning it together as I enter university next year also.

7) Get some job experience -- he needs something on his resume besides tutoring kids in violin. So he is considering working for a political party and starting to tutor math also. 

Ok, think that is it! Should keep us busy for 5 months!!!  

Edited by lewelma
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Looking at the 2020 thread was so hard. It was basically reading the "before" times in a dystopian novel. So many things cancelled for these poor kids. So much stagnation and even regression, at least for us. It wasn't all bad, to be sure. There were certainly many successes to celebrate. It just pains me, as we finally begin to emerge and survey the devastation this pandemic has wrought, to think of all that these kids have been through.

I will come back, after I have thought about our goals more. To be honest, I have been in survival mode for what feels like so long, it's been really hard to think much beyond making it through the day.¬†¬†I don't know if anyone else feels like this, but anyway... Always nice to "see" you, Gil.¬†ūüėä

Edited by SeaConquest
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7 hours ago, SeaConquest said:

 It was basically reading the "before" times in a dystopian novel. ...

To be honest, I have been in survival mode for what feels like so long,

‚ėĻÔłŹ¬†I am so so sorry. Sometimes I just forget how horrible it has been for you all.

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55 minutes ago, Condessa said:

Yep.  For us, 2020 culminated in my youngest's cancer diagnosis and surgery.  I look back at the old threads, and see something we're never going back to.  We are stuck in 2020 forever.

I'm so sorry, @Condessa. Hope your youngest is doing better - virtual hugs to you.

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19 hours ago, Condessa said:

Yep.  For us, 2020 culminated in my youngest's cancer diagnosis and surgery.  I look back at the old threads, and see something we're never going back to.  We are stuck in 2020 forever.

Sorry to hear that ūüė쬆

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So we kinda met last year's modest goals, to the extent possible given Covid:  starting to take ownership of their direction in life; finding balance and enjoying a full life; integrating successfully into a really large high school.  My eldest is more on track than my youngest, as far as taking ownership.

For 2021:

  • Take more ownership of their direction in life; do things because it supports their growth and goals, not because Mom is forcing them to.
  • Be willing to request and accept help when things are hard.
  • Take more responsibility for a pleasant home (physically and socially).
  • Start some kind of work gig, whether volunteer or for pay.
  • Third degree blackbelt in TKD (eligible in September).
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My big picture goals for 2021 are mostly to figure out how to work with DD8 in a way that's not stressful for either of us. We've had enduring attitude issues when I work with her and she's also not the kind of kid who can be totally and completely unschooled (although partial unschooling is almost certainly going to happen.) 

Another goal is to automate her high school-level math. Her elementary-level math is very robust, and conceptually she's doing well with algebra and above as well, but none of it is quick. So that's something that should be solidified. 

And I want her to be fluent in basic Russian, included noun cases for the rest of the year. 

Non-academically, I've started a co-op and hope it goes well. 

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Our big picture academic goals are pretty modest.  


-Keep going on track with everyone’s core subjects.

-Get my musical boy back into cello lessons.  Between the pandemic and his brother’s diagnosis, he’s lost a year and a half of lessons, but he is still faithfully practicing on his own motivation most days.

-Put more time into spelling, especially for my dyslexic girl.  

-Do a poetry unit for the youngers, since they’ve been asking for it for a while.

-Try to get involved with a non-denominational co-op I found.

-Work on dd2’s attitude.

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On 6/25/2021 at 9:04 AM, Not_a_Number said:

What attitude issues does she have? Attitude is currently our biggest issue here. 

Generally trying many different ways to get out of schoolwork.  I was having issues with several of my kids getting away with not completing what they were supposed to during the time when they were constantly swapping between babysitters, dad trying to work from home while watching them, and having me occasionally home during school time.  But when we went back to mostly having me back home in charge during school, the others fell back into habits of getting things done like they’re supposed to.  Dd10, however, is still often not doing basic routine things without me forcing her on to the next step, and then with lots of whining and arguing.  (Things like eating breakfast, getting ready for the day, starting schoolwork, going on to the next subject instead of going off to play).  
 

She will ‚Äúforget‚ÄĚ some subjects and claim she is done with all her work, or ‚Äúforget‚ÄĚ to do a second section of math after she finishes the first half. ¬†She will fight me on using scratch paper,¬†cry that the work is too hard when she gets problems wrong in her head that she was supposed to write down, lose¬†her glasses and then argue with me about wanting to use the tablet with the tiniest screen for her work. ¬†Sometimes she will work diligently when I am beside her, but any time I leave her side or give another child any attention, all progress ceases.

We have been working on all these issues and are making progress‚ÄĒshe‚Äôs now having roughly 50/50 good days and bad¬†¬†And we are also aware that a big part of this is a cry for attention after all the time and attention that has been poured into her little brother‚Äôs health these past eight months, and are trying hard to give her more attention and positive¬†reinforcement outside of school time to remedy that. ¬†It‚Äôs just exhausting to deal with.

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3 hours ago, Condessa said:

Generally trying many different ways to get out of schoolwork.  I was having issues with several of my kids getting away with not completing what they were supposed to during the time when they were constantly swapping between babysitters, dad trying to work from home while watching them, and having me occasionally home during school time.  But when we went back to mostly having me back home in charge during school, the others fell back into habits of getting things done like they’re supposed to.  Dd10, however, is still often not doing basic routine things without me forcing her on to the next step, and then with lots of whining and arguing.  (Things like eating breakfast, getting ready for the day, starting schoolwork, going on to the next subject instead of going off to play).  
 

She will ‚Äúforget‚ÄĚ some subjects and claim she is done with all her work, or ‚Äúforget‚ÄĚ to do a second section of math after she finishes the first half. ¬†She will fight me on using scratch paper,¬†cry that the work is too hard when she gets problems wrong in her head that she was supposed to write down, lose¬†her glasses and then argue with me about wanting to use the tablet with the tiniest screen for her work. ¬†Sometimes she will work diligently when I am beside her, but any time I leave her side or give another child any attention, all progress ceases.

We have been working on all these issues and are making progress‚ÄĒshe‚Äôs now having roughly 50/50 good days and bad¬†¬†And we are also aware that a big part of this is a cry for attention after all the time and attention that has been poured into her little brother‚Äôs health these past eight months, and are trying hard to give her more attention and positive¬†reinforcement outside of school time to remedy that. ¬†It‚Äôs just exhausting to deal with.

That does sound familiar. We also have issues with trying to get out of any and all work that DD8 deems to be boring or not worth her time. And yes, if I'm nearby, the work will be done well, but she still won't listen to what I say, so it's really tiring and annoying. 

 We've also had major improvements but we're definitely still trying to figure it out. We haven't had anything major happen in our own family, although of course the pandemic did pull the rug out from under us... 

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My eldest is going to start TK (Kindergarten for kids born between Sept. - Dec.) and a younger daughter who just turned 3.

  1. I want to make school more of a routine instead of what we do when we are bored. Not concerned about academics just the get together for a time to do "learning work" and to teach a little self learning, because my eldest does not like me just telling him how things work.
  2. I'd like my son to be a little more flexible in life or at least not complete lose his cool because someone put the blue train in front of the green train. Honestly maybe just that after he loses his cool not have to take 30min to calm down would be better than where we are. (Of course this is improvement from last year when he thought I was going to say no left us with a 2 hour meltdown.)
  3. My daughter I would like to be able to do a quiet time by herself and play independently without the assistance of me or her brother.  

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

After five moves in 8yrs, we are finally putting down roots in 2021. We bought our house right at the New Year & have been getting DS as involved as possible as things have gradually reopened.

Our main goal from last year was accomplished; DS’ ADHD was diagnosed & we have gotten that under control, which has greatly improved his ability to participate in classes, camps, & other adventures. It’s also helped lessons run much more smoothly & allowed him to really shine athletically as he learns to harness that nearly-endless energy! 

This year we are embarking on a new adventure: competitive¬†sports. He‚Äôll have 4 soccer practices + 2 games weekly during the main season in addition to tennis (2x/wk), swim lessons (1x/wk) & Scouts. Plus tournaments & possibly either skills training or Futsal between seasons. It‚Äôll be a big step up in ‚Äúbusy-ness‚ÄĚ for all of us, which I‚Äôm sure will be a bit of a learning curve.

As for academics, we are simply chugging along. He’ll have his first online class through Athena’s. We’ll do some NaNoWriMo, some IEW, some MCT, some AAS. I’ll begin teaching him to type. Most likely it’ll be his last year of Beast Academy. He’ll learn about chemistry & continue history from the Black Plague through Elizabethan times. With all of the extra-curriculars, he will be held more responsible for getting his work done. Hoping we are able to find a successful balance! 

Edited by Shoes+Ships+SealingWax
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