I have a feeling this is going to be a great week. W has been dying to go back to school and J and I have lots of stuff planned. I am going to take an easy approach this week with our schedule. J said she wants to do the Little House reading every day, so that stays, and I'll see if she'll do a little math, but I'm curious to see how she spends the rest of her day. I will be closely watching out for anything creative or academic and I'll be sure to jot it all down (for my own peace of mind). I did a lot more reading this weekend on unschooling and I'm leaning more and more in that direction. It's hard for me to jump into it with both feet, though, so I'll be testing the waters for a little while. We actually have the luxury of being able to experiment with unschooling right now. J is already ahead of the game since her gifted class practically shot right through third grade by the end of December - so she more than likely won't fall behind.
I ordered 20 books from bookcloseouts.com last night. I got all of next year pretty well covered and I only spent $48.50 (+ $5.00 S&H). They're all fun, educational, non-fiction books on all the major subjects, plus a Mad Libs, a thesaurus, and a 4th grade test-prep book, in case I decide on a standardized test next spring. I'm sure I can put together a whole curriculum just with what I bought. And in the event we're still going down the unschooler's path, J will have all these new books in her bookshelf (or purposefully left lying about) to peruse at will.
I also spent time this weekend fine tuning my superintendent correspondence. I received another letter from them acknowledging the quarterly report I just sent. Cool. I already wrote the next q-report, the annual assessment, next year's LOI, and next years IHIP! I usually get caught up reading the NYHEN email group's past messages to get tons of ideas on how to manage the requirements better. I got the items down to only ONE PAGE each. The next q-report has all J's info on the top (name, DOB, etc) and a table underneath listing all the subjects, a letter grade, and the same sentence after each: "J has covered 100% of the material listed on the IHIP". I found out that another mom in my district (the one we're visiting Wednesday!!) has done it this way for years - and since we send it to the same people, it should be accepted. The last one I did seemed to be such a waste of time since what I was writing I had already said in the IHIP. The annual assessment is short and sweet as well. I put: " J has satisfactorily completed all the required material for this year. She has made adequate academic progress in all subjects. Highlights of the year include: (and I listed a few things here). J will begin 4th grade in September 2005.". That's it. Next year's LOI is about 1/2 a page with 2 sentences on it. And the IHIP is the syllabi from worldbookonline.com for each subject, a paragraph on our materials and learning tools, dates of q-report submissions, and that B and I will provide primary instruction. One page baby!! I got it down from 4 pages (thanks to the size 9 Times New Roman font)! I'll give myself even bigger pats on the back once I see they accept it all. I am mailing everything but the IHIP around the first week of June.