Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Homeschool Planning

I'm getting excited for the new school year.  We kind of petered out toward the end of last year, with a new baby in the house and lots of other things going on.  So there will be a few little funny things, like finishing up the last few lessons in a math workbook before starting the shiny new one, etc.  But with all of this fun planning swirling around, I thought I'd put my list in a place where even I can find it - right here on my blog.  If you are planning to homeschool, I'd love to hear about your plans, too!

My theme for this year is to be thorough but combine where possible.  One of my hopes is to get my oldest two to be just a little more independent in their learning.  So, while some things we will do all together, I want them to work on doing their own tasks alone.   I will give each of them an opportunity, likely while the littles nap, during which I can help them with anything they have trouble with.

For Math, we are going with Horizons.  I love this program. A friend had told me it ended at 2nd grade, but I recently did a search and found it goes right up through 5th!  This program is easy to understand,easy to use and relatively painless.  It is also up to what I consider to be grade level, unlike a few other programs (learned that one the hard way!).

For English/Composition/Grammar/Spelling, we are going with Rod and Staff.  I've heard good things and it seems pretty streamlined, which is something I need in this department.  Something with daily assignments that I can just pull out.  I'm just getting it for my older 2 kids, but if Dinah's seems easy enough, I'll have Fiona do it as well.  For most things, my girls work together and do the same work.

History, we are doing Story of the World.  I really liked this program, but last year it got away from us, so we are doing book 3 this year.  My plan is to read it out loud to all of them, and then have the kids write out the answers to the questions.  I love being able to combine curriculum when I can, and this is a great program for that.

Science.  My oldest is doing Apologia Science through our homeschool co op, but I still need to find a curriculum for the girls for this (any suggestions?).  If I can't come up with anything else, we will probably do A Beka Science.

For Literature, I am looking into book lists that correspond with our History time period.  For additional practice with Phonics, the girls will keep on with Explode the Code.

I'm not altogether sure what to do for Bible.  For the past year, we've been reading the Daily Office and doing the prayers.  I think that may be enough, but I'd like to get the Jesus storybook bible for the littler ones - I've heard it is really excellent.

For the little ones - I hope to do a story/circle time first thing in the morning, and little activities during the day.  Jonah will have a few workbooks to ease him into kindergarten as well.

Writing it all out seems like quite a bit - but I know it will add some good structure our days.   Remembering to let there be life in these plans, room to breathe, room to supplement, and room, most of all, to learn.  To keep it fun, light, and happy.  Yes, it's going to be good!

How is your planning coming along?

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  1. Sounds fantastic Lydia! I've been planning too! My office area is full of books and ideas and pulling it all together over these next few weeks.

  2. I would love to do something like this, but with being new to homeschooling (again!), I am finding it easier to go with Sonlight. We used them a few years ago, and loved it! I like their literature-based format alot, but still need to figure out what we're doing for science, those kits are expensive!

  3. We don't do much planning around here, little man is 4 soon to be 5. Currently reading up on some Waldorf kindergarten things and figuring out how much I want to incorporate. Although I love the easy flow and less routine of summer, I do look forward to getting back into our weekly and daily rhythm in the next few weeks.

  4. I'd love to know which programs you found weren't up to grade for math, if you didn't mind sharing. We are done with homeschooling (graduated!) for now but there are two littles coming up and we're still deciding how to handle it when the time comes.

  5. For Bible for my readers I've been really happy with Grapevine Studies. I posted about it here but basically it has helped the two that read start to learn how to dig into Scripture themselves. For family worship we also do the daily office and work on memory work together. I love Rod and Staff for English/spelling/grammar not too good on creative writing but that's fairly easy to work around.
    Keeping a Nature Journal can be a great introduction to Science for younger ones and even the toddler can participate if he narrates to you...Enjoy your new school year!...K

  6. Horizons actually goes up to 7th grade :) I've used it for all 3 and even though they all have very different learning styles, Horizons has worked for us!


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