It’s that time of year again. The store isles are filled with 20 different varieties of notebooks, 30 varieties of pencils, 80 different varieties of folders, glue, and whatever else they may need to for school. The back to school sales are kicking in full gear and adults and kids are discussing backpack and lunch box options.
Last year we had answered our call to homeschool with our oldest. Not because we didn’t like the public school system (too much) or because we thought the public system was doing more harm than good. But because God has called us to and we enjoyed it. We enjoyed being able to do things more as a family, we enjoyed being able to take our own curriculum and make it fit our family, we enjoyed learning away from the desks, we enjoyed getting more hands on and learning in a more “real life experience”. We enjoyed getting to know more homeschool families, and we enjoyed the relaxation of not rushing. We also enjoyed going to school as batman or iron man or in our pjs. More importantly, its became a ministry for our family. We are able to take our education to God and serve him.And so with that note, we obviously chose to homeschool again this year and with some debating and praying; than debating and praying, we decided to homeschool little man this year too. So this year we will have Big Man in fourth, Little Man in Kindergarten, and sis in tot school.
Since we are homeschooling, our planning is a little different from a public school family. Pencils, crayons, glue are all things I keep on hand so, the first thing I wanted to do was purchase our planner. So I did that a few months back. The planner I use is the Well Planned Day homeschool planner and I LOVE IT! It has everything I need for not only to plan my homeschool year, but family as well. I am able to use it to plan my budget, household duties, birthdays, plan holidays, set my schedule, my goals for the year, my goals for my kids, and plan out my week with menus and subjects. And the best part, I can individually plan for each of my kids.
Than I went and started planning my curriculum. I honestly feel like I have more of an eclectic approach to homeschooling. Book work doesn’t always go well with my boys and they are more active and hands on than I am. But there still a few subjects that I like having books for. I prayed for the direction that the Lord wanted me to take and I decided that I would like to be a little creative with our curriculum since we our method is kind of all over the place, this is what I have come up with:
Bible: Gotta Have God “Cool Devotions for Boys”, The NIV Adventure Bible
Math: I had purchased a book at the Teacher Store, but when I got home it wasn’t what I had thought so I need to do some more looking around. Any ideas? I will also use our Learning wraps and hands on activities.
English: Rod N Staff 3 &4th grade. We will be going over a few things in our 3rd grade book because it was a little more developed than we will get into fourth grade.
History: Last year we did My Father’s World, although we enjoyed it, I had my concerns. So this year I hope to be doing some lapbooking and then Heritage Studies. I am also going to use several Usborne Books and More for aids and books: The First World War, Second World War, World History Sticker Atlas and more.
Science: lapbooking and hands on experience as well as journal and nature studies. I am also using several Usborne Books Science for activities and aid: Science Activities Vol. 1 light, magnets, and water (than we will move on to vol. 2 &3), The First Encyclopedia of Science. and several others.
Spelling: I will use Spelling City for our spelling words and activities. I will use the free version for a while and if I see that we need more work, than I will purchase the version.
A lot of our Kindergarten work is done hands on but several books I bought is from the Teacher Store.
Bible: Gotta Have God Devotions, a kids Bible, and character training.
Math: I got just a Kindergarten workbooks from the teacher store as well as Usborne’s Addition Box set with learning wraps.
Language Arts: Again, a standered Kindergarten workbooks than flashcards and sight words.
Handwriting: Practice tracing, sight words, and scriptures.
History: Hands on lapbook, Heritage Studies.
Science: Science experiments with big brother
Little Sis is two but she wants to learn right along with the boys (BONUS!) So we will be doing Letter of the Week to introduce her to letters, numbers, and the other stuff. We also have a collection of Alphabet books, busy bags, and Leap Frog flashcards and books with our reader to use. I also plan on using worksheets to print off for coloring and handwriting practicing.
Science: I will use several Usborne Books and More Science Activity books and Encyclopedias for hands on fun along with journaling and nature studies. I want to also use Look inside Science and Look inside your Body.
Art: This is more hands on but I also want to introduce them to famous composers and artist. For that I am planning on Lapbooks and several books; Famous Artist, Famous Paintings, and Big Book of Things to Draw as well as just drawing paper, also First Book of Art.
Reading: I want my children to learn to read and enjoy living books. The old classics as well as their favorites we will take and use as a curriculum. I will type out questions, vocab words and activities along side the book.
Home EC: Yes, I am a firm believer in starting chores and home living very early. So chores, pet feeding and grooming is on list of things that have to be done. As well as help cook and prep meals.
And of course, I like to plan LOTS of Field Trips! The boys are starting to take a special interest in music instruments and other outside activities so we are currently looking into those extras. I hope to start lil sis in gymnastics soon because she really likes to move her body and twist and turn. The boys also love sports so they will both be able to get involved in school sports. The past year, we have done 4H program and I want to make sure we get into more projects this year. He had wood working as his project so I hope that both the boys will be able to get more projects going in that area as well.
Here are some other helpful books and links I have discovered while homeschooling:
Home Learning Year by Year: By Rebecca Rupp
The Well Training Mind By Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise
Educating the Whole Hearted Child By Clay and Sally Clarkson
And Please feel free to comment and share your experience and your curriculum. Any Advise is great!!!
- Homeschooling Writing Resources for Teens Launches on StageofLife.com (prweb.com)
- Some Homeschool Questions Answered (awisewomaninthemaking.com)
- Whole Family | Our Homeschool Room (wholefamilystrong.com)