Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Getting Ready for the Next School Year:: Curriculum Choices

My newly organized homeschool closet
with each student dedicated a shelf.
 This year has been full of great resources to inspire, assist, and reassure the homeschooling mother! Teaching from A State of Rest challenged me to re-evaluate my family’s priorities. Last year, I overloaded myself with too many subjects for one day. I was not allowing the good, the beautiful, or the true to shine through our work. We were just hitting the books with minimal joy. This year I am using several of the techniques Sarah talks about to add more beauty and more variety without losing my mind. Teaching also gave me the confidence to see where I was strongest. Once I have a plan, I tend to stick with that plan. However, I now can plan to be flexible or build in margin for the day, week, month, or even the trimester without too much guilt!

In Plan Your Year by Pam Barnhill of Everyday Snapshots, I found that sound board on which to bounce my ideas thanks to the great many pages she designed. I also found myself getting specific on my long-term goals for our homeschool.  Finally, sitting down to create a mission statement that quantified our family’s priorities was a huge accomplishment. My husband, Jeff, and I were close in our wants, desires, and point of view which was a nice realization as well. Pam’s templates were wonderful tools to inspire some change to our schedule; the visualization assisted my brain into seeing how important a routine is balanced with a time based schedule.

Leo's daily reading practice basket.
Our goal is to get up to 30 minutes a day.
A change is coming this way for our little homeschool; Bella is wanting to start Kindergarten, so that leaves me with a first grader and a kindergartener. Not to mention a crazy toddler who loves to rip, shred, and pulverize paper of all varieties and a new baby debuting in September! We might be needing all that flexibility for a steep learning curve headed our way.
Back in March, I talked about focusing on solidifying skills and getting back to scholé, here is a list of our current picks for aiding in our learning:

Leo’s lovely list:

Core Subjects (math, reading, writing, etc.):

v  Saxon 1

v  Kumon Workbooks for added practice on Fridays if needed (we are using the first trimester to focus on addition drilling)

v  All About Spelling Level 1 (this is a re-start for us)

v  All About Reading Readers Lvl. 1 (books 1-3) and Set 2/sight words of the BOB books with worksheets for both here (he really enjoyed completing set 1 last year and specifically asked we do more); there are other readers like these from Neumann Press that I will be adding to the basket

v  story sequencing practice from PAL (IEW's program)
v  Classical Catholic Memory Alpha Year (Co-op classes as well twice a month)

Bella’s bountiful list:

Core Subjects:

v  Saxon K

v  IEW's PAL Writing and Reading

v  Kumon workbooks for extra practice if needed

v  Classical Catholic Memory Alpha Year (Co-op classes as well twice a month)

Loop Topics Include: art, science, literature units based off of Five in a Row, religion, music, history, and poetry. I am hoping to make our loop topics family based, so that everyone including my husband can join us.

'Tis the season for planning posts, so stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. You are such a great Mom Ashley. The kids are going to do wonderfully. I loved how you used your space to maximize your classroom area. All the best in the new year! Prayers that you remain in the state of rest, and the children remain in the state of engagement.