A friend of mine is having a homeschool blog hop, and since I was already smack in the middle of planning my school year and starting school (which I don’t actually recommend starting at the same time), I thought I would play along. Her week 1 meme post is about Curriculum you use. I’ll get to that at the bottom of this post… but first let’s recap a little of my planning series – since curriculum is part of my Stage 3 Planning anyway. I’ll have to come back later with a few more details since it’s way too late to dig through my bookshelf for exact names on all my eclectic mix of educational ‘candy’…
‘Homeschool Planning for Dummies’ recap:
Stage 1 – Loose Ends, Lists and Preparations
We started in early July with this year since we took a break after baby was born. I can only go so long without doing school (same with the kids) before my brain starts getting mushy… like the rice cereal baby is now snacking on at dinner time.
LIST & PREP
Had a list of things I needed to get done before I could truly get the year moving ahead smoothly and I’m making headway (although it has been harder than I previously thought to push forward with a baby on board). Not giving up yet. “I think I can! I think I can!” The first few items we tackled included organizing, stocking supplies, making goals, and decluttering (we had portfolios to sort and ‘binderize’ from past school years and papers to purge).
We pretty much finalized last year (and if you know me really well, you’ll find this a shock:) even though I had to leave some loose ends untied. I actually threw some COMPLETED paperwork away and averaged out some grades based upon how I FELT the kids performed in certain subjects. Having a baby threw me for a loop last year; I can admit it. It felt SO wrong. But I had to do it – because I was making myself sick trying to cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’. A friend of mine (THANK YOU) said, “Heather, why are you doing that when you aren’t even required to grade or keep records in Texas? You are stressing yourself out for no reason! Simplify!” I jumped off the cliff of UNperfectionism and followed her awesome advice. Now the weight of the world is off my back, the kids have report cards, I archived last year’s school records, and I’m READY TO GO, BABY!
With my school forms made and printed, we started our co-op planning. [You CAN purchase my school/calendar forms if you didn’t win them the other day, by the way – every penny I make goes towards my kids’ school year!] We’re blessed to have two families that live in our area to co-op with this year on certain subjects (not our local group co-op – we have one of those, too!). My homeschool-homegirls and I now have our year generally mapped – the basics of what we will cover on every co-op meet is sketched out in pencil. Now I can enter it in my lesson planner on Homeschool Tracker (shameless plug: referral code HHGK9).
I blabbered about our box system last week (and if you follow the link above, you can go read it… or just stay here and get the skinny). We are using something like the ‘Workbox’ system, but for older and less ‘visual’ learners. Actually, my husband is the workbox deterrent. He’s freaky about clutter (OTHER PEOPLE’s clutter)… and clear boxes with “visible junk” in them would not fly in the Bee household, unfortunately. Maybe he’ll be more laid back about school when the wee baby bee is bigger? [HOLY. COW. I can’t believe I have to start homeschool all. over. again. in a few years!]
Here’s the breakdown of what’s in the boxes (and the long awaited answer to WHAT CURRICULUM WE USE):
NOTE: Supplies listed below are in folders and a small pencil box if they won’t fit in the folder. Thin books are in file folder, thick ones are placed AFTER the file folder inside the school box. The purpose of the school box is to keep your school in ONE LOCATION to minimize searching for lost and scattered materials!
File 1: BIBLE
Curriculum Sources: Bible, Devotional Book (changes as we finish them)
Supplies: Prayer Journals (spiral notebooks and a prayer list worksheet we keep in our binders), Index Cards, Digital Timer, Pencil
Daily: Discussion about who we need to pray for – change our prayer lists if needed, Pray, Write in our prayer journals, Read our Bible, Read our Devotional book
Weekly: Drill (time kids finding a verse and score them) and a Memory Verse (write on index card and practice until we can repeat without looking)
File 2: Math
Curriculum Sources: A Beka Math Books (Grades 6 and 7), A Beka Tests and Drills (Grades 6 and 7)
Supplies: Pencil, Eraser, Digital Timer, Red Grading Pen, Teacher Answer Key
Daily: 1 Worksheet, discuss if needed, swap books and grade each other at the table – if grade is less than 70%, all missed problems are re-done
File 3: Grammar
Curriculum Sources: Daily Grams, Grade 7
Supplies: Blank Notebook Paper, Pencil
Daily: 1 Page of Daily Grams book
File 4: Spelling, Vocabulary, Writing
Curriculum Sources: Integrated Spelling & Vocabulary (misspelled words copied as needed, work on vocabulary words with history/science units as needed), A Beka Penmanship and copywork assigned by mom “Charlotte Mason Style”, topical/integrated Writing Assignments, Journaling, Letter Writing (Considering, but have not purchased curriculum sources for Writing/Letter Writing)
Supplies: Blank Notebook Paper, Pencils, Journals, Correspondence Folder (pen pal letters, address list, cards and stationary, stamps, stickers, Flat Stanley supplies)
Daily: Each day of the week is different – Monday: Spell/Vocab, Tues: Penmanship/Copywork, Wed: Write/Copywork, Thurs: Journaling, Fri: Correspondance
File 5: Typing, Creativity Express
Curriculum Sources: Mavis Beacon Software, Creativity Express Software
Supplies: discs (are to be returned to the file folder upon penalty of groundation!), keyboard covers (orange plastic covers to keep you from cheating when typing), worksheets for typing scores
Every other Day: we alternate these software programs and take Friday off
File 6: History
Curriculum Sources: “If I told ya, I’d have to kill ya” (too many to say just yet – me and my homeschool home-girl are creating our own curriculum from a TON ‘O SOURCES. There will be much postage about this at a later date…)
Supplies: 3 Ring Binder, sheet protectors, glue sticks, scissors, colored pencils, pencils, pens, notebook paper (to make a history notebook)
Mondays: co-op all day and work on history notebooks
File 7: Science
Curriculum Sources: A Beka Science and Health Readers & (will fill in the other resources as I get them – they belong to my co-op buddy!)
Supplies: 3 Ring Binder, sheet protectors, glue sticks, scissors, colored pencils, pencils, pens, notebook paper (to make a science notebook), experiment supplies as needed
Fridays: co-op part of the day 2 or 3 Fridays a month
File 8: Journaling
Curriculum Sources: Internet, Books, Resources for Journaling (depends on topic, but we use Anna Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study for our Nature Journals all the time), Draw, Write Now!
Supplies: 3 Ring Binder, sheet protectors, glue sticks, scissors, colored pencils, pencils, pens, notebook paper (to make a nature notebook), photographs and drawings or clippings
Daily: Each day of the week is different – Monday and Tues: History Notebook, Wednesday: Draw, Write Now!, Thurs: Nature Journal, Fri: Science Notebook
File 9: Art & Photography
Curriculum Sources: The Adobe Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby, Canon camera manual, internet, books on photography and art, art textbooks, artist list in my TOS Old Schoolhouse Planner, Library books
Supplies: art supplies when needed, pencils, colored pencils, camera, Photoshop CS4, Lightroom, computers
Every other Day: we alternate these subjects and take Friday off (unless we take our camera with us when we go out and about Friday)
File 10: Geography
Curriculum Sources: Visualize World Geography, our Atlas, Library Books, etc.
Supplies: maps, worksheets, pencils, colored pencils, scissors, glue sticks (for current events), articles/pictures from magazines and missionary newsletters
3 Days a Week: the plan is to study about the country, color a map and flag, find and read about them in an atlas, read about their culture/people, see if we can find a current event/photo and possibly cook something from that culture during those 3 days. It may take 2 weeks on one culture if there is a lot to learn. We are taking our time – not rushing if we find an interesting spot on the globe we want to linger for a while.
File 11: Italian/Blogging
Curriculum Sources: Italian Software, Blogger (free blogging platform online), also considering a book by a blogger-friend that teaches blogging skills
Supplies: computers, scanner, headset, software discs
Tuesday: Blogging on individual blogs (each kid has their own)
Daily: Italian practice on the computer (except Tuesday)
File 12: I-Learning, Narration
Curriculum Sources: Cindy Rushton’s Charlotte Mason Primer, Poetry workbooks I got at a teacher supply store, whatever floats your boat!
Supplies: list of creative projects (mom-approved individual learning ideas: “delight-based learning”), whatever fits for that day (kid must get it approved by mom)
Daily: 4 days a week there is one hour of time for child-led learning projects and part or all of this time may be spent outdoors
Fridays: Tea time and narration (we may incorporate this in to our co-op, too)
File 13: Reading
Curriculum: Good books (YUM!)
Supplies: bookmarks, sticky tabs, dictionary
Daily: READ READ READ!!! We have “family readers” (books read together – picked by dad), “free readers” (books read alone – picked by kids, approved by mom) and “assigned reading” (books read aloud – picked by mom or suggested by co-op or curriculum). Our favorite books can be found at the bookstore link up top. When we finish a great one, we’ll add it to the bookstore.
File 14: Home Ec/Chores
Curriculum: Life (Looking in to homemaking, life-skills and manners curriculum)
Supplies: Chore List, Recipe of child’s choice
Daily: chores done and checked off
Monthly: child expected to plan and cook a meal without help for entire family
What do you think?! I’m just thrilled about the system. Here’s praying this year is as good as I think it will be!