What’s so great about homeschooling? Well, a lot of things. We don’t get early morning calls that school is closed. We don’t have to go outside on the aforementioned bad days. I don’t have to call the school when a kid is sick. I know the parents of all the kids in their class. I know how they are disciplined when something goes wrong at school. I get to see their faces when they “get it.” I can mix up what we do in a day, or when we do it, to fit every students needs.
All of that is groovy.
But what’s really cool? Picking out curriculum. For a book nerd like me, curriculum catalogs are like nirvana. It is my drug of choice. And right now, I am in druggie heaven!!! It is time to look at all the books for next year.
Wow, next year. Things are going well enough that we are planning next year.
So far, I have picked out our Language Arts Program, Learning Language Arts Through Literature, Science, Apologia’s Land Animals of the Sixth Day, Phonics, Explode the Code and Math, Saxon (though I’d like to do Life of Fred). The one area I am still stuck on is Bible. We are doing a Rod and Staff book right now and it’s not enough. But, I have a catalog that came in my mail today. It will get another perusal. (www.ChristianBook.com is just about my favorite place to get material that needs to be purchased new). Most of our History and Social Studies are done on a topical basis using Amanda Bennett’s Unit Studies (www.unitstudy.com). We do one ever month or so. We have covered Thanksgiving, Christmas and China. Next, we will cover Horses.
I love looking at the catalogs and the marvelous pages on Facebook for curriculum sales. I love getting opinions, reading reviews and going from there to fit it all in our plan.
And then there are the printables, worksheets, games, etc. There are a ton of them free on homeschool and teacher websites, as well as many free and paid items on www.teacherspayteachers.com. All this week we are doing fun language arts and math worksheets with a St. Patrick’s Day theme. The girls are really excited about math on Friday–Lucky Charms Math!
We also can’t forget the apps out there. Patrice uses Edukitty for some great preschool activities, Caitlyn and Sue use TeachMe and Caitlyn is now using Spelling City to prep for her first spelling test on Friday.
Reading is another hodge podge area. Our basis is our own collection of books. I also have some leveled readers/teachers guide that Caitlyn is flying through. Right now, she is a little slowed down by Geronimo Stilton, a very challenging series about a mouse and his exploits as a reporter. She is working on a book report, that she will present orally, dressed as a mouse. Sue is working on tag readers and sight words. It’s not coming easily for her. She can memorize large passages of a story, but has a rough time with individual words. We just take it a day at a time.
I do my lesson planning on a weekly basis. Sometimes I get a little stumped at the beginning of the process and just sit there, but once I get the ball rolling, it is a lot of fun to craft our days. I find it easiest when I have a theme for the week. We’ve done Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, Dr. Seuss, 100 days of school and now St. Patrick’s Day, just to name a few. Our topics are the same, but the presentation blends with the theme.
So there it is, primer on how I put together our days, weeks and months and what a nerd I am. The planning and choosing is so much fun to this English Major brain. I just love the picking and choosing.
Are you a teacher, a homeschooler, a mom? How do you choose your children’s activities, lessons, days?Survive til you Thrive!