Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Where To Start Planning Next Year's Homeschooling Curriculum

With our school year winding down to summer review work,  this is when I typically look ahead to the next school year and try to figure out what we might need to tweak, add, and buy for the upcoming year.



I always start by looking back and seeing what worked and what didn't work.   I have a list of questions that run through my head:

  • Do we need to change what we're doing?
  • What did we love?
  • What did we hate?
  • What did we use?
  • What did we let sit and collect dust?
  • What are they looking to learn in the next year?  
  • How have they grown?  
  • What do they enjoy?  
  • What new skills do I need to introduce?

This year I'm trying really hard not to purchase anything.

What we've been doing lately seems to be working really well and I'm getting sick of wasting my money on new curriculum that I always seem to think will solve all my problems.

Usually that curriculum is used for a few weeks and then forgotten about or intentionally set aside.

I have already ordered math workbooks for Alec and Evan (with their approval) and think that other than getting a new packet of math books for Ian we should be all set.

We'll continue working on sight words, spelling words, reading, writing, science, geography and history as interests or needs arise using free internet sources and our local library.

It does take a bit more of my time but it sure saves a lot on my wallet!
   

What we're doing is working and I don't see any need to change it this year.  


How Our  School Day Usually Goes:

Ian wanted to start with reading a chapter in Catching Fire.

While we read Alec was working on two pages in his math workbook reviewing the 7 times tables.

 On our ride to karate Ian completed two pages in his math workbook figuring out area and then a page in his spelling book.

As soon as he was finished the boys requested that we listen to our book on CD.

While we were at Karate, Evan worked hard to complete two math pages dealing with arrays and basic multiplication facts.

He also completed a page in his reading book dealing with hard and soft "g."  To finish up he read Mittens, Where is Max? to me.

Family Time:

 With everyone done school for the day we headed to visit my mother.  We ended up going out to lunch and both Alec and Evan had fun playing with mazes, tic tac toe and crosswords puzzles on their kids' menus.  Alec even learned quite a bit about baseball since that was the topic of his crossword puzzle.  We had a wonderful meal and a great time.

Real Life Math:

After lunch we piled into the car and headed to Gamestop.  The younger boys wanted to combine their money and buy a new video game.  Evan was able to tell me that they each had $20 so $40 total.  They spent $30 so Alec told me that they'd each have $5 left.  A great real- life math lesson.  We dropped my mom off and headed home.

In Place of Buying Curriculum Books:

I spent the afternoon requesting books and movies from our library.

Every now and then I will go and be the one to request books and stuff that I think the boys will be interested in.  I find it's a great way to expand their horizons and often we find a new area of learning to explore for a while.

Today I found a few movies about our national parks and treasures that I thought they might enjoy.

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Tots and Me

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