So last year (my first year homeschooling) the first semester I had my oldest who was in 9th grade home with me along with my youngest (one was 1st grade the other was preschool age). It was all I could do to plan his work and familiarize myself with it so I could actually grade and be of help to him with it. I didn’t really do a lot of anything for my 1st grader. We just did videos and activities and worksheets when we could. I knew the basic concepts she needed to know and I made sure to include time working with her on those but we had no official curriculum or plan. Which Is fine!
The next semester I sent my oldest back to public school which was better for all involved and found that I had a lot of extra time. So I planned out each day by subject and wrote down what I wanted to cover for that day and subject. It looked like this:
It did help using this because it gave me a guide and did help us to cover more areas of learning. I didn’t stress if we did or didn’t finish a section I would just move everything over. I knew I wanted to do it a little differently this year but wasn’t sure how exactly.
I was toying around with different ideas and plans when I read this blog post from a friend. She talked about how she did her plans based on weekly chunks by subject. So I took that inspiration along with my previous ideas and thoughts and came up with what I’m going to be using. It may work and it may be a disaster! But here is mine:
Hard to see but the link to it is here. I’m terrible with excel and on a tight budget so do not have Word but use Open Office since it’s free. It gets the job done. And I, despite my terrible handwriting, prefer written to typed. Maybe it’s because I can use all my nice colored pens…..
I have 4 school days a week because I want to leave one day a week for field trips, rest, family projects, volunteering etc…..
The subject at the bottom “electives” I will rotate through them so they’re all hit a few times each month.
I like the idea of weekly because it gives me an idea of ‘hey I know If we complete these things this week we will be on task to finish what we need to for the school year’. I also like it because when there is a day that my daughter is just on a roll with one subject we can keep going with it as long as she wants to. It makes the week more flexible.
I do have certain things I know she needs to learn as far as her core subjects go- especially math. I do have a main curriculum ‘Math lessons for a living’ which I love! And also have several others to use as a supplement’s when needed.
Instead of looking at each curriculum or workbook with the “I must finish this in it’s entirety” I’m trying to focus this year more on the concepts needed to learn and not the amount of worksheets completed. So in my box where it says “2-3 sheets per week” if she has a concept down we will not do the whole sheet. If she’s struggling we may just do one but spend a good amount of time on it and find a supplementary activity or video to help her better grasp it.
We are using Story of the World for History. We’ve done the first 3 chapters and my daughter loves it. My 4 year old has even joined in on the discussion and activities. I think that and science is something we could all do together. The story of the world has the book on CD as well. We actually had to stop in the middle of our lesson last week to go help my grandmother with something and so I popped the CD in the car and my daughter really enjoyed listening to it. SOTW also has suggestions for books to read that go along with each chapter which I can reserve online and go pick up at the library.
I also have a book on Galileo for kids, Native Americans for kids and Darwin and Evolution for kids. We are a home that believes in the Bible and Jesus 100%. But I want my kids and myself to be well versed in all religion and belief’s so we do learn a lot about how others think and believe differently. As they are young and very impressionable I’m careful not to go too deep into anything I imagine if it’s overwhelming for me it’s too much for them.
We have the Julia Rothman collection also about Nature anatomy, farm anatomy and food anatomy that I’m excited about.
We do a lot of reading. I’ve purchased some book from ‘yesterday’s classics’ for us to read together that I’m pretty excited about. One of them is story form about different animals that live in the woods told from their perspective. We love being in the woods and brought this on a wood walk and sat and read a little of it there.
I’ve found that in reading and sometime’s just talking to each other my daughter comes across words she doesn’t know so I made this very rough and quick vocabulary and definition sheet to use. Pardon the pink writing it’s a bit bright! These words are not necessarily standard for 2nd grade but I’m not looking at it that way. We are just learning definitions to unfamiliar words she encounters throughout her normal day. So far her and her dad have enjoyed going over this sheet together at the end of the day.
Link for this is here. But you can find much better ones on Pinterest or teachers pay teachers online for free.
We use the Merriam-Webster Children’s Dictionary. It’s here on Amazon but I found a beat up used one that I taped the side back on for like $5 on eBay.
So we shall see how much of this “plan” works. I feel like I have an idea of how I want things to go but not a lot of experience to make it happen. But hey living is learning!