Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Is It Too Early To Plan?

Is It Too Early To Plan?

It is March and the next school year is already on my mind. This is the time of year when I start seriously evaluating our current curriculum choices. Man, I wish we could just buy a giant boxed curriculum that would be awesome. I would love to have something already planned day 1, day 2, etc. Thus, I am on the hunt for something to help me with the planning. 

My curriculum ramblings for 2013:

I love the idea of something like Sonlight or Calvert where it's all laid out, day-by-day. But I hate the costs. Actually, I don't mind spending the money but I have a fear of spending that much money only to be disappointed with the curriculum.

I need a stronger reading and writing curriculum.

I will have 3 students next year. My youngest did school this year when she felt compelled but next year it's go time!

My kids didn't fall in love with Teaching Textbooks the way I thought they would. My 8 year old actually asked for "paper math".

While I see the benefit of teaching kids together, I feel like the gap between my 8 year old and my 10 year old is growing, thus making it more difficult to teach them together. 

Although we are a Christian family, I tend to prefer secular materials. I have found that many of the Christian curricula have differing beliefs or the material is watered down.

I spend far too much time planning for 2 kids. I can't imagine what it will be like with 3! 

I realize that my reasons for homeschooling may not and probably do not match other's reasons. 

Do you see how I am driving myself down the path of insanity? I am sure that I am not alone, or at least I hope I am not.  I remember doing this just last summer. I read tons of reviews, visited dozens of websites, and downloaded countless pages of previews. 

I am starting now in hopes that I can use this extra time to help weed through it all. Again. 


  1. Oh, the joys of homeschooling. :) Let God be your guide is the best advice I can give when it comes to choosing curriculum. I have also noticed that the longer I homeschool, the less curriculum I use. In fact with my fourth and fifth grader, the only curriculum I use is for math. So much money and time I save now. I still use supplemental resources but that is it.

  2. I am having almost the exact same thoughts you are having. I even have my third child joining us next year in our Homeschool adventure. Right now that thought is overwhelming to me. I am on the hunt for a couple of subjects my 8 year old can do a little more independently, in hopes to relieve some of my anxiety about teaching all 3. I look forward to seeing what you decide to do with planning and curriculum. You have helped in greatly in my planning so far. I pray we both find just the right fit for our families

  3. Thanks for your honesty! Homeschool for us is a continual evolution of discerning what is a good fit. I am a former elementary teacher and continue to work to get the classroom mindset out of my homeschool, and with that struggle I may be heavier on having curriculum than others. I just thought I'd share what I use here in case it's of any value in your own search. I like to look at curriculum as a whole, where it starts in K and where it ends up at 12 to see if it is a well rounded approach. I like materials that have been well thought out. I'm kind of an orderly Mama!
    This is our set up for now...
    Bible is a combination of The Jesus Storybook Bible, What's in the Bible? with Buck Denver DVDs, and the timelines from Gravevine Studies for Old and New Testaments. I am blending elements of these to write/draw our own picture walk through scripture.
    Character is taught with We Choose Virtues, super effective values training in our home
    Math we use Math U See, love the concrete visual element and the precept upon precept approach
    Vocabulary I'm introducing Greek and Latin roots with English from the Roots up and the books Evan Moor makes called Word-a-Day
    Writing we use Write Shop
    Spelling we use All About Spelling, love this for the same reasons we love Math U See
    Science we use Apologia
    History we use Truth Quest because it has more fact based references and was more of a classic history course, not a Bible history course. We also use the binder timeline from Add-a-Century to document History, Bible, Science, and anything else that strikes our fancy.
    Reading we use whatever books interest the kids from the library and do comprehension activities based on those, along with Evan Moor's Daily Comprehension books
    Logic-we use games from SmartGames, ThinkFun, and different book activities that appeal to my kids from The Critical Thinking Company
    Geography we use the K-2 Evan Moor Building Geography
    My kiddos are 4 & 6 and fairly precocious.
    My 4 year old's materials are simpler. We have daily time to build sight word fluency, reading, writing with Handwriting Without Tears, as well as limited elements from the above like math, Bible & virtues.
    We school year around, participate in a Homeschool PE co-op, and take a break whenever we feel like we need one for as long as we need one.
    We plan to continue with these publishers for next school year, along with adding the USA study from Confessions of a Homeschooler for Geography, and some more formal art/music studies which I'm still researching, and manners/safety skills based on some trade book resources.
    My children are still fairly mom dependent in their studies, so I try to alternate my time by subject between children when they are working on separate skills. One will get a play break while I help the other if there isn't an independent activity that can be done.
    And that's life in our household...for now.