Planning is moving into full swing here at the Huddleston homestead. It’s officially time for me to start putting together the pieces that will eventually come together as one nice puzzle – or something close.
I usually start with researching the concepts that are normally taught at the grade level that I will be teaching. With that list, I begin to narrow down what I plan to teach by subject. If you purchase a curriculum, this is normally already done for you, but since I do all of our curriculum from scratch – this is where I have to start.
I do enjoy the flexibility of developing our curriculum because I can easily substitute for areas that our son is more advanced in. I also have the ability to use whatever “textbooks” and resources we prefer. There are some books that teach concepts a way that we do not agree with (for example, the big bang theory). Now of course we are not keeping our children blind to what is all “out there”. We are just cautious on what is being taught and how.
After I compile my concepts-to-be-taught list, I then begin to put them into somewhat of a monthly theme type of order. I aim to have all of my subjects geared towards one theme – 1) so I’m not teaching all over the place, and 2) it is easier for our son (and future two children who will be using the same curriculum) to learn and comprehend. I have found that over the past couple of years, it is much easier to teach when everything revolves around a particular theme.
Once I have mapped out my monthly themes, I am then ready to choose the books that I want to teach from. Besides choosing my own books from my business (Usborne Books), I also see what is available at the public library for extra supplements. My public and private school teacher-friends have also helped me in the past with workbooks and manipulatives that are going to be tossed. Then, I see what is available for free via Teachers Pay Teachers or other valuable websites (there will be a separate post for that). I do lots of downloading, saving, and bookmarking for later use. That’s pretty much where I stop on that for now.
Then comes the fun part of deciding when we are going to start, break, and end. I usually start around the same time as public school for our area and go from there. Also, since I am part of a homeschool group, I always check to see what has already been put on the group’s calendar for the upcoming year so I can begin plugging those dates in on my calendar.
Speaking of calendar, each year (so far) I have ended up with at least 3 calendar-planner-organizers because each one had something I could benefit from. One would have enough space to write out notes on activities, field trips, or coop. The other would be nice to jot down meal plans and curriculum summaries. One would be perfect for short-hand. Then, I would have a totally separate binder for detailed curriculum (day-to-day). What I decided to do this year was make an entire calendar, planner, and organizer all in one! I’m calling it The Everyday, Gotta have it, Can’t live without it Detailed Planner & Organizer!
I’ve decided to put this 268 page baby up for sale for anyone who is like me and would like everything in one spot! I didn’t mean for it to be so big but by the time I started putting everything I wanted in it, well. . . it got bigger and bigger. No more multiple planners and organizers. There is a monthly calendar, a weekly calendar, weekly devotions and journal space, weekly meal plan sheets, curriculum summary sheets, meal plan tips (because sometimes my mind goes blank), Scripture (because who doesn’t need a Word from Abba?), monthly prayers, weekly important dates to remember, and a homeschool calendar for me to shade in important dates like first day of school, breaks, and last day of school. Last year I even notated when I would give a “report card”. This came in handy when planning for big tests!
I’m sure there is that planner out there somewhere, but I wanted something that would fit our family (and I’m sure it would fit yours too)! Not to mention, I’ve seen big planners cost a big penny! If you’re interested in seeing my planner and purchasing one, click here. There is also a free 8 page download for you to print and check out to see if you like it before purchasing one!
Once I have my calendar somewhat in order, I can then begin:
- plugging in the monthly themes according to start/end dates and breaks
- purchasing needed books (I love my 25% off discount with Usborne)
- making a list of books to check out of the public library (when time comes)
- writing out lesson plans in detail (day-to-day)
- making worksheets, quizzes, tests, etc.
- planning any necessary field trips that pertain to the lessons
- whatever else comes to mind that I didn’t already think of
This system has worked for me going on three years now. Each family is different and your system will cater to that. I recommend doing what works best for you and not doing something solely because it works for someone else.
Planning for the next [home]school year can be fun, and most definitely rewarding!! Stay tuned for when I begin sharing our lesson plan layout, highlighting concepts, books that will be used, field trip ideas, and more!!
Happy homeschooling y’all!
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Published by Michelle Huddleston