Planning for the New School Year

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We have been homeschooling for about 8 years.  Around April, I start to think about what the next school year will hold for us.  Here is what I do to plan for each coming year.

*Goals- What do I want the boys to learn? Are there any new skills that they need (i.e. typing)?

*Skill vs. Content Areas- Some subjects are more of a skill while others are content.  Skill areas include things like keyboarding, learning a language, learning to cook, learning to read, etc.  I always make sure that we have good content (like history and science) in order to motivate the boys with the areas that deal more with skills.  For example, learning to cook a dish from a country we are studying helps incorporate the content with a skill.  I will be posting more about this later...stay tuned.

*Core Subjects- These are the subjects that we always have each year.  I have to think through what we will do and what curriculum we will use for each of these.

-Math
-Language arts (includes reading, spelling, grammar, composition, and handwriting.)
-Science
-Social Studies
-Bible

*Optional/Extra Subjects-These are ones that are considered by most as not core subjects.  However, I feel that they all need to be touched on at one time or another.

-Foreign Language
-Technology (including keyboarding)
-Music
-Art
-Life Skills
-PE

*Picking out curriculum.  Once I figure out what we are going to be learning I then pick my curriculum.  You really have two routes that you can go...a packaged curriculum or "piece-it-together" curriculum.  Package curricula are those like Sonlight or Abeka where everything comes all together.  I have never gone that route.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  It just doesn't fit my style.  I have always picked the curriculum separately for each subject.  Some that we have used and liked:
Five in a Row
Math-U-See
Explode the Code
Biblioplan
Institute for
Apologia
Excellence in Writing
Rosetta Stone

*I then decide how many days a week we need to do each subject.  Like history, we have only been doing 3 days a week.  My youngest son does science only two days a week.  My oldest does grammar 4 days a week. Language arts, math, and Bible are done 5 times a week.  So it really depends on how much time you need to get through the curriculum and how important you think each subject is.

*Finally, I make a  basic schedule for each boy. I figure out what subjects they will do each day.  We call it our master schedule...so they always know what they are doing each day.

There are many others ways to go about setting up a new school year...my way is not necessarily the best way!  But hopefully, this will give you some ideas of how to go about it.

1 comment:

AFwife99 said...

Thanks for sharing your planning method. It is pretty similar to mine as well.