Friday, February 26, 2010

Planning for Next Year

I guess you could say I'm a planner, but that would be an understatement. I'm already working on a curriculum plan for next year. Some people have asked me how I can even think about next year when this year is only half over. I can because I worked on this year at this time last year. Now, I'm just implementing the plan, and that doesn't take alot of effort on my part.

One of the benefits to having a few years of homeschool under my belt is that I have finally figured out how my children learn. Another advantage is that as they get older, subject matter choices begin to become more clear based on college entrance requirements.

Now I'm not saying that we don't run into "bumps" with what I've decided to do every now and then, but when that happens we all just adjust. I can also be flexible. For example, we have loved Sonlight the past two years ~ history is their favorite subject and they both love to read, but as we have worked through this year I have found the schedule that is laid out in the instructors guide to be more than confining. In November, I found a few other booklists online with some great read alouds that fit into Core 5, so I picked them up and we have really enjoyed them.

In getting ready for next year I made a big "spreadsheet" of book titles that were suggested to go along with World History (basically Core 6.) Instead of sticking with the Sonlight list, I added Beautiful Feet, Notgrass, Winter Promise, and Mystery of History. I also scoured Books Children Love and All Through The Ages for things I thought would fit well. Unfortunately, my world history book list was MUCH too long to do in a year's time.

So, I decided next year we would focus on Ancient History. We'll do one more heavy study of this time period, then probably leave it for good. Waaaa! :-( That means my kids are getting old! I have narrowed my list to about 30 really good books (fiction and non-fiction) that cover the beginning of time through about 200 AD. Now I'm on a mission to add them all to our collection.

I'm not sure why I go to all this trouble of planning and research when there are good programs out there that would be fine to purchase and teach "straight out of the box." If they missed a book here or there, they'd still probably be better off than most kids. I guess it's that part of a mom that just wants the best for her kids and if it takes a little extra work to make it the best, I'm going to do it.