Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Homeschool Planning for Next Year - In Process!

One of the fun parts of homeschooling is being able to read, research, and plan out our studies each year. Being mother to a rather large family makes it even more fun because I have so many learners to enjoy. This fall I will be working with 7 official students in K, 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 11th, as well as two preschoolers tagging along. Yes, really. We're creeping oh so close to graduating our first child - something that was hard to picture more than a decade ago when we started doing our little homeschool preschool lessons.

I decided that since this blog is partially a journal of our homeschooling that I would record here the current plans for 2017-2018. Some things may change, and as you will see, some things are not yet decided. Next week I head to the homeschool convention where I can get my hands on some things I'm waffling over and hopefully firm up decisions.

There are some easy decisions. We'll keep using Math U See for everyone. It will be my first year teaching Algebra 2, which will be interesting. I remember graduating high school and saying something along the lines of never wanting to do Algebra 2 again, despite my A grade. Now it looks like I'll be going through it 9 more times. Oh the irony!

My younger boys will use All About Reading until they are solid readers. Those already reading fluently will have a list of literature to choose from all year and usually read a chapter a day from those and narrate what they are reading.

For my middle kids (Joseph, Emma, Daniel) grammar, copywork, vocabulary, and handwriting are all rolled into one curriculum - Fix-It Grammar. Younger ones (Oliver, Caleb, Mason) will do handwriting via copywork that I write out or print for them using StartWrite software. Makayla may use one of the levels of Fix-It Grammar as well.

Language Arts is one area I am still waffling a bit though. I'm considering the Good and the Beautiful curriculum for some of the kids. Maybe. Writing for the 4th grade and under kids might be Brave Writer materials or projects of our own based on Brave Writer methods. I am considering Cover Story for my 6th and 7th graders, but may just stick with Brave Writer. Or use the Good and the Beautiful. Ha! We will see. My 11th grader is going to use Fiction Writing in High School by Sharon Watson, will probably participate in NaNoWriMo again, and Camp NaNo, and has a large file of stories and novels in various stages of writing.

Science for the high schooler is Discovering Design with Chemistry by Jay Wile. Science for everyone else is undecided. The rest of the kids will most likely use one of the Apologia Exploring Creation science texts. They've used the Anatomy and Physiology and are currently using Chemistry and Physics, so that leaves Botany, Astronomy, or one of the 3 Zoology books.

History this year will be my own mix of books. My high schooler has requested American History from the Civil War to the present day. She'll use Smithsonian's Children's Encyclopedia of American History as her spine and will read a variety of books to flesh out the information. Some on her list so far are: War Horse, The Green Glass Sea, Brown Girl Dreaming, Hidden Figures, The Endless Steppe. The rest of my children are doing American History from pre-Colonial times up to the Civil War. Their spine book is A Child's First Book of American History. There will be a variety of books based on age, everything from picture books to chapter books for reading aloud or independently.

Fine arts for the family will vary based on age and interest. Children will continue piano lessons. We will study a couple composers and several artists. The middle school and under crowd will continue our art class I teach using our Deep Space Sparkle membership. My high schooler will use books and Craftsy classes to continue to develop her art, and I suspect Emma, who will be in 6th grade, may begin using some of the Craftsy classes as well. They both need to look at the options and make their own decisions.

Health and P.E. are still undecided. Makayla's electives are also undecided. She needs to do a foreign language. I am familiar with Spanish, American Sign Language, and Latin. She is interested in Gaelic. She has a wide range of options for electives - I'm pretty flexible so long as it's affordable. I have no idea what she'll choose yet.

I'm probably forgetting several important things. That's another reason I begin planning early, write everything down, and pray about it all.

Have you used any of the materials I've mentioned? Are you already planning next fall's homeschool curriculum?


  1. When I don't get overwhelmed by all the options I love homeschool planning. I can't believe I've only got one more year to plan for. And - depending on how plans fall into place - that may be abbreviated to six months/half time for a year or not happen at all. Sob :-(

    1. Amazing that you are at that stage Sandra!

  2. I've also begun to plan for next year. Well, honestly I've been working on those plans for about three months now already. I think that I have everything pretty well nailed down ... but I have to work on my High School student's work because we're attempting to decide if we should allow him to attend the public high school as he wants to or have him stay home another year. We're waffling about that quite a bit at the moment so everything I have planned for him is very temporary right now.
    I think it's amazing that you have so much already laid out for such a wide variety of ages!

  3. I'm working on next year, too. :) I've used The Good and the Beautiful levels K-3, and level A with various kids, and it has a remarkably feminine feel to it. It is actually gender neutral, of course, but it just feels feminine. Whether to continue with it is one of my main questions. The reading is too simple, and the spelling is too advanced for how we tend to learn. The geography is fun, and we've totally enjoyed the poetry and grammar.

    One thing that is super weird is that we're going to have a small preschool class for my 2 2-year-olds and my 4-year-old. That will give us our one year of having 12 students before my soon-to-be 12th grader is all grown up.

    I wouldn't usually do preschool for 2-year-olds (who will turn 3 part way through the school year), but it feels prayerfully right, so I'm going with it.

    Science is our big ???? right now.

    I'm with you that planning/dreaming/imagining is half the fun!!

    1. A preschool class can be really fun and sanity saving with so many littles! You definitely have a full class with all your ages.

      Have fun!


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