can you believe it? it’s already that time of year again—the NOT back-to-school blog hop has begun and it’s curriculum week.
as anybody who has read any of my blogs knows, i’m not much of a planner. i like to wing it, and that has been mostly our way thru homeschooling thus far. but toward the end of second grade ella told me that she wanted to do formal work. so i’m trying to honor that by introducing more structure to our learning.
over the past years i’ve heard lots of good things about nearly every homeschooling system and format and philosophy, but none of them was completely right for us so as usual i’m piecing together a “curriculum” but it is more intentional than in the past.
as in previous years i’m using the core knowledge series “what your ___ grader needs to know” as the foundation and reference point for our work. mostly we’ll be in the book for third graders but with forays into grades two and four as needed or as desirable.
for structure i’m going with something akin to five in a row, with the literature recommendations in the core knowledge books instead of the FIAR book lists. the core knowledge books are designed to meet about half of a school’s curriculum needs, allowing room to accommodate personal interests and local requirements. so we’ll have plenty of flexibility to follow other paths of inquiry as they come along.
for “planning” i found a great blank weekly lesson plan form at donna young’s homeschool printables site. i fill in the top with each week’s literature selection and fill in the sides with each subject area that we will cover. i use the lined section to note what we will do for that subject area. what i will not do is direct in advance which day we do any particular subject—we’ll play that part by ear, then i’ll record later when and how we did it.
this system allows me to brainstorm ideas without getting hung up on orchestration. i can know in advance that i want to have specific supplies ready but i don’t have to know in advance that on tuesday we won’t have a pet emergency that will take up the entire morning. :)
subjects i’m planning to include each week are: social studies (which to me includes history, geography, cultures); language arts (vocabulary, literary forms, grammar); science (um…science stuff); “arts and crafts” (music, dance, static arts, etc); applied math (um…math that applies to the thing we’re studying—i’ll work on this definition).
we’ve been testing this system informally this summer and have found it works very well for us! i’m excited that i’ve discovered a means to meet my need for flexibility and ella’s desire for structure. this could be the year that ms. mama becomes ORGANIZED!
*we get nearly all our books from the local mckay’s used bookstore, which is where i found all the core knowledge books—combined, the entire series cost less at mckays than just a single book costs new! my editions are older but hey, classical knowledge kind of holds its own over time. as always, i welcome suggestions, recommendations, warnings. :)