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Monday, August 1, 2016

Our Homeschool Plan for the Year

Our homeschool year officially kicks off today! 

Elijah will be going into 2nd grade, Britain is a Kindergartener and I've got a 4 year old and a 2 year old watching from the wings. (The two year old was refusing to cooperate with my picture efforts...) It's Year Two of homeschooling and my first year with two kids following a formal curriculum.

Since Elijah was the only one doing formal school last year and the other kids were constantly playing around him, it was difficult to keep him on task and interested in his books (or maybe that's universal to six year old boys) so I would tell him what we needed to cover each day and allow him to choose in what order he wanted to tackle things. Giving him that bit of control seemed to help. 

This year with two kids hitting the books, I think I need a more consistent schedule, so I ordered this classroom pocket schedule to help both me and the kids stay on track and know what's coming next. Here's what our actual schedule looks like to start out the year.

I've blocked out the school day from 9am to 1:30pm with 7 periods, the academic ones are 30-45 minutes long and then lunch/play outside/leave me alone time is one full hour. My thought was to mix things up so that in any given period, two kids are "self-sufficient" (ha!) one kid is doing something that requires only a little teacher intervention which frees me up to work one-on-one with the fourth child. We'll see how it works and re-evaluate a few weeks in.

Here's my plan to tackle each subject:

Bible/Virtues: We'll talk about one virtue each month using In This House We Will Giggle and The Jesus Storybook Bible 

Phonics/Reading: For Britain we'll continue using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and Abeka's early reading curriculum. Elijah will be working on his fluency by reading texts that go along with our history and science subjects. 

Language Arts: Elijah will use First Language Lessons and Spelling Workout B. This covers all the grammar he needs to learn plus provides us with memorization opportunities (which we also have in our Bible/Virtues work) I'd like to be better about providing real-world writing opportunities for him. Keeping a journal, writing letters to family members, helping me make the grocery list etc. Fortunately his handwriting is beautiful so I don't need a handwriting program for him this year...whoop whoop! 

Math: Last year was our first year using Singapore Math and both Eli and I loved it. For Britain we'll start their Essentials program and for Elijah we'll be in the Level 2 workbooks.

History: Story of the World again! History is my favorite subject and I loved using this curriculum last year. Each week the kids listen to a chapter or two from the audiobook (it's nice to have a break from talking/reading all day long) and do an accompanying activity or two from the activity guide. This year we'll be studying the Middle Ages - Medieval Times and the Georgia Renaissance Festival here we come!

Science: I've cobbled together our science curriculum from a variety of resources. We'll be studying Earth Science (geology, weather patterns, air, water, light, biomes, etc.) this semester and astronomy next semester. The plan is to cover one subject each week using library books, Magic School Bus videos (so fun) and of course hands-on experiments. I'd like to take field trips to the Telus Museum and Fernbank as well this year.

A note about field trips: Lots of museums offer discounted homeschool days and most offer some kind of discounted day throughout the month. I make a note of which days those are at the places I know we want to go each year and manipulate our schedule so we can take advantage of that offer.  Last year we visited the GA Aquarium for about $30 (for 5 of us) on a homeschool day and had access to a ton of additional activities and learning opportunities while there. This year Medieval Times is hosting Homeschool Day on September 23rd...who wants to come with us?! 

Phew! I think that covers most everything. I'd love to hear from any of you who are planning to homeschool this year and what your plans look like! 


  1. This will be our second year homeschooling! I never told you, but every time you would talk about homeschooling I would get this tug at my heart. I never thought I'd teach my kids at home, but we are loving it and know God has called us to do it. Thank you for sharing your love for your kids and how you do it all! We are going to use Singapore math for the first time this year and I think my son will love it.

    1. Oh wow!! No I had no idea. Thank you for sharing that. I always kind of wonder how many people care to read about the homeschool thing since I really don't have but one or two other friends who homeschool. I hope it is a great year for you guys!


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