Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Thinking Ahead to the Next Homeschool Year

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I’m not sure how it happened, but I am already thinking ahead to the next homeschool year.  Well, actually, I am constantly looking ahead to each new season of homeschooling.

I was so excited to start this year – we school all year and started our new curriculum at the beginning of August – because it was the first year that I decided to plan my own lessons, rather than getting an instructor’s guide.



Planning out my own lessons was a little scary, but I felt that it was necessary because we are a year ahead on the age spectrum for the box curriculum that we use (Sonlight), which meant that Emma was ready for some things, but not all things.  That’s OK with me though, we are doing American History (which I love) and I decided to stretch it out to three years instead of two, that way we should be all caught up by the time Emma is ready for their 5th grade level program.

However, I still ordered the language arts program that she needed, as well as math and handwriting.  We use Singapore Math for our math curriculum.  I was a little surprised at how quickly we made it through math.  Here we are, the middle of March, and she is done with math for the year.  I am assuming that perhaps we moved too quickly through it, but Emma didn’t have any issues with the concepts, or the work, so we are done.  Now I need to figure out what to do with the rest of the year.  I plan to purchase the next level for her (3A & 3B), but I’m not prepared to do that in March, so for now we are revisiting the different concepts, and working on flash cards which no one seems to enjoy. 


Handwriting is also done for the year.  The next book in our Handwriting Without Tears is cursive, so we will be ordering that program as well.  But, for now, I am having her copy passages from books she is reading, and Bible verses. 

I realized very early in our school year that I was going to have to do something different for Language Arts.  Emma was finished with all of her readers before Thanksgiving, but was struggling to do the amount of writing involved with the Language Arts program.  I decided, after some research, that it wasn’t the amount of writing that was bothering her, it was trying to make sure everything was spelled correctly, which took away from the creative flow that she uses to write her stories.  I know the spelling will come with time, but changing to her dictating to me has made a world of difference in her creative writing – perhaps a little too much!  She is constantly requesting me to write out stories for her.

I think that it surprised me how quickly we moved through work after the holidays.  I had assumed when we went into our long holiday break that I would have to do a lot of refreshing.  Luckily, that did not happen, and we are essentially down to finishing up history and science through the rest of our calendar year (which will end at the beginning of May).



It has been a learning experience, trying to put together homeschool lessons, making sure that we touch on all the subjects, making sure that everyone is progressing in the way they ought to, while still giving freedom to explore their own interests.

Because the kids have done so well this year, I decided to purchase some more “fun” curriculum for us.  When I say curriculum, I really mean items to foster creativity in learning.  What I found was the Ages 3-7 Fun-Schooling Journal for Jack, and the Ages 6-9 Fun-Schooling Journal for Emma.  And not to be outdone by my children, I also purchased the Homeschooling Handbook for Moms

These books just arrived this past week, and I have to say they are incredibly creative and fun.  I hope to have some time to review them and then let you all know how they are working for us.


Finishing up what I consider the main components of homeschool (reading, writing, arithmetic) for the year has thrown me into a bit of a planning frenzy for “next year.”  I’m anxiously awaiting new curriculum catalogs, making book lists, mapping out where I want our next year to take us.  It is a large part of why I wasn’t in this blog space last week, I was working on plans.

I already have my Erin Condren Teacher Planner* for next year, which I ordered during one of their recent sales.  I am starting to put together goals for our kids for the next year.  I am also thinking about our scope for the year, and where I want to put certain unit studies.  Because we school year round our main academic period is from August to May, and then I use June and July to do more fun projects, messy science experiments, and enjoying nature.  So while we will technically be done with school, the learning never ends.

Are you thinking ahead to the next school year, or do you wait until the summer to do your planning?  If your kids have the summer off from school, do you take a full break, or try to incorporate some learning as well?

*If you sign up for an account with Erin Condren they will e-mail you a link for $10 off your first order.


Interested in seeing what a day in our homeschool is like?  You can head here or here to see some of our DITL videos!

23 comments:

  1. It's awesome that you plan ahead. I would assume that my kids school teachers must do a lot of planning, too.

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    1. Oh yes! I think teachers are all constantly planning. Everything changes so quickly with kids and what they are learning.

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  2. I don't think I could homeschool my kids to be totally honest with you. We do try and incorporate some learning activities to do with the kids based on what they are interested. Kuddos to you for thinking ahead!

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    1. I have so many people say that to me! I think you would be surprised how easy it can be :-) I think adding in activities based on the kids' interests is awesome, and so important!

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  3. Good for you to plan ahead. If you dont, it becomes panic! haha... Looks like you found some good resources for the kids!
    Karen | GlamKaren.com

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    1. Panic...yes...that can definitely happen if I don't plan! And sometimes even if I do :-)

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  4. I love that EC teacher planner and coloring books. I'm not a homeschooler but if I were, I would probably be planning just to have an excuse to use the planner :) my kids were on a public school year round calendar, if I home schooled I would do that too, 9 weeks in, 3-4 weeks off.

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  5. It is amazing how quickly you have got through the school year. Emma sounds like an intelligent young woman. Love the books too!

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  6. Wow, awesome for you. I don't have the patience or the awesome planning skills to be a homeschool parent. Kudos to you!

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  7. Teaching takes so much planning and it is always changing! Good to start now!

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  8. I wish I was able to home school. But I do work on work on stuff over the summer to kepp my kids going.

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  9. Teaching is always evolving, I know more people who are home schooling. It sounds like it is a very positive experience for you and your kids. It sounds like you are so organized, your kids are lucky to have you!

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  10. We always work ahead in our home school. My kids are years ahead in Math and Science, but it all evens out when they start high school.

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  11. I think it takes a special person to be able to homeschool their kids so I applaud you. I am sure it's not easy but it must be so rewarding ;)

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  12. I am so impressed with all the work you are doing to home school your kids! Really inspiring

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  13. Always best to be thinking ahead of yourself - I love todo it. So nice to see all of the work you're doing with your kids!

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  14. You are such an inspiration to be doing homeschool planning for next year already! I used to stress myself out every July. You make it look so easy! :)

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  15. There must be a certain level of fun that comes with planning lessons for homeschooling a child. That is definitely a perk associated with this style of teaching. Sounds like your daughter is breezing through the work! I had know idea that Erin Condren has a planner for homeschooling parents - that is ss COOL.

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  16. I'm already planning for the fall too! I think it's great to get an early start. :) Thanks for linking up with the Laugh and Learn linky! I'll be featuring your post this week!

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  17. You are prepared and organized! I don't have any kiddos, but my mother-in-law may begin homeschooling her two daughters next year and I'll send her your link.

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  18. I cannot imagine the amount of planning you must have to do in the curriculum. I can barely handle myself! Plus you also do amazing knitting. I need your system.

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  19. Wow, homeschooling sounds fun for the kids, but would drive me nuts.. 😀😀😀 Three teenagers!!!

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  20. Great job for homeschooling. The kids must have so much fun and Its so wonderful being able to teach them from home.

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