Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Planning for Next Year?

A lot of families start thinking about the next school year about this time of year.  Tax return funded curriculum purchases are fairly typical and so people will start to put together a list of what they want to do in the fall so that they can purchase the items they need with their tax check or at the homeschool conventions which start up toward the end of February. 

So how do you plan so far in advance?

1.  you know what works and so you buy the next level
2.  you guess and hope you aren't selling everything off in October or starting all over again in January

Those are the two methods most families go by.  They either guess or they know what works.

How do I know what will work with my child months from now?

For that, you really need to look at several things:

1.  how does your child learn (physical, audio, visual, etc.)
2.  how do you teach (script, do your own thing, teacher intensive, hand it over to the child, etc.)
3.  what do you want to teach (subjects and concepts)
4.  what methods do you want to incorporate (living books, texts, worksheets, projects, etc.)

Once you have decided how your child learns, how you like to teach, what you want to teach and what methods you want to incorporate then you can go curriculum shopping and find something that fits your needs.

Sometimes you have to try out a lot of things before you find something that really fits the needs of your family.  A lot of times the oldest child really is the guinea pig and the younger children have less switching around of curriculum and methods.

But through it all, here is some advice:

1.  you don't need to buy it all, even though it all sounds great
2.  you only need 1curriculum/text for each subject
3.  once you know what you want, stop reading about what others are doing
4.  try to combine subjects so you need even less
5.  don't stress out about this, it will be OK

Want to know our plans for next year?

We will stick to what we are doing:

history/science--Oak Meadow
math--Rod and Staff
grammar/composition--Oak Meadow & Scott Foresman language arts workbooks
spelling--Spell to Write and Read
others/enrichment--lapbooks, 4-H, handcrafts

Once you find something that works, stick with it.

1 comment:

Jesse, said...

Thank you for creating such a helpful blog that shares how you use OM. I've looked at it off and on for years in the younger grades, but it never felt quite right. However, for the older grades I think this will be perfect!! I'm so excited to receive my books and my daughter is excited as well.

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