This coming school year, I will have been homeschooling for 11 years. I “officially” started homeschooling my oldest son at age 4 with kindergarten materials. 🙂 Although, really, I have been homeschooling since my children were born. When my first wee baby was just itty bitty, I would hold him and read him tiny board books. I would stock his play pen with books. I created a read aloud rhythm. So it began. I bought Baby Einstein Animal Flashcards (so beautiful) and we would play with all that interesting beauty.
I am right in the midst- actually almost complete- with all my curriculum planning and selections for next year. My new state is very intense. I got an email last week, maybe two weeks ago,from my oversight- urging us all that now is the time to purchase next year’s curriculum. How my heart started to pound! Even though I have already been in the midst of this endeavor for awhile now. So-
What I do- with my large family- in order to keep track of everything:
I take a composition notebook and label a page for each student with their name and grade across the top. Down the left hand margin, skipping space, I label their required subjects. For high school, I label everything required for the diploma program my children are in with extra space for electives. Then I begin filling in subjects as I make decisions. I check with the children to see where they are at with certain books in order to make the right choices. As needed, I make notes on the bottom right hand portion of the page.
As I begin to make decisions and fill this in- I take this book with me to the computer. I pull up Rainbow Resource, Amazon.com, Cbd.com and curriculum publisher websites. I start putting items in my Rainbow wishlist. All the while pondering and praying.
Once each child’s planning sheet is filled in, I can see at a glance that I have met all my state’s requirements or if I haven’t made all the decisions, I can see what is needed to focus on.
I work through each student one by one. However, I will leave a student incomplete- and work on someone else for a time and then go back until all is complete.
How I make book and publisher choices-
I pray a lot and research a lot. I have tried and true favorites that I have used again and again with the children and I keep students moving through these levels each year. I have also tried a lot of different curriculum over the years and things change as our family has grown and changed. I also take serious account of my personality. I have burned myself out and on with curriculum that is draining or stressful for me personally.
In just a few months, I will have to fill out a goal sheet for each child with notation as to where I plan to be in all their books at certain marker points of the school year. This I submit to my oversight and this year I am remembering to copy it for myself as well!