Monday, August 8, 2011

When Your Curriculum Plan Seems More Like a Wish-List Part 1


If you follow any homeschooling blogs, you'll notice that it is the season for sharing curriculum plans. I enjoy looking at those lists because I've found options I might not have considered before from seeing their course of study. But what happens when the list you plan out for your own homeschool seems like a big wish-list? What do you do when there is little to no school budget for the year? If Homeschool Walls Could Talk they’d tell you that there will be years where it’s easy to pull everything together and years where it will be a struggle (I’ll admit—I’m struggling this year). Here’s my strategy for staying on track and avoiding the discouragement trap:

1. Pray that God will give you the right materials, educational activities and opportunities that your children need for this year.

atom H20 molecule using Magic Nuudles

A recent example of seeing God take care of our educational needs encourages me to trust Him with the rest of our year. This summer I felt my older children needed to do some introductory chemistry before continuing General Science for this upcoming year. After reading reviews and searching the internet, I found the book I wanted to use with them this summer. I only had a gift card to use to obtain the book, and wouldn’t you know it--- the book was not available at the gift card store. I was so discouraged. I knew though, that they needed to learn basic chemistry. So I headed to the library in order to pull together a unit on my own (which I wasn’t looking forward to doing because I know nothing about chemistry and it is time-intensive to plan a unit.) I came home with a bag of books and sat down to start planning.

chemistry Written by Michelle Eichhorn
(I can’t find the link! If anyone knows, please leave a comment)

While checking my email while planning (my way of procrastinating,) I came across a link for a free download of a chapter from a science book by Treasure Box Press—and it was the chemistry chapter! It had a student and teacher section and the student section was a text/workbook. It was just what I needed—sitting right in my inbox! Using these materials plus the books from the library, I easily put together a month-long independent study for my two older children. It was exactly what I needed but not what I had planned at the beginning. It was even better than what I expected! I know this was a God-thing.

2. Make a plan.

Write down objectives, goals, and possible curriculum choices. Then start planning one month at a time with the resources you do have on hand. This is hard for me because I like to know I have everything in order and ready for the entire year. Sometimes I only have what I need a week in advance. So I plan that. It sounds so easy-but for some reason this is one of my biggest hurdles when I know I have to be pulling together units on my own. It seems so overwhelming—which is why I try to break it down into smaller time-frames.

3. Stick to the basics.

I try to make sure I have the basics covered first: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. I figure that’s what they concentrated on in those old one-room schoolhouses I watched-er read about on Little House on the Prairie. If my kids are proficient in these areas, I know they will have a good educational foundation.

Continue to Part 2 …

If Homeschool Walls Could Talk…

ifhomeschoolwallscouldtalk This post is part of a link up with some other awesome homeschooling mamas. Make sure you take a few moments to visit them and check out the things they are sharing from behind their homeschooling walls.

Honey @ Sunflower Schoolhouse

Jimmie @ Jimmie’s Collage

Tiffany @ Sweet Phenomena

Lisa @ The Army Chap’s Wife

Megan @ Half Pint House

Reesa @ Suburban Tree Hugger

Laura @ Day by Day In Our World

Jasmine @ Ponder The Path

Lee @ Homeschool Canada

What would your homeschool walls say if they could speak?
Link up a new post or a previous one and come join the party.

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Anonymous Meagan said...

Wow thanks for those helpful tips! :) those sound great!

August 8, 2011 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger Carri said...

Thank you for your tips! I have finally gotten my curriculum,however I am just now feeling the overwhelmed part... LOL I can't wait for part 2!

August 8, 2011 at 6:41 PM  
Anonymous Honey said...

Hi Maureen,

I can totally understand the piece about trusting God to provide.

For us, we don't have to worry about what we need for homeschooling at this time (thank you God), but we have to trust God to provide in other areas.

I have tons of curriculum to pass along - contact me and maybe I will have some of your "wishlist" on my shelves waiting for a new home.


August 9, 2011 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I so need to remind myself of two and three! I've never sat down to write out our goals and objectives. I *think* I have it in my head... :)

I'm also running behind in getting everything together, but I should try to focus on the basics like you've mentioned.

August 10, 2011 at 2:38 PM  

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