Homeschooling: Planning Out the Year

At the beginning of every year, I have a mental checklist that I need to fill when it comes to my kids curriculum’s. There are certain things I want them to learn each year in addition to meeting national standards. Here are the things I feel a home schooled child needs to cover.

Planning homeschool goals for the year.

� Math: I have found that a child needs to do math on a daily basis. By doing math daily, home schooled children have to spend less time in review and more time learning new things. Without too many breaks, they can continue to build on what they have learned and progress quicker. If I can get away with it, I try to throw in some math practice on weekends too.

� Language arts: This includes reading literature, grammar, and writing. I like my children to read at least 50 pages in a day and write a story or report every week. I do not give spelling tests to my homeschooled kids, as their reports will reveal spelling weaknesses.

� History: History needs to be chronological and as interesting as possible to help the information stick. As homeschoolers we have the freedom to keep it interesting, so anything that can be done to make it fun is good.

� Science: I like science to follow the same chronological period as history. My home schooled children love to do science projects. Any science projects must include historical information. Health information (the body, diet, etc) are included with science.

� Physical Education: I look for activities that will help my children to get and stay fit. As homeschooled kids, my children have more access to food than public schooled children would have. Because of this we need to work out more as well. I try to keep it as fun as humanly possible. This includes swimming, very amateur tennis lessons, fencing, and whatever additional activities we can squeeze in.

� Fine arts: As an artist, it is very important for my children to be trained in the fine arts. Music is mandatory as it helps to develop the mind for math and science. Visual arts are important as well to inspire the children to creativity.

� In addition to all of these items, the children need to have personal goals for the year. This year the children will learn the basics of starting a running a small business.

Does the curriculum I have chosen match up to the goals?

Now that I have determined all of the things I want my homeschooled children to cover during the school year, I have to look at the programs I have chosen and make sure it all fits. For an example, I will look at my daughter’s homeschool curriculum’s and compare it to my mandatory requirements for her.

� Her online learning curriculum (www.time4learning.com) covers math, writing, grammar, and language arts.

� There is also a science curriculum that I will pick through in order to keep it chronological.

� Her Arts/History homeschool classes cover Fine Art, Music Theory, Drama, Choir, and History in Chronological order. I am considering ordering a few historical movies to reinforce the history segments as it is only taken once a week.

� For physical education, she is taking fencing lessons, and has taken to playing tennis (poorly). If we can squeeze in formal lessons as well as swimming lessons, that would be great.

� Reading materials are available with the online language curriculum, but in addition, historical novels and fiction will be included for afternoon reading and reports will be required.

� As for running a business, I am looking for a guide for kids. We will do exercises in it each week and apply what we have learned to real life.

Can we accomplish it all?

Looking at all of these plans, it certainly seems overwhelming, but I definitely think it is doable.

� The first thing the children should do each morning is practice their musical instruments.

� The online curriculum that covers math, language, science, etc, follows music.

� The Fine Arts/ History classes are Monday Afternoons.

� On Tuesday, we have physical education and enrichment day where Fencing, swimming, writing workshops, etc classes are taken. Online curriculum may happen in the evening on Tuesday.

âÂ?¢ On Wednesday and Thursday, we buckle down and knock out as much “schoolwork” as possible to get time to go out and visit a museum or something of that type.

� Of course, we will work on our business planning before heading out on the town for our homeschool field trip.

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