If you’re here you probably have at least one of the following questions:
1-How can I save money while homeschooling by planning my own stuff?
2-My kid has a gap in the learning process, how can I help get them over it and beyond?
3-My kid wants to learn something that I can’t find a curriculum for, how do I plan for that?
4-We have a project at our house that needs to get done, how do I design a plan for wholistic learning to take place?
Remember that Curriculum is basically, “A course of Study.” Historically it’s a relatively new expression beginning around 1576. As we progress through time it takes on different meanings and today people may give it a complicated definition to make it seem much more complicated than it actually is. However, if you have decided to be a life learner things are going to come up that you’re going to want to develop a plan for!
Some basic things that will help you plan are:
1) a spreadsheet or notebook, 2) internet for research, 3) possibly a book on the subject if you’re not finding clarity online, 4) a mentor or experienced person.
Other things to consider:
1-If you’re saving money using the library and internet are excellent options. We began our homeschool journey in disagreement so I didn’t have a budget for homeschooling and I would go to the library (think 1990) and hand copy math problems and phonics lessons onto free green bar dot matrix paper. My dad bought me a big stapler so I could fold it like a book. Now, there are so many free resources with either online or printable items that you can use, so money shouldn’t hold you back.
When my kids were young, under 11, I could pretty quickly make a list of activities that we could do in order to accomplish whatever idea they had. I did however have trouble managing the outcome sometimes. Like, let’s learn about chickens. Great! We went to a feed store, bought some fertile eggs, got directions for an ice chest incubator from a book, and three out of twelve hatched. We learned tons about chickens but did you know chickens poop everywhere? They have absolutely no manners! We gave one away for someone’s dinner and our neighbor took one to his country place.
Most “courses of study” for younger children don’t require an elaborate plan, just a willingness on your part to get a few things together and make it happen. I feel like the dad on “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Give me a topic, any topic and I’ll design you a quick course of study!
2. My kid has a gap in their learning. Even with awesome curriculum you’ll find that your kids can get stuck or have missed a concept and you know that going on is a bad idea until you’ve closed the gap.
Recently our 9 year old was having trouble with the back and forth converting of six place numbers between words, expanded notation and the simple number. I looked up some Montessori ideas and using index cards and a giant roll of white paper I made a fill in the blank form for her to work with and we can talk about without all the erasing and getting it “wrong” on the paper. I like to color code things so you’ll see that here also.
3. My kid wants to learn something I can’t find a curriculum for and can’t figure out.
This is a great opportunity to find a mentor or a club that does whatever it is your kid wants to do. Watching youtube or reading books can only get you so far, sometimes you need that hands on learning from someone who knows what they’re doing.
4. We have a project at our house that needs to get done
Who doesn’t! As we learn more about sustainable living, we’re amazed at how much science, history and even children’s literature that is involved in a family growing, harvesting and processing their own food.
Whatever it is that your family needs to get done, figure out a way to do it together. Start with a chore chart that keeps the house clean and work your way up to building a house.
Teaching your kids good habits, courteous behavior and follow through will make all of this more enjoyable.