Saturday, March 24, 2012

How do you do it all?

This is a question I have been asked many, many times. We may only be "new" to formal homeschooling (1 yr) but after planning this year, and the things we got through last year with two littlies hanging on, everyone seems to want to know.

After the last PM today, I decided to blog about it.

Answer is.....I don't!

The "ideal" solution for us would be for me to make my own curriculum, completely from scratch, but unless I have a year between each "schoolyear" and no children around, that is not going to happen!

What we do (and so you don't think I am totally crazy, I have seen a few other homeschoolers who do this) is yes, I buy mutiple curriculums/resources for one subject. This may not be the most money-efficient means (well, its definitely not) but it allows me to customise a subject to our liking with a minimum of fuss.

For the subject at hand, I gather all the materials/curriculums/resources I purchased. Then I usually have one item/curriculum as the spine/base (for History this is Story of the World, for Science its Elemental Science) then anything else I rearrange according to the layout of the spine item. Once that is done, I simple go through each mini subject and pick and choose the books,activities etc to suit our current set-up/year.

Most of the items I purchase are teacher manuals/digital curriculums etc, stuff that can be re-used for reference/activities/curriculums throughout their schooling. We follow "very loosely" the WTM way i.e. the 4 year rotation of history. So anything we don't use this year, can be used on our next two rotations (yes, believe it or not, some of the stuff I purchased now can be used for the child in year 9).

So *thats* my secret. I don't actually do it all, and if I did, I would probably have gone completely mad by now! :D Its just a matter of holding tight to how you want the final subject to turn out. For us right now, videos and arts & crafts trump everything, as with the combined ages of the kids, this is what can be done/viewed by all, and enjoyed by each ones individual learning style. After that comes games & books, last is worksheets. My children are not very worksheet styled, so experiments, documentaries, art, craft and DIY games work much better to help them retain that knowledge.

Before we have even begun the year, my daughter is entranced with all that is *egyptians*, this came from 3 things. The start of it was a simple papyrus picture in a frame I picked up, she wanted to study it for ages, then, by pure accident, I started watching a documentary on King Tut, she was absolutely fascinated, and asked more about it, where I led her to an online game about Egyptian Mummies. Now she's become so obssessed she even wants me to make her dibetes logbook into Egyptian themed complete with "an Egyptian flat person on the front and hieroglyphics inside and LOTs of gold mummy!". I have promised her a trip to the museum in the City towards the middle of the year, when they have an exhibition on Egyptian mummies on, she's counting down the days.

So yes, my advice is to not do it all, if a curriculum/program suits you fully, stick with it. I have found most programs in their unaltered states don't suit us, as we require a very vigourously interactive program.

So hopefully your not thinking I am supermum now!

Miss E.


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