It’s been 6 weeks since we started our school year. There have been many tweaks and changes in the last several weeks in our schedule and curriculum while we find our flow. Right now, I feel like we’ve gotten to a good place, it took a while, but we got there. There’s always a learning curve when we start something new. I’m sure there will be more changes as we go along, but that’s one of the many benefits of homeschooling, I can change, add, get rid of and tweak as often as I like.
For this school year I planned, and planned, and planned some more (if you haven’t guessed, I’m a planner. Type A much?) I looked into all kinds of curriculum to see what would be the best fit for my daughters. Taking into consideration their personalities, strengths and weaknesses I choose ones that would suit them both. I also looked into extras for our morning-time basket and made up my own curriculum were I couldn’t find one I liked.
We don’t follow any particular homeschool style. I have become familiar with a few and pull from each what I like and add ideas I find other homeschoolers doing if I feel it would work for our family. I would consider us eclectic homeschoolers. It works well for us!
I have put together my own curriculum for science. This year we’re focusing on animals and their habitats, the human body and, if we get to it, botany. If we don’t we’ll save it for summertime.
Here is where the crazy started. I had my entire history schedule picked out and scheduled for the year and then we started it. It wasn’t working. We were using History of the World Ancient Times, but the content, I felt, was too much for my girls to grasp. I understand why teaching history in chronological order makes sense, but the living literature available to children on a first grade level was sparse. After reading this post I decided to change it all up a week after school started. No big deal! With our new choice I am able to find living literature geared toward their age and we are getting so much more out of our lessons.
I don’t think the girls are quite ready for music lessons yet, so every month we are getting to know master composers using my YouTube video playlist and good books. Last month we learned about Chopin.
I keep this simple and use a primary composition book like this one to keep all there crazy little stories. I ask them questions like “If you had $1000 what would you do?” and let them tell a story while I write it down for them. It’s interesting to see where they will take it. I keep my ideas on my Pinterest board. I love Pinterest.
This is going to be a time when the girls and I get out for a while to look at what we find in nature, trees, birds, streams, and journal about what we see. I want them to be more aware of God’s creation and admire the beauty he created for us.
Put all these together and I have first grade down!