Thursday, October 18, 2012

Homeschooling 101, part 2 (and Freebie)

This is a 2 part article on my homeschooling panic and return to reality.  To read part 1 find it here.

In my struggle to figure out what I was doing wrong I went back to my sources.  Clearly other people were not having the same troubles as me.  Why was I struggling so?

I went back to the internet to look at other families and what they were doing and what I was doing wrong.  I searched for a plan book that would help me organize my thoughts and my ideas.  I found a few things, but nothing that I loved.

I decided on these things.  I went from year calendars to month calendars and then all the way down to weekly schedules.
This one is from

Find these awesome month calendars at

I also printed out Book Lists.

I can't wait to fill them in with all the books we have read.  I plan to have the kids each fill one out with the books they read through the year and then I will fill one in with all the books we read together as a family.

You can find the Book List forms at

Then I moved on to a Semester Planner.  I like that each semester is on one sheet of paper.  You can see that I have already begun filling it in.

Now I am beginning to see where we are going this year academically.

I made my own weekly scheduling pages since I didn't find any that I loved.  I used Open Office to create this and I have the file right here for you if you want to use it too.

I made the pages colorful by adding color to the text.

Now I am finally beginning to see where we are going and what we are doing each day.  I may not plan every week and I won't be planning our math for the older kids as their math program goes along in lessons and they do a lesson a day pretty much.  I don't have to plan for that.

It may also be a good idea to use these as an historical record of what we did each day.  I will be adding the books we read, the topics we study, the activities we do and the field trips we go on.

I am finding that most homeschool families teach a skill to mastery.  My kids didn't always master all the math, spelling, and reading skills they needed and I will be spending some good time with them on these skills so they master them.  I truly believe that this sets homeschooled kids apart from public schooled kids.  It is the level of mastery.

In the process I realized that the state only requires me to provide math and reading scores.  Realized probably isn't the word, remembered is more like what I am trying to say here.  I remembered.  Then I rationalized.  "If I am only to turn in reading and math scores and that is all we get done this year then I am okay by the eyes of the state."  If we get other stuff done too then I am better than the minimum, right?  We will read and we will do math.  We will learn lots more stuff in the process too.  We will read these books I have spent a TON of money on and we will learn from them too. Bonus right???

A bit more organization for us are these great buckets.  Each child has their own bucket with their name on it.  They keep all their notebooks, workbooks, and projects in it.  Inside they also keep their pencil and crayon case.  Everything is in the bucket.

These are our flash cards.  Most came from Target and are so useful for memory practice.

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