Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Homeschool Curriculum

  I get asked a lot what I do... and when I answer that I'm a stay-at-home mom, I get these close-lipped pity smiles, a little nod of the head and a firm "well, that's a full time job too." I just have to laugh. Why? Because they have NO IDEA. While they're going away to work out of the house and leaving their children to be raised by the daycare provider or the school teachers, I'm at home, actually raising my children. Believe it or not, I don't get to sit on the couch all day watching soaps and eating bon-bons. I chase around three little girls all day and instruct them in how to do pretty much everything. I'm also a keeper of the home (which somehow seemed a lot easier when I worked...) and a homeschool teacher. My dd5 is in kindergarten right now and my dd3 starts preschool next August. A lot of our family members are still a little in the dark as to what we do every day, so I wanted to post our curriculum to help them out... and to show that, indeed, I have a very full time job.

Learning at Home: Preschool and Kindergarten: A Christian Parent's Guide with Day-by-Day Lesson Plans Using the Library as a Resource by Ann Ward

When we first started, I really had no idea what I was doing, but knew that I wanted structure and a bible-based curriculum... Ann Ward gave me both of those and also taught me how to be organized with our homeschool (the rest of the house can become a mess, but the school never is!)

Before you look at our hodge-podge of curriculum, and think "WOW, what a mess!" - I should warn you that I researched a lot of curriculum for this age and just couldn't find a whole set that I completely agreed with - but I found tons of separate curriculum that I loved... and that's how we ended up here. I spend about two weeks in the summer organizing everything and getting worksheets printed out, so there's never a stack of material that I'm sorting through to find things. I have a "teacher book" that I separate classes into and keep track of reading material and our daily curriculum. For the most part, I've written the curriculum myself, and that just works for us (it may not work in all cases). I've created a spreadsheet workbook to track everything by week - here's a snapshot of one week:

click on picture to open to full size

  • Worksheets / Practical applications (Tuesday and Thursday)
  • A2 Phonics (every day)
  • McGuffey Reader
  • Writing Practice / reading daily books
  • Supplementary Letter and Word Worksheets (from the dollar tree)
  • Practical Applications > This is where most of our work happens - the worksheets are just to round it out
  • Time Worksheets (from the dollar tree)
  • Supplementary Worksheets (money, sequencing, more/less, measurement) (we only used half of these, as most was covered in preschool)
  • Addition/Subtraction Worksheets (from the dollar tree) 
  • (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

Both dh and I wanted our children to study Latin (not because we're Catholic, because we're not) but to give them a starting block for learning other languages. It is exceptionally easy for children and each grade level steps up the curve.

US Geography will take us three years to get through, so we spend a whopping two weeks on each state (Galloping the Globe is the companion for world geography, which we will also use)



Monday, February 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Hi. My name is Susan and I'm a menu planner.

Here's my first official Menu Plan Monday - I plan for two weeks at a time and do so on a very frugal budget. Making changes to the way we shop has saved us a great deal of the green stuff and I'm having to deal with all of the self-pride I'm feeling over this... just doing what I should have been doing in the first place, right?

Moday - loaded baked potatoes / salad

Tuesday - hamburgers / sweet potato fries

Wednesday - cracker barrel's hashbrown casserole (thanks Sherry!)

Thursday - quesadillas / spanish rice

Friday - strip steak / twice baked potatoes / vegetables

Saturday - crockpot chili / cornbread

Sunday - Leftovers

Monday - steak / steamed rice / vegetables

Tuesday - tacos

Wednesday - rich danish waffles

Thursday - soup / sandwiches

Friday - lemon pepper chicken / scalloped potatoes / vegetables

Saturday - potato soup / baguettes
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