Curriculum Roundup

It’s that time of year again.  When a homeschooling mom’s thoughts turn to lesson plans, scheduling, curriculum choices, and keeping the liquor medicine cabinet well stocked with Wine Excedrin.

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, we will be starting back to school next month.  We began homeschooling year round a couple of years ago, because I discovered that too much down time for my children = a nervous breakdown by September for me.

Plus I found that everything I was teaching them had a way of draining out of their head if too much time lapsed.  Therefore, we will have 4 quarters with 9 weeks per quarter.  We’ll work for 9 weeks and take 2 weeks off.  And we take all of December and June off.

In years past, I’ve pulled together curriculum that matched my children’s learning styles and interests.  Which I think is an awesome way to go.  We homeschooling moms have a lot of wonderful curriculum choices and teaching styles at our fingertips.

But for me, especially knowing that I would be adding an entity known as Jensen into the mix, the planning was killing me.

This year I’m going with a curriculum that is all put together for me.  My girlfriend Diana turned me on to Accelerated Christian Education.  (It has worked wonderfully with her 2 children, as they are both bright and articulate and especially well mannered.  I’m just shooting for “articulate”, but a mom can dream.)

Anyhoo.  Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.) provides all the core curriculum needed, plus testing as a way to keep track of what the kids are actually retaining.

And the wonderful thing is, we will proceed at our own pace.  We don’t move on until a concept is mastered.  I could have joined Lighthouse Christian Academy as a way to help with record keeping, testing, and advising.  But since I’m good at organizing and keeping records, grades, and portfolios, I’m going to wait until Emme gets closer to middle or high school.

We’ll have our core subjects: Math, English, Creative Writing & Literature, Word Building, Science, Social Studies plus some extra Bible thrown in for good measure.  I also got the CD-Rom so they can do some of their work on the computer, such as Typing, Math Drills, and Word Building.

Now.  How am I going to upsell them on all of this?

My SIL sent me a link to a website that uses a Workbox System. Go check out the link.  I think this is brilliant.  There are many ways to implement this, and we’re using a set of drawers.  I can include their work in each drawer (one for every subject) plus a fun hands-on project when it applies to what they are studying.

I’m still setting the system up, but I found my drawers at Target.  They are 12 x 12 and have 7 drawers each.  (I got a 3 drawer organizer for Jensen, who will be an official preschooler.  Oh Lord help me.)

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(These are the 12 x 12 drawers I found at Target.  One for Emme and one for Cailey.)

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(Implementing the Workbox System Workstrip.  I will insert extra activities where the blanks are each day.)

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(I’m using crates from Wal•Mart to keep my curriculum organized.  My crate (with answer keys) is the hot pink one.  Because I’m sassy.  Emme’s is black because she’s 9 going on 74.  Guess who has the fairy pink?)

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(I print up my own journal pages using free downloads from Donna Young’s site.  LOVE HER.)

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(I made up my own Daily Planning Pages using iWorks on my Mac.  Makes me look like I know what I’m doing.)

Also, I found a great website that offers a download file of folder games for Preschool through 4th grade.  I think I got the deluxe set for around $30.00.  That will provide some fun hands on learning and games.

Because my curriculum is already set up, I’ll have time to pull together fun learning activities to help keep their attention.  The premise of the Workbox system is to encourage them to accomplish goals and work more independently.  I really think it will help motivate them.  And keep me organized.

Okay, your turn.  I love hearing about what everyone else is using!  If you’re posting your own curriculum roundup, please feel free to post the link on Mr. Linky and then link back here.  I’ll leave it open for a week or thereabouts so you can join in.

Or of course you can leave your curriculum roundup in the comments section.

Just remember, if you have the heart and desire to homeschool your children, you only have to stay one day smarter than they are.  😯

deedeesig


14 Responses to Curriculum Roundup

  • I LOVE your organization. I’ve homeschooled since my oldest began, and he is in 9th grade. I have done the same old thing for organization all along! I can’t wait to try some of your ideas. These ideas make me feel like I just got a brand new 64-pack of crayons!

    I hope you love ACE as much as I do. My very favorite thing about it is the fact that the kids learn Biblical principles and “attitude training” throughout each book, and they really get it. Blessings on you this school year! Please keep us posted on pros and cons of your year. So glad Jensen will be a part of it this year. He’s going to love Ace!

  • Oooh! I wanna do Mr. Linky. I’d be #1 at this point. . . .

    Except, I don’t have time to write an actual post right now. So, I’ll probably show up at #20 or #200. . .

  • Looking forward to using the Sue Patricks Workbox system (hopefully I will be able to review it)… Thanks for the photos and blog!! Love photos! :0)

  • Love your workbox system!

  • I could totally see myself using the workboxes in a couple of years. Lovely!

  • LO-OVE IT! So far the hardest thing about homeschooling is that all three of my children need individual attention. This is also one of the things I enjoy, but leaves me with little time for things like cleaning my house and putting away laundry. RockyA is just starting to be able to do some work on her own. This idea will help tremendously, but I’m getting it won’t clean the house for me?

  • I’m so thrilled for you! I did ACE for years (7-10) and actually finished all my high school credits by the end of 10th grade, due to the work at your own pace style. You will not be disappointed.

  • Ooo, I love looking at curriculum. We’re working on a very small scale right now. I’ve got two five year olds to do kindergarten with. We’re going to do school year round this year so I have lots of flexibility with all my little people (I have five kids five and under).

    We’re doing the Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading, which I’m fairly pleased with.

    Reason for Handwriting.

    Five In A Row

    Math-U-See

    And that is all.

  • I went to the workbox system’s website… did you purchase it or come up with your own version? If you purchased it, what exactly are you buying?

    You seem so organized and I really need HELP with that area of homeschooling. My problem is I don’t have a room to use for it… and I wish I did.

  • We have gone from using a curriculum in a box to Classical Conversations. It will be a big change this year for us. But I am looking forward to being able to do the same program for 2 different ages instead of trying to fit 2 whole days in one. I am nervous but think the kids will enjoy it. Since we live in FL I haven’t registered with an umbrella school because my older daughter (11) wants to be in the band and younger one wants to be a cheerleader. According to FL laws the school has to allow HS’ers to participate but NOT if they are part of an umbrella school. Plus keeping records is pretty easy for me and it doesn’t really change your status for college. It will still come down to board scores. At least it sounds like that. So as usual we commit to one year at a time. Here’s a toast to all HSing moms for the courage (and Grace) to continue. Plus I can always use another excuse to drink. 🙂

  • Wow! You are very organized. I wish my husband would see homeschooling as an option, at least until we can get this house sold. He is adamantly against it. Kind of like an irrational fear thing. So, instead I have precious little time to prepare my 3 daughters to be thrown to the wolves prowling the halls of public school, since our Christian school is no more (as of the last day of school.) It’s all they’ve known all their schooling lives. So now, I’m the one up having irrational fears and panick attacks about school starting!

  • Wow! You are organized!
    I just wish my children would stick to my organization. It is so very fleeting.
    However, just wanted to say, I love Donna Young too! I knew exactly where those calendar pages came from the moment I saw that photo!
    Blessings!