Thursday, June 28, 2012

Creating your own curriculum...

HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED putting together your own curriculum? I know many shy away from it because of the uncertainty of providing enough information at the right level for your student. But I say that you are totally cable of creating your own curriculum. I think we are all accustom to beautiful texts and lots of "meaty" books to fill out our work for the year to ensure that we are truly educating our students. However, when you focus on text books are your students really learning? Or enjoying what they are learning. Don't get me wrong there is a place for a boxed curriculum such as Sonlight, Konos, Calvert and the like. I have used them myself when I have been expecting a baby or just plain didn't want to think to hard about planning my school year.

If you'd like to save some money, as we all need to these days, creating your own curriculum can be a great way to go about it. I do always purchase a math and grammer, but depending on the age of the students history, science, geography and just about anything else you'd like to study can be created from your interests, libraries and the web. Before I give you a check list, especially if you're new to homeschooling, I always suggest checking out your states laws regarding homeschooling. Depending on what they require, they may give you a frame work to get started. You can check out your state at Homeschool Legal Defense. They offer a plethora of information if you're just getting started or need more information as your children get older.

  1. First I begin with a time-line or some sort of map as to where we want to go with our study. A great time-line  is Adams's Chart of History. What makes this such a wonderful resource is that it has a parallel time line for modern, biblical, etc. Lots of references!! A great place to begin.
  2. Once I have my time-line or section of study then I search the library and web for resources. Often times I start at Amazon for their wide selection even if I don't purchase from there.
  3. I also look through boxed curriculum catalogs to see what they offer for the age range I'm schooling. I particularly like Sonlight for reading lists. I'm not always good at choosing reading level appropriate novels. They have wonderful, well rounded reading lists.
  4. Next I get out my calendar and plot out approxamatley we will spend on each area of study. I say approxamatley because sometimes we get really into what we are studying and maybe get lost down a bunny trail or two and get off our schedule. For me that's the beauty of homeschooling and when we do our best learning during these times.
  5. Last don't worry if you are getting enough in!!! I know lots of families that hesitate to create their own learning plan because they are not sure their children are learning enough. Well, as someone who has been homeschooling for 10+ years. Don't worry! You are probably doing more learning on your worst days then they'd get in school and they are probably retaining WAY more!!!!
Have confidence in your ability to teach or share a LOVE OF LEARNING and the rest will follow. I believe feeding curiosity is more important than busy work and "things accomplished". Learning is what stays in your brain, not always what you spit out onto a page. I passed many exams in school, with good grades even. But I don't always remember today what I was supposed to have learned.

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