Friday, June 20, 2008

Homeschool Plans for Next Year??

I usually love planning out our homeschool curriculum each summer for the upcoming school year. Typically, I reread some wonderful books that give good reviews of many of the available school books out there. I also look through all of my homeschooling catalogs and circle everything that looks interesting. I also map out a rough plan of everything I'd like us to accomplish through out the year. I also write down the names of several books for each subject that I'd like to look at before making my final decision. Then (and this is the most crucial step for me), I would go to our local homeschooling store and actually look at each book and make my decisions based on that.

But, our store just closed and there are no other stores close by! I feel so lost. I haven't even started planning for next year because I'm just not sure what to do. I loved being able to flip through the books and decide which would best suit Isabelle's learning style and my teaching method. I suppose I will just order everything online or through a catalog, but I will really miss that hands-on shopping I used to be able to do.

One thing I will be able to continue is stopping in at Salvation Army. Every year I have been able to pick up lots of supplementary materials there. Last year I found some Alpha Omega workbooks (not used at all) and Modern Curriculum Press workbooks. I bought what I though we'd be able to use, even though some of them will have to wait a few years until Isabelle is at that level. I also try to stop in at our library's used book sales when possible. Both places have been an awesome resource, and if I were inventive enough, I know I could build our entire curriculum based on those materials, as well as online sources. But I'm just not sure I'm ready for that much of an undertaking. I guess I should stop in at both places and see what they have available right now.

As far as curriculum choices go, we are classical eclectic, so I am not limiting myself to any certain books. I looked into Sonlight a few times and thought it sounded like a great program, but I don't know if Isabelle or myself would do well with a boxed curriculum. The only program we are currently using right now that I know for sure I will be buying next year is Mystery of History. I'm also trying to decide what books, if any, I should purchase for Alex and Olivia as we continue doing some more formal schooling next year.

Just writing this really points out to me how much I need to get to work. We are just wrapping up for this year, but I know summer will be over soon enough. This will be our fifth year of homeschooling and I am excited for all the possibilities. Now, if only I had a bookstore I could go to!


5intow 11:06 PM  

Don't know if you are already familiar with it, but I have enjoyed the resources available at

They use many books similar to Sonlight (which I tried one year, and liked to some degree). They are a Charlotte Mason group and offer a lot of info on her philosophies and books lists and weekly reading plans to go along with it. All for free. Many of the books they use are online if not available through the library. I have hardly bought any reading or history books since using Ambleside. I don't follow their plan exactly, but use many of the book recommendations as well as reinforcing with narrations and copywork.

As with everything, it's not for everyone, but I was just poring over their site again today getting ready for the coming year, so figured I would pass it along.


Alisa 12:07 PM  

I am impressed by the amount of effort/thought you put into this process. Kudos to you for homeschooling. I always say if our schools here would just give me the excuse to, I'd hschool in a minute. We are blessed with small community schools that teach outside the box and teachers who love our kids. Good luck on the decision making process. And thanks for the reminder to shop the library sales. I haven't done that in ages.

Cajunchic 12:38 PM  

funny that you should mention this, I am planning on going to our local homeschooling store this week to start this process for us.

PS I ordered that book you mentioned the other day so hopefully it will be in soon. I REALLY need it. lol

Lora 9:18 AM  

I am just beginning the homeschool journey this fall with my 5-yr-old daughter. I'm really excited about it, but a little overwhelmed at the process of gathering the curriculum. I've been getting some great counsel from some experienced moms and also some catalog and online stuff. I'll definitely be checking back here for some of your tips!

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