Just a crazy picture of us!

Many people email me to ask what curriculum I recommend.  I don’t really recommend any particular curriculum or “philosophy” of homeschooling.  We’re eclectic in our choices here.  I have the belief that most curriculums out there are pretty good at what they say they teach.  For me, what weighs most heavily in my decision is price.  Since I was a teacher, I am comfortable taking on any curriculum out there and using it to teach my child.  So I just look for something used and inexpensive.  Having a curriculum to consult gives me a little guidance along the way, but even though I pick a certain curriculum, I won’t completely follow it exactly as it’s written, and I’ll skip some parts altogether too.  I am comfortable with doing things “my way.”  But for those who use curriculums from cover to cover, I’d say go for it – they’re all pretty good. There aren’t many I wouldn’t recommend.

In the past, our “curriculum” has been pretty eclectic, and not really “official” homeschool.  I’m excited about this year being our first “official” year of me buckling down and making lesson plans and following them.  This coming year we’re using mostly A Beka, following their Reading, Writing, Math, and Bible program for Kindergarten at age 4, with a random mix of other stuff thrown in here and there (arts/crafts, music, physical activity, and computer, plus other stuff I might find on the internet that looks fun to do).  I picked A Beka basically because it was the cheapest curriculum I could find (a homeschooling friend gave me some of her used books for Laynie with minimal pages torn out of the workbooks and I only had to buy a few other things from the company that I needed to go with it, making it really affordable).  Also, in looking at it, I was pleased with the curriculum plan and feel like it will be comprehensive, so well – here we go with it!  If I like it, maybe I’ll stick with it.  If not, we’ll just try whatever else I’m able to get my hands on for a good price next year!  (I’m not affiliated with A Beka at all, by the way.)  We’re beginning the week of Labor Day, and ending the week of Memorial Day.  We’ll be doing 4 days per week (like last year), and catch-up and assessments when necessary on the fifth day.  I’m also planning at least 6 “field trip” opportunities for her (which I’ll also be blogging about).  I plan to spend no more than 30-45 minutes total per day doing formal “school” activities.  The rest of Laynie’s learning will be fused into playtime and everyday living.  I still hold the firm belief that young children need ample opportunities for exercise, sunshine, and unstructured play, so I will allow plenty of time for those things in Laynie’s day, while also making sure she knows what she needs to know before K5.

What are you planning for your children this year?