Wow! We are on week 11 of our school year. It has gone by so fast, and I am so happy to watch my little guy grow and learn before my eyes. This year has been so much easier, organized, fun, and we are learning so much.
Choosing a curriculum
The number one thing that has helped us so far this year, was finding a good curriculum. Last year I tried to just make it up as I went along, gathering curriculum from Pinterest or on the web. Things would get pinned, or printed and then we would never use them.
This year I decided that we would use a structured curriculum, and then the search was on for the right one. Our family is on a very tight budget, like many other homeschool families so high priced curriculum was out. A dear friend of mine suggested that I check out the curriculum she uses for all 4 of her homeschoolers. The price sounded amazing, so one day she came over and we logged in so I could explore their website.
I knew right away that this would be perfect for us. So, we signed up and became members of Schoolhouse Teachers. They were running an amazing special of $9.99 a month (Reg. $19.99 a month) for unlimited access to all of their curriculum. The thing I liked best about Schoolhouse Teachers, is that if we started one class and it didn’t work out for Chief then it was no extra cost to start a new program (Which we have done twice already). We currently use Beginning Handwriting, and Starting out with First Grade Math.
Another great plus to using this curriculum website, is that it doesn’t matter how many children you have wither it be 1 or 9, the pricing remains the same! How amazing is that! Of course there are two options when you sign up, you can pay annually or you can pay monthly. We chose the monthly plan, because it was in our budget where as paying the annual fee was just not doable at the time.
The other thing that helped majorly this year was getting organized. No more just guessing what we would be doing for today. Last year I debated getting a teacher planner to keep out days scheduled and on track. I thought we could do it on our own. Boy was I wrong, so so wrong.
In a previous post I spoke about getting the Happy Planner Teacher Edition. I can not say how much I truly LOVE having this planner! Not only does it help keep me organized during the day, but it keeps a record of everything we are doing. I have a column where I write daily notes about our school day. So that I can look back and remember what we were doing, how Chief took to a new subject or topic, or any fun things we may have done.
If you are homeschooling, I highly recommend that you get a planner of sorts. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, expensive, or specifically for teaching. It can be any type of planner you prefer. Every Friday after we finish our lessons, Chief gets free time and he chooses what he wants to do. Usually it’s playing the xbox (gasp! Yes, the xbox) or a game on his iPad. During this time I plan our lessons for next week, print everything out and write everything down. This frees up our weekend to do family things, and I am not rushing on Sunday night to get everything together. Check out our weekly schedule below.
Realize that it is ok to fail.
Raise your hand if you thought homeschooling was going to be easy. **Raises hand** I thought this was going to be much easier to accomplish. Boy way I dead wrong. Chief and I are very similar when it comes to doing things, which in turn causes us to butt heads often. When we first started it was a daily struggle to get our lessons done, I felt like the biggest failure. On the advice of a friend I took a step back and re-evaluated our schedule, our lessons and our approach, then I changed everything.
I found that I was using lessons there way to simple for Chief, and in turn he was getting frustrated. We ditched that curriculum and started with something slightly more difficult and it has worked perfect. This made me realize that we will fail, but in the end we can re adapt and we can move forward with the knowledge that we learn from those failures.
If you are struggling, or your littles are having a hard time focusing on their work. Try something else, give them an assessment or a worksheet that is a little bit more difficult then what they are currently working on. It could just be that they aren’t being challenged enough. Or, if the curriculum is on tract find a way to make your lessons fun, and exciting. We implemented a sticker chart, one sticker per lesson completed each day. At the end of the week if his sticker sheet is complete he can turn in his ticket for a prize. Prizes range from a special trip to the park, a movie night, a small toy under $3 or he can collect tickets for larger prizes. Do what works best for your little.
Have a fantastic school year! Just remember, don’t stress and its completely ok to fail ❤️