Tuesday, July 29, 2014

4 Ways to Ease Curriculum Planning

Tis the season! Even year-round homeschoolers like myself, spend at least part of the summer planning new curriculum (watch for my current curriculum post come Sept). Here's some of the ways I don't lose my mind.

1. Do not try to do it all at once.

Spread it out over a few days or even weeks. It ain't gonna go anywhere. Sure, I'll get into spurts where I'll spend 2 hours looking over various English stuff, but if my eyes start glazing over or I'm getting easily distracted, I walk away.

Spreading it out also makes it easier on the pocket book if you have several new items to purchase.

2. Look at what you already own before researching new curriculum.

Who's a curriculum hoarder? *raises hand*

If you're anything like me, there's a good chance you've already got at least some of what you need for the following grade/level. Especially for the younger set. Whether it's hard copy paper books or PDF files or stuff bookmarked on the net, I bet you've got a lot of what you need.

Even if you aren't a hoarder, go through what you've already got any way. Chances are, you can find at a few things you can use for at least supplementing and it won't gather dust any more.

3. Break it down by subjects/goals/children.

What do you need for English? What grades are you covering? Do you already have any usable curriculum? Are there trouble areas (spelling, grammar, ect...) that you should look for supplements in? Did you and your kid(s) enjoy the last curriculum that you used? Do you need something less detailed or more intensive? Now how about math? Science?

By spitting it up by subject or goal and even each individual child, it doesn't seem so overwhelming. If I sat down one day and said I need everything for both Brianna and Olivia *right now* I'd be in the looney bin.

4. Keep track of your plans.

Whether you're a paper and pencil person like me or want to fill in a fancy spreadsheet, keep track of the planning you've done. That way you aren't researching the same science curriculum you just looked at 3 days ago. Or even worse, actually ordering and paying for the same history text you just bought.

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