Homeschool Planning Series: What I’ll be Teaching This Year

Planning

 

I promised I would share the subjects I’ve chosen for my homeschool curriculum this year. I will be teaching a 5th grader, a 2nd grader, and a 4-year-old preschooler. I want to offer the disclaimer that this is in no way what I think you should be teaching your homeschooled 5th grader, 2nd grader, or 4-year-old preschooler. Your kids are not my kids. They know different things. They have different strengths and weaknesses and different interests. And you have different strengths, weaknesses, and talents than I do!

I’m sharing this because I always find it interesting, inspiring, and informative to know what others are doing. When I read or hear about a bunch of different people doing a bunch of different things, it helps me realize there’s no one right way and I feel a little less anxious about what I’m doing.  If reading what I’m planning to teach is going to make you all angsty, skip it.

When I completed the process I described in this post I had the following list:

Henry (Grade 5)

  • Improve spelling
  • Write a solid paragraph
  • Complete Singapore 4A
  • Memorize all math facts
  • Improve handwriting
  • Work more independently
  • German (with dad)

Helen (Grade 2)

  • Sacramental preparation
  • Phonics
  • Addition/Subtraction fact memorization
  • Character virtues: responsibility and humility

Thomas (Age 4)

  • Become more “regular” with eating, sleeping, and daily rest periods
  • Improve mental flexibility, be less bratty and demanding
  • Learn to ride his bike
  • Scale back on screen time, limit exposure to Henry’s screen time
  • Share good picture books – including alphabet books
  • Expose to preschool fine motor opportunities such as playdough and drawing
  • Preschool field trips with mom and buddies on Fridays

All Children (Stuff we’ll do as a family)

Note: This is a sort of “inspire don’t require” time of our day. I’m hoping the content and material will excite and delight my kids. I’m going to try really hard not to force anyone to participate in this part of our day but rather to make it something they don’t want to miss out on.

  • Participate in daily family prayer time and catechesis
  • Gain an age appropriate understand of US History from Civil War to Present Day
  • Gain an age appropriate understanding of electricity and astronomy
  • Memorize some Shakespeare
  • Share good literature (favorite picture books and novels, history related literature)
  • Nature Study
  • Poetry
  • Folk Songs
  • Memorize Parts of the Mass in English and Latin

This comes pretty close to being All The Things. But there are some things I did leave out rather intentionally. For example, I won’t be studying grammar as a stand alone subject with any of my kids. I’m not adding handicrafts to the list of things I feel required to do. We’re not studying Latin as a stand alone subject this year. Picture Study didn’t make the final cut, though I long to make that happen at some point. I don’t have any specific, do-or-die reading or writing or math goals for my 4-year-old. (If you haven’t read my posts on a relaxed approach to the early years, check them out here.) There are times when I get all heart-poundy about leaving out these things. That’s why I’m being very intentional about setting my goals this year. It doesn’t mean we’ll never study grammar or Latin or handicrafts. It just means that this year, I’m not holding myself accountable for these things.

Also, there are a few things on this list that are a little aspirational. I really would like to do some sort of nature study this year, but I’ve never managed to make it happen in the past. I’m hoping to figure out a way to make it less overwhelming and more fun. I’ll share more thoughts on that later. Also, memorizing the parts of the Mass is something I see going out the window on all but the most perfect days. I’m hoping to figure out a schedule that makes sure that doesn’t happen.

In the next post, I’ll talk about my process for pulling together all the curriculum, books, and other resources I’ll use to teach these subjects.

 

So what are you excited about teaching this year? Anything you’re intentionally letting yourself off the hook for?

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