Homeschooling | Our year plans 2017-2018

Homeschooling  Our year plans 2017-2018

This post has been sat waiting for me to write for the past four weeks. I actually made our plans for this coming ‘school’ year right back at the beginning of the summer, then when September came we really struggled to put summer behind us and return to our usual rhythms. We figured we’d hold on until the Good LIfe Experience in the middle of September, that came and went and all of a sudden it’s October already?!

In truth, I felt a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of having a little more structure to our days, after the long, lazy summer we’ve enjoyed. Add to that my eldest coming back out of school again, and suddenly having a GCSE student at home, and another person to think about what they’re going to be learning for and it was all a bit much.

Anyway. This week we are back on track, so I thought I’d finally sit down and share what we’re planning for this coming year. We don’t do ‘school at home’ but nor do we fall into the unschooling camp. We’ve tried both, and what works best for us, as a family as well as individuals is a little structure. Think more rhythm rather than routine. We don’t have set times or days for lessons or subjects, rather a general plan for the year, which I break down into terms/months/weeks. At the beginning of a week, I’ll map out what we’re hoping to work through that week – no pressure, no getting behind, no set days/times. We just slot things in around other plans each week.

For the first time, I’ve used an online programme/app to help plan. I discovered Trello on another homeschooling IG feed, and it’s worked great to give me somewhere to plan our year. I set it up on my laptop for ease, but also have the app on my phone so I can easily check in on plans.

trello-screenprint

Made up of boards, lists and cards, it’s a little overwhelming when you first start out, but it didn’t take me long to figure it out. I set it up with 6 cards – Curriculum, Harvest Term, Yule Term, Winter Term, Spring Term, Summer Term. Each ‘term’ is around 6 weeks and gives us holidays in between each one.

The curriculum list is an overview of any books/sites we’ll be using for subjects, then each term list has a breakdown for subjects and what we’ll be covering that term. I’m aware how organised this sounds, and how much it sounds like we’re more formal than we are. But really, it’s just somewhere for me to dump all the ideas that are in my head! FOr example, the Maths board simply says we’ll be working our way through LIfe of Fred… English gives us a list read aloud, individual reading and some ideas for writing prompts.

Anyway – what are we actually planning {or hoping} to cover this year…: {note this only covers Kiki and Baya, though Beastie generally joins in where he can!}

MORNING TIME – we haven’t quite gotten back into this yet, but last year it was great. We tend to gather around the breakfast table, write our gratitude journals, read the days poem and chat about our plans for the day

MATHS – We’ll be carrying on with Life of Fred this year. My middle two have both really loved this, it’s a fantastic Maths curriculum that we actually enjoy doing!

ENGLISH – Both girls have a reading list of books for individual reading through the year, though of course, they read other books off the list too! We’re doing a little brush up on grammar for both of them this year, as well as free writing or using writing prompts for creative writing too. We’ve also added in a regular Petry teatime, which we’ve really been enjoying and is a great opportunity for us to read and listen to some poems.

HISTORY – We’re just about to start reading ‘Story of the World‘ Volume One. I read this to Lola and Kiki about 6 years ago, so we’re starting back at the beginning. We’ll be reading it together, we also have the activity book so we may do some activities as we go along, though I’m not planning on doing all of them – really just using it as another read-aloud. ANy particular points that catch our attention we’ll stop and find out about in more depth.

GEOGRAPHY – our book club books for this year are all set in different countries – so we’re using them as the basis for a year-long round-the-world trip. We started off in South Africa for Septembers’ book – we looked at the history of the country, culture, climate, food, etc. I’m hoping to add in some field trips too – we’re off the World Museum in Liverpool next week to tie in with this month’s book in set Egypt.

NATURE STUDIES – We love taking nature walks, and filling our nature journals with drawings of the things we’ve found. It’s a lovely way to teach children about the world around us, seasons, plants, etc I have a lovely year-long curriculum – Exploring Nature with Children – that we love to dip into, while I don’t follow it completely, it’s great for a base or if you haven’t done anything like this before. I’ve also just bought ‘Nature Anatomy‘ to go along with the other nature books we have. Beautifully illustrated, this I’ve made my own plan from for the year to fit in with the seasons where I live. {I’ll share that in a separate post actually next week}

SCIENCE – we have varying books of fun experiments that the kids often pick up {though 99% of their time is still spent making slime!!!} and we’ll be using Mystery Science as well again this year. We went through Mystery Science and picked out the ones that called to us, though we may change our minds about them as we go along.

ART – asides from our nature journaling, we spend a lot of time painting and creating. Sometimes we’ll pick specific projects {Deep Space Sparkle is a great resource for art project ideas}, other times we’ll just get varying materials out and create whatever we feel like!

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2 Comments

  1. October 5, 2017 / 17:01

    Lovely to read about all your plans, Polly. I’m going to check out Trello as I could really use something to help me see the big picture. We are loving Story of the World (it’s our first time reading it) and Life of Fred.

  2. suzi
    October 11, 2017 / 14:41

    Thank you for sharing. I love finding new ideas, sites, resources. It really helps us x

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