Need advice on orgainzing curriculum! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 08-14-2010, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I am overwhelmed with breaking apart his curriculum into 36-40 weeks. I have tried online spreadsheets, but this does not work for me. Any advice how to do it, especially if you are integrating two or three programs (like History and Math) Where do you start? I am spinning myself in cirlces.

I use several different programs, because it is what my son likes and I need to have it ready to go day to day because of having little ones in the house. I am not a very organized person so something like this is challenging for me. I have given myself the weekend to do it and I am not sure where to start. sigh!


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#2 of 11 Old 08-14-2010, 07:22 PM
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Do you do workbooks, lapbooks, pc curriculum, online curriculum, or just what you have put together?
How do you want it broken down?
Can you do a lesson plan weekly then put what you need into folders so that way all you have to do is pull out a folder with that days work in it?
What do you mean by integrating math and history?

We have been unschooling for the past few years, but before that we kept a pretty tight schedule. At the beginning of the year I would sit down and write out what our goals were for the year. I would buy the necessary books and then put stickies in them to break it up by either week or month. I would write out a simple lesson plan on the sticky notes so I would have it right there. (I'm notorious for misplacing things. )
When ds2 was in K-2, I put his daily lessons in file folders. So all I had to do was pull out a file folder and we knew exactly what we had to complete for the day. I would also include notes for internet activities that corresponded with the lessons.
Now that ds2 is getting up in the middle grades and soon to be a high schooler, I think I will have to set it up that way again. I also have ds3 who is starting in 1st grade this year.

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#3 of 11 Old 08-14-2010, 08:56 PM
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I personally can't plan for the entire 36 weeks ahead of time. I only started with 4 weeks of pre-planning so far this year. I figure out what we're going to do each day, write it down in my teacher planner, then put any copies/worksheets we'll need that week in a folder (so I have 4 folders labeled "week 1", "week 2", etc.). My 7th grader & my preschooler each have 4 folders. I don't schedule my 4 yo's work at all like my 7th graders, I just like to have workbook pages handy that I can pull out of his folder each week.

I just start with one subject. Like, this yr I started with language arts. I went through our LA curriculum (Jump In, MegaWords), tried to guess how much we'd want to do in one day, made the necessary copies, & put them in the weekly folder. Then I moved on to history, went through it lesson by lesson & figured out how much we'd be able to do in the 1st 4 weeks. We're doing History Odyssey with a little SOTW thrown in, 3 days per week. I also did searches for corresponding movies online for history & science & wrote those in my planner, too.

I have no idea if I'm being helpful. I'd have to ask you all the same questions Shianne asked to get a better idea of what you're looking for. What do you mean by "programs"?

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#4 of 11 Old 08-14-2010, 08:59 PM
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I've never tried to lay out my curriculum for the entire year before. I generally just pick resources I intend to use and then make plans for each week as it comes. I look at the resource I want to be using and I figure out how much time I want her to do each day/week and usually let her do as much as she wants. As long as she is getting a reasonable amount covered, I let her take it as she will. If it feels like she isn't covering as much material as I think she is capable of and as much as she has time available, we simply don't do the fun of our day until the work is finished, but I try not to go there. usually by the boring days of winter (late january/february) I need to pick up more resources as we've completed what I had bought for the year and there are a few more months until hiking/camping/swimming season has set in. the year I got sick things feel apart on me and I wished I had a pre-determined curriculum.
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#5 of 11 Old 08-14-2010, 09:06 PM
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i also piece our curriculum together from various publishers. i just divide the number of lessons by the number of weeks we do school (august-may). so for us, history is 2x week, science is 2x week, writing wit ease is 4x week, art is 1x week, math is daily, etc. i don't assign page numbers or specific lessons though, rather i just have an *idea* of what needs to be covered on which days. of course i'm flexible, but it gives me a rough idea to go by when looking at what subjects we should cover throughout the week. i make a very informal spreadsheet of what i'd like to do on which days. it looks like this:

it works out so my son does about 5 things a day & my daughter does about 6. school only takes a couple of hours. hth. i hope it makes sense too!

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#6 of 11 Old 08-14-2010, 09:53 PM
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For us, it depends on the subject. I only use one thing for math, and I have it planned out for the entire year. It took a couple of revisions to get it the way I want. History I have planned out for the first twelve weeks or so, but doing that is mostly a matter of pulling what I need off of the GuestHollow site and then making a list on the library catalog site and adding them to the planner I made for the subject, so it doesn't take long and I'll probably stay ahead of it. I have science, phonics, spelling (which we'll start when we finish phonics), and FLL similarly planned ahead.

Spanish we don't have planned ahead, because it's one of those things we do at DD's pace. That and reading, for which I leave the selections at DD's discretion, are blanks that I fill in as we go.

I also write planned things in in pencil in case I need to revise later.

One thing to keep in mind if you're using more than one program, is not to try and use everything out of all of them. Break things down by skills, and leave wiggle room if something's going to need more practice in case they don't catch on as quickly as you anticipate.

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#7 of 11 Old 08-14-2010, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I am finally beginning to wrap my mind around it. I think 1) I am trying to do too much and 2) I need to break it down into smaller chunks, like you guys said. I am still up in the air about some things but we are doing:

RightStart Math(C) - with some MEP to supplement when needed.

All About Spelling (3 & 4)

Growing with Grammar or First Language Lessons

Real Science Odyssey Earth & Space - I also would like to incorporate some BFSU in with this but not sure how. I love BFSU but it is too much prep work for me to do just this (aka - we don't do it).

Handwriting Without Tears

Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading

Headsprout - reading comprehension

We are finishing up American Story 1 (Winter Promise) and then I want to do Story of the World 1 with Maybe some History Odyssey. I also want to do a timeline and incorporate Geography with his History- just not sure how to put it all together.

Artistic Pursuits & Meet the Masters

Rosetta Stone (BP) and he wants to learn Sign Language.

He also wants to do baking everyweek.

Incorporating rythm of the seasons and holiday crafts,etc.

Does this seem ridiculous?? We would obviously not do it all every day but he LOVES History and Science and wants to do both 4-5 days a week.

I want to schedule my seasonal crafts and craft supply list so I will actually do them instead of scrambling last minute to get materials,etc. We live on an island so getting supplies can prove to be challenging.

The other thing is the History Programs have a LOT of extra activities and resources and I get lost trying to figure out what to put in and where to schedule.

I started with the easy ones Math, Spelling, etc. and figured out how much we needed to get done every week.
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#8 of 11 Old 08-15-2010, 02:41 PM
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We are using almost the exact same curriculum you're using! RSA with some MEP, AAS3, GWG1 and FLL2, HWT Cursive, SOTW1 with HO1, Artistic Pursuits and Meet the Masters, and RSO Life and maybe Chemistry too. Haven't decided on Spanish or Latin yet.

I use Homeschool Skedtrack and enter in each lesson for each subject. I print out anything we'll need before-hand. I can easily view which lessons we'll be covering in a certain week, so I can prepare. I used to prepare lessons three times a year - fall, spring, and summer, but now I'm going to be entering an entire year in Homeschool Skedtrack. Which reminds me, I better get back to work!

- Angela
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#9 of 11 Old 08-15-2010, 02:51 PM
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It's important to me to do seasonal crafts/reading/baking & other fun stuff that pops up from time to time, too. This year I'm trying something different. I'm calling Fridays "mishmash day". That means that every Friday we do either whatever subjects we fell behind on during the week, or all the misc. non-core subjects I want to try out/touch on, field trips, & seasonal stuff.

That's my new experiment. We'll see how it goes.

I too just have a LOT of awesome stuff I want to do. lol There are so many fun books & curricula on my shelves, and so many great ideas out there- it is SO hard to narrow it down! Often, I have to just tell myself "we'll do this book later", & put it on a different shelf.

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#10 of 11 Old 08-15-2010, 03:02 PM
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I use a file crate system like this:

AP Mom to 5 knit.gifhomeschool.giftoddler.gif

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#11 of 11 Old 08-16-2010, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your help, I have most of it done and am wading my way through History and Science! I love the mishmash day, we had something similar last year and it worked well for us. I am going to use the file box system like Kittywitty, I think it will work very well for seasonal go to stuff that I have been trying to fit in!!

It looks like a lot, but when I put it all together it is only 3 hours a day 3x a week and 2 - 2.5 hours 2x a week. Part of this is my son's doing because he wants history and science everyday! I have only done until Xmas and figure I will have a break to do the rest on our xmas vacation!

You guys rock!!
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