August 12, 2015

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop~ Day 3: What Picking Curriculum REALLY Looks Like in My House

It wouldn't be fair to have a Back to Homeschool Blog Hop series without me spending at least a day talking about curriculum. You know, like what I'm going to be using, how I'm going to be using it, who it's for, my goals...all that jazz. But guess what? I'm still undecided! You see curriculum planning isn't this need and tidy system in my house. Nope. It looks FAR from that, so in an effort to keeping it real, I'm using today's post to show you how MESSY curriculum planning can be...physically AND mentally!

Planning and picking curriculum at my house is NOT organized. It’s not something quick. It’s not something easy. It USED to be that way when we did an all-in-one curriculum—just order it, pull it out and go. But once we switched to a pieced together curriculum (starting in 3rd grade), suddenly things got a bit…overwhelming. Or at least it had moments. And this year—with throwing a kindergartner in the mix…it’s a bit more chaotic than usual. Okay. It's a LOT more chaotic.

An aspect of piecing a curriculum together that is the most mentally challenging is just the evaluating and weighing of all the choices. 

My oldest (age 9 1/2) enjoys independent work, hands-on work, and is an audial learner--preferably with a video attached. So I need to find programs that incorporate a lot of audio/visual lessons, limited reading, and quite a few chances for hands on stuff.

My youngest is a visual and hands-on learner who wants to do everything together. This means I can't necessarily use the same things as I did with my oldest--which means I have to go through everything I have AGAIN and evaluate it again. 

We also want to be together for subjects this year--so this brings another element of adapting material to be okay for a 4th grade level AND a kindergarten level. This brings its own set of challenges--but I know will be great once it's worked out.

Mentally, figuring out the curriculum for each child can be..well, overwhelming. That's why I pray about our curriculum so much before I even start sorting and planning it out. I ask God to put me in the direction I need to go that will provide the best for each child. And it has always worked out!

Okay--physically. Physically preparing for curriculum.

So what does it look like?

Imagine organized chaos...and that is what you will find in my house right now.

It looks like planning forms to work out a skeleton idea…
These help me make sure I don't forget something...most of the time. And I usually end up doing about three sets before it's finalized...ish.
It looks like piles of catalogs to see if I had marked anything interesting that we might use/need…
only a FRACTION of the pile I look through...a fraction!
It looks like a crate with file folders of subjects and unit studies to be better organized and filled to be ready to go…
Don't be fooled. This is crammed and in no way orderly.
It looks like a pile of geography curriculum to organize and prepare…
The materials for Expedition Earth which the boys will be using this year.
It looks like a bookshelf full of possible curriculum choices for the year…
This is about as orderly as it gets...and I promise it won't be staying this way when I'm done with it! LOL
It looks like a collection of USB drives, full of digital curriculum I need to look through and inventory…
Yeah. Like I'm ever going to have time to inventory these...
It looks like a big pile of chaos as I sort through our old Kindergarten materials to see what I want to use this year…
now THIS is organized chaos at its finest!
It looks like various websites of curriculum to be analyzed and weighed…will we use them or won't we?
Am I going to use Visual Learning Systems for Science this year? Still undecided.
It looks like a big binder that will become my right hand…
I read that first page every time I open the binder...
So there you have it.

Maybe my planning is like yours. 
You related to my photos didn’t you?? Ah, my kindred spirit!

Maybe your planning is the kind that is organized and systematic. 
I bow to your fine skills. Would you like to come plan mine?

The thing that matters is that come September 7th, it’s going to be decided, and ready to go! 

I think.
     I hope.
          Maybe?

Pray for me…

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Well that's day 3! I hope you will continue to check in this week for more of my posts during this Back to Homeschool Blog Hop! Now I encourage you to visit some of the other homeschool bloggers participating this week! You can find the full list on my anchor post...or you can try some of these lovely ladies:

Aurie @ Our Good Life
Katie @ DailyLife
Melissa @ Mom's Plans
Annette @ A Net In Time
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What does curriculum choosing look like at your house? Do you do it orderly? Or is it a bit more like my style?
 photo lisa siggy_zpsfhtaqygf.png