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It has been almost two years since I shared our curriculum choices and homeschool schedule, which wasn’t the plan. However, neither was having to endure an ongoing pandemic, watching an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the subsequent raging assault on democracy as we know it, and the descent into misinformation and disinformation that continues to affect everyday choices.
Sure, a lot of wonderful things have happened since my last curriculum and schedule posts. I wrote a book, my family and friends are alive and doing as well as expected, and my social media reach and influence have grown tremendously. It has been the best of times and the worst of times, my friend. While being a homeschooling family has insulated us from many difficult things, we have still had our share that has affected our homeschool, taking us on an unwanted emotional rollercoaster.
It is only now that I feel like I have enough space and motivation to share my plans for our fall 2021 homeschool journey. I thought about not sharing because, you know, I haven’t been sharing the “usual” homeschool content on my blog these days. But, I thought that showing you what we’re doing may offer a bit of normalcy in an otherwise abnormal time. So, here we go!
Our Curriculum Selections
This fall, I have three-ish learners onboard – a 13-year-old son, a 9-year-old son, and a 6-year-old daughter. While my daughter isn’t technically homeschooling, I have prepared options to help her either stay *mostly* independently learning or participating in schooltime if she wants to.
This fall, we’re covering: Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Spanish, Art, and Life Skills.
I’m using a combination of Khan Academy for all of the children and Life Skills math workbooks for my sons. Last year, I added the workbooks when my oldest asked to do the “math he’d use in the real world” instead of the curriculum he was using at the time. They have been such a great addition that I started my youngest son on them earlier this year.
My oldest is back to Grammar Galaxy, and he’s on the Red Star level. He also reads independently for school and is currently reading To Kill a Mockingbird. He wants me to choose his books, for now, so I’m going with banned classics.
My 9-year-old is using Evan Moor’s Language Fundamentals for third grade. It’s a great refresher and provides just enough new information to grasp quickly each time he works on it. For his independent reading, he’s working through The Questioneers series, which provides just enough challenging vocabulary without being too difficult to understand.
My 6-year-old is learning handwriting through the Comfy Kid copybook series and phonics through Hooked on Phonics. She also uses the CVC Toolbox to help her speech, letter, sound, and word recognition. It has been a great way to expose her to all four elements in a short amount of time.
I decided to combine Social Studies for my boys because they’re at ages where a group approach fosters better learning and conversations than working individually or one-on-one with me. We’re using Classical Africa, which starts with early Africa civilizations and ends with exploring the five great African kingdoms. I tried this book with them before, and it just wasn’t the right time back then. Now, they’re ready and seem to enjoy what they’re learning. I do, too. 😉
I was gifted physical science kits from Exploration Education for a product review, and the boys liked it so much that I added them into our fall schedule. My youngest son will also attend the same homeschool nature class he’s gone to for years, and this will be the second year my daughter goes as well.
My sons will be taking beginner immersion classes online through TruFluency Kids, which has allowed us to try their classes out for a couple of months in exchange for a review. I’ll share our experience in a future blog post. The owner, Micah Belieu, has a fantastic approach to learning Spanish that fits well with my learning philosophy, so I’m looking forward to seeing how well my boys do in the classes.
By the way, if you’ve been looking for ways to help your children become bilingual in Spanish, check out this blog post that Micah wrote. It’s full of practical ideas to make learning Spanish, or any foreign language, a consistent part of your homeschool days. She also included a discount code in the post in case you wanted to give Trufluency a try.
The two youngest are taking mixed media art classes at a local community center, and my oldest *might* participate in a local acting program. The arts are outsourced subjects around here because they are not in my areas of interest, so it’s leave my children in the hands of professionals.
I am always working on life skills with my children, but I also wanted to have dedicated space for them during our homeschool time. The kids want to learn how to cook basic meals, so we are working from The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs from America’s Test Kitchen Kids. I love how practical this cookbook is. There’s nothing too fancy or complicated in the book, and it’s full of recipes that kids eat. I have their baking cookbook for young chefs, too. Additionally, I’d like to do some volunteering with the kids soon, so I’m on the lookout for safe ways to do that.
Our Daily Schedule
We are year-round homeschoolers who work with the seasons and on a block schedule. This time, I wanted to only plan for the fall instead of winter, too, because I will be switching things up for the winter. I think. That’s my plan anyway.
Here’s our current, daily four-day schedule:
- Math – 3 days per week
- Language Arts – 3 days per week
- Social Studies – 3 days per week
- Spanish – 2-3 days per week, depending on the child
- Science – 2 days per week
- Art – 1 day per week
- Life skills – 1 day per week
Homeschooling typically takes between 2-3 hours per day, and we start mid-morning. Field trips happen every Tuesday, and we run errands, have meet-ups, and attend classes in the afternoons throughout the week.
Remember, being overscheduled and in “busy mode” doesn’t have to be your reality. Do what’s imporant, then add other things when you can.Camille Kirksey, The Intuitive Homeschooler
So, these are our fall curriculum choices and daily schedule. As you see, I’m sticking with the basics, plus a little bit extra. Remember, being overscheduled and in “busy mode” doesn’t have to be your reality. Do what’s most important, then add things when you can. After nine years of homeschooling, I can tell you with certainty that if you focus on keeping things simple and consistent, you’ll enjoy homeschooling much, much more and get things done — what a concept.
Hey, I’m Camille, The Intuitive Homeschooler!
I’m a wife and mom of three busy kiddos who I’ve homeschooled since 2013. When I’m not homeschooling, gardening, or watching yet another documentary, you can find me writing on this here blog. Oh, and I just wrote a book called Coming Home. If you’re a homeschooler or you wanna be one, I recommend it. IJS.
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