Many families are finishing up their year and thinking about what they will do next school year. As moms who are big on planning, we get it! Planning the next school year can be a lot more enjoyable than actually doing the homeschooling. (😉)
When making your choices and shopping list for next year, we want to remind you of something we say often: You aren’t running out of time.
We sometimes get caught up in checking as many boxes as we can and lose sight of the big picture. What is the big picture? That learning and education doesn’t have to fit into a subject category or curriculum. We can easily find ourselves falling through a rabbit hole of options and before we know it we have a dozen curriculums, classes and programs on our list. It can all become very overwhelming!
Here are a few things to remember about these early years:
Kids need to be kids―and they need (yes, need!) to play.
It is one of the essential ways for them to learn about and make sense of the world around them. They need to be read to. They need to experience the world around them. That’s why we’ve created a play-based, literature-rich curriculum. Our lessons introduce life skills, history, science, letters, and numbers through play and books. But more important than the content is the approach. Our goal―and we hope your goal―is for our children to enjoy the learning process and build curiosity.
Just as important, kids need to be taught to read.
Since we aren’t a reading program, we know this is something you need to shop around for. There is an abundance of research on the matter of how children learn to read and the science of reading. We firmly believe that children need reading instruction, so adding a reading curriculum to your homeschool is essential. What should you look for when choosing your reading curriculum? We suggest looking for an Orton–Gillingham-style program. The OG program focuses on breaking down reading and spelling into smaller skills involving letters and their sounds and builds on those skills over time. It uses a multisensory approach to teaching reading, which aligns with our understanding of how kids learn best. This means that students learn letters and words by means of sight, hearing, touch, and movement. Orton–Gillingham is also widely used to teach students with dyslexia. Pride Reading, All About Reading and The Logic of English all follow this approach.
The last thing most of us are concerned about is math—but you don’t need to stress.
There is no limit to the ways math can be taught or the curricula available to homeschoolers. Everything from nature based programs, montessori math, online-based, and virtual-classes are available, virtually guaranteeing you can find a method that works for the way your child likes to learn. But what we want you to remember is that there are only a few math facts taught in most programs in K-6. Many topics are reviewed over and over again to give students a strong foundation before entering middle school and high school. And although a traditional school will take seven years to teach math topics such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, ratios, measurements, decimals, fractions, and percentages, many homeschool families find that there is a lot of repetition that happens in these seven years. As a result, many families have been able to consolidate these lessons into a lot less time. Why do we bring this up? To help you once again remember that you aren’t running out of the time.
So, as you prepare for next year, please remember that. Choose to fill our days with the things that fill your day with joy, that have value, and that you move you closer to your big-picture homeschool goals.