Q.  How do you plan / organise your homeschool – especially those who put together their own curriculum (eclectic style)?

Q. How do you document and plan your learning?

A.  When I start to plan my homeschool year I look at each of my children individually to assess their needs.  I consider each of these areas:

  • Their relationship with God, with us as their parents, with their siblings and their friends.
  • How they are developing in their responsibilities: time, money and possessions
  • How they are growing as individuals – their intrapersonal skills
  • How they are pursuing their talents
  • Academic areas they need to focus on.

This is a priority list.  (You can read more about each aspect on my website).  I look at where their strengths and weaknesses are and what we can do to help them grow in each of those areas.  Sometimes this means we need to make time in our week for these activities (like music lessons, netball/cricket, or community projects), other times it means I need to find a resource that will teach them and encourage them to learn more (like math, tech-drawing, Bible study or creative writing).  There have been times where a child is doing very well and I have not planned anything for the next season in that particular area.

Read more about finding a curriculum to suit your family in an earlier post.

Read more about what my week looks like in an earlier post.

My website outlines these few principles that help me keep relationships first, see my children as individuals and make room for everyday living and at the same time deliver a high quality education:

  1.  My priorities as I look at my dar are relationships first, then skills and then academics.
  2. I set goals for each of my children that are guided by these developmental phases – character, love of learning, study skills and then we reach the stage of the independent learner.
  3. I recognise that every day activities that happen in our family are opportunities to learn.  The challenge is not to squeeze in more ‘school’ but to relax in knowing that they are learning.
  4. Most of our learning is achieved through good books – either read aloud to the whole family or as individual reading lists.
  5. We read to be inspired – to be inspired not only to knowledge but to be inspired to Wisdom (practical application of knowing Jesus).
  6. We read, research, and then respond.  Responding can be oral, written or creative projects as we interact with the things that we learn.

(this list is taken from my website)

As far as planning what to actually study in the area of academics – Read My Choice, Their Choice.

I have two aspects of recording our discipleship homeschool.

  • List all activities, programmes, projects that fit into the priorities of relationships, responsibilities, intrapersonal skill, talents, academics.  I write this as a report – using paragraphs not a chart.  I take about one page per area per child.
  • List all the curriculum framework subjects – Art, English, Health and Physical Ed, LOTE, Math, Science, Society & Environment, Technology & Enterprise  (as required by the government)  and cross reference major focus, projects or resources.

I would like to write my report as I go through the year, but that rarely happens.  Instead at the end of the year (or whenever I write my report)  I refer to my diary, my blog and my photos to help me remember lifestyle learning, and then I refer to the actual lesson plans and resources we’ve used for any formal lessons.

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This post is a part of a series springing from the Q&A session at the Mum Heart Conference.  I’m taking time to answer these questions this week as I think they are helpful questions for most homeschooling mums at some time in their journey….

Be Intentional

 Every week I'll email an encouragement to stay intentional and relational in all your family life.  But for now, download your set of reminder posters - posters which I've used over the years to remind me to keep my eyes and heart on what is important.

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