Checklists. Many of us have a love-hate relationship with checklists. We love when we get to check off an item — done! Yay! We hate when we don’t get to check off an item on that list — ugh. Failure.
Whether we like it or not, checklists are, for many of us, a necessary part of lesson planning: a way to keep track of what we need to do, what our kids need to do, what has been done, and what has not. If you’re homeschooling multiple children, checklists are essential. However, we can easily fall into the trap of feeling as if we are slaves to the list. And we certainly want to avoid having a checklist mentality when it comes to teaching and learning. Ideally, we want our kids to enjoy the process of learning (at least sometimes!) and not just get the work over with. More importantly, we want to set an example for our children that nurturing relationships are more important than completing tasks.
Over my many years of homeschooling, I’ve come up with as system that has allowed us to use checklists without being stressed out by them. Here’s what we do:
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It is usually about this time of year when the homeschooling catalogs start coming in the mail. I gather them into a big pile and, like a kid in a candy shop, I pore over the pages. I love browsing homeschooling curricula. There is so much promise and potential in new school books.
But I have learned that beyond glossy pages and full-color pictures, there are certain things that make for effective curricula. There are good books, and then there are great books. Here are ten criteria to think about when shopping for next year’s school books:
Continue reading “What to Look for when Choosing Curricula”
Outside of our house the azaleas are in full bloom, the tulips have come up, and the warm weather beckons my children to study and play outside. It’s spring. Yay! And so it’s that time of year when I begin to plan next year’s curriculum. Double Yay! Planning curriculum is one of my favorite things to do. That’s when I dream of all the wonderful things my children will learn and all the delightful books we will read aloud together. Eight years of homeschooling has not dimmed my enthusiasm for planning and curriculum. But they have taught me some hard-learned lessons which keep me grounded in reality even while I dream of all the promise and potential that a new school year holds.
Continue reading “Remember This When You Plan Your Curriculum”