Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2017 School Year Planning

I think I might have mentioned a time or two that we school year round. That means that as the Christmas trees are going up our school year is winding down. We are in the last throws of our current curriculum and it is time for me to start planning and budgeting for our new school year.

We have been using My Father's World curriculum for all of our children. While I love the curriculum and the approach it takes to include the entire family into the process it just is not going to work for our family moving forward. Put simply we were dropping too much of the curriculum from our daily lessons to make it worthwhile for our family. Our children found the multiple books each day for history to be too repetitive. We chose to do a different Bible study and need special needs programs for spelling and reading. That leaves us just completing the Story of the World text and the science assignments each week. Our daughters are begging to study chemistry next year so that would mean dropping everything from MFW but Story of the World. It makes zero sense to continue purchasing MFW for just one book.

So.....that left me to put together an entire years worth of curriculum from scratch. I admit it, I like this part!

   We have been enjoying the Story of the World texts so we will be continuing with the 4th volume and the PDF student sheets.       $25 for all 5 children

   As I mentioned our children very badly want to cover chemistry this year. I went on a search for a middle school chemistry program and initially found a $100 option. I kept looking and after going down the rabbit hole for a while I found this FREE middle school chemistry curriculum! I have had a look through it and am very pleased with the content. It is over 740 pages however so my printer is not pleased with me.                       $0 for oldest 2 children

   Obviously middle school Chemistry is not going to work for my 1st graders and kindergartner. I have another FREE option for them as well. We are going to be watching our way through the Magic School Bus series on youtube! I found this wonderful free curriculum to go along with the episodes. It provides a break down of the lessons, gives ideas for experiments and projects, and discussion points.                                        $0 for our 3 younger children

   Our oldest daughter is a year ahead of her peers and at 12 year old will be taking 2 years to complete Pre-Algebra. We have already purchased this curriculum and she has made it through the first 9 lessons. It is slow going but she has plenty of time to finish it before she turns 14.
   Our 10 year old will be finishing up with her multiplication mastery and moving on to division mastery this year. I feel confident enough in my own division abilities to teach her division without purchasing a curriculum. I have reviewed what material she needs to master by the time she is 11 years old and the toughest thing will be 4 digit division by a 2 digit number. After teaching Pre-Algebra I got this one down cold.
   Next up are the soon to be 7 year old twins. They are just finishing up their kindergarten work and ready to get started on addition and subtraction. We have already begun some of this through board games and cooking so it is not completely new material. Again, I feel comfortable enough in my own addition and subtraction skills to teach this without a curriculum. If I can not teach a child how to add to 10 we have some serious problems.
   Lastly we have our brand new Kindergartner. He will be working on learning his numbers, counting to 20, place values to 100, adding doubles, skip counting 2's 5's and 10's, telling time, etc. You know what I am going to say by now.... I got this one!
                                                    $0 for all 5 children

Language Arts
  I am not overly fond of teaching language arts. Just sooooo boring. It has to be done however so here we go!
    The 12 year old will be finishing a 2 year grammar and writing program she began this year.  She has been working her way through Applications of Grammar book 1 and Writing with Skill level 1 this year. The budgeting side of me appreciates curriculum that is used for more than one year. Her spelling workbook is through Apples & Pears. She is up to her 3rd workbook which we purchased as a complete set when we began the curriculum. Last up we have her reading program. She has developed an obsession with the Who Was series and I am going to introduce her to the I Survived series this year as well. As long as she is reading several chapters of nonfiction works each day I try not to get to nit picky on what she is reading.
    Our 10 year old daughter has dyslexia and ADHD. As you can imagine this is not her favorite subject. For reading we are continuing with the Dancing Bears curriculum that we purchased several years ago. She is reading soooo much better these days but it is a constant push on my part to keep it moving. I encourage her to read a fun book as part of her school days as well. Spelling and writing comes from Apples & Pears workbook 2. She has started this workbook but we will be taking some time away from it to really drill the spelling words she has already covered before progressing to new words. We may have to just start back at the beginning and redo the entire workbook. Do NOT tell her that however!
   The twins are moving right along with cvc words. They are loving the BOB books along with file folder reading games and reading puzzles. They are working their way through Horizon's 1st grade Phonics workbooks.
   Last up we have our kindergartner. He will be using 3dinosaurs printable packs to master his ABC's and letter sounds this year. I have to say I love how simple this is when you get to the bottom of the list!
                                                             $25 for all 5 children

I think that is everything.....of course we have the extracurricular activities that are not on this list. Art, drama, engineering, chicken club, gardening club, swim team, etc. Other than $60 for engineering class for our oldest daughter all of our extracurricular activities are FREE. I love this place!

So the budget minded side of me must wrap up with a breakdown of the costs for our new school year. All of our school supplies were given to us by a local Vietnam Veteran's group. I can NOT tell you how blessed we are to have these folks in our lives. They give so unselfishly every year to our entire homeschool community. I have not had to purchase a pencil or a notebook in years. We love them to pieces.

With a boxed curriculum it would have cost our family over $1,000 to homeschool this year. It was more but I stopped adding it all up because it game me an ulcer to see the number going so high.

My original plan for this year was $420. That was with purchasing retail science books, math books, magic school house dvd's, etc.

After going through some rabbit holes thanks to pinterest I brought in our new school year for a total of $50 for curriculum plus $60 for engineering class.  I would have to say seeing a grand total of $110 is making me do a happy dance. We will probably need a new workbook here or there through the year. Usually by August they are getting close to being finished with their current workbooks. That could up the total by another $100 depending on which workbooks are needed. We however are ready to get started on our new school year!

Well....I am...the kids....not so much!

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