New year planning has commenced for 2022/2023! ...well, when you homeschool year round, the whole "new year" line is a little blurred...lol...but we're entering into a new season with a new strategy that I'm going to share with you all!
(Plus, I have a free printable gift for anyone who wants to hop along and try this too!)
Where we're coming from:
So...we've had a couple of years of basically doing Gather Round Homeschool & math. We loved it! We still love Gather Round units and plan to incorporate them into our strategy for the future! ...but won't be using them exclusively for all subjects.
Where we're headed:
How we're tweaking things is coming out of a place of wanting more flexibility, freedom & creativity from Mama. I ave seen so many resources "out there" that I want to try! Plus, I'm just simply a creative person and I love to come up with my own batch of plans! I need a homeschool strategy that gives me some structure, but not a box. I want tools to hit our targets, but permission to "derail" for a week or two...or more! Month-long unit studies have been a LIFE-SAVER during busy times when open-and-go lets us pour our energy out elsewhere, but I'm in a place where I'm itching to do more of a loose structure and make room for leading our own way through topics.
I also want to blend my own goals with some of Charlotte Mason's principals and some of Brave Writer's lifestyles and mash them all into an amazing way to feast and flourish when we dive into topics in our own custom-tailored way!
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Okay, so quite simply, we have a math book for each of our school-age kiddos, a grammar book for each of them...and a planner of weekly themes to bounce from for everything else!
I would fairly confidently call this "relaxed planning" in the homeschool world in general, but I think the way we're doing it going forward will "boost" the child-led learning and rabbit trailing that we've done up until now even more.
I want to freely bounce from and dive into topic after topic without having to worry about hitting all of our math and grammar targets (let's face it, if you're pulling resources from multiple places, math and grammar can be the toughest to make sure you cover), so we're doing workbooks for those.
Math & Grammar we're using: (Our sons are almost 7 and almost 9)
Apologia's new Exploring Creation with Mathmatics
*My Thoughts: awesome for tactile learners and side-by-side learning with mom. Reading detailed instructions needed and involves lots of games. My kids LOVE this, but very dependent. FYI
Singapore Math's Dimensions Math
*My Thoughts: a great math for advanced learners. Nice balance of fun-looking pages and instructions. Would not recommend the standard grade level for struggling learners.
I have loved how the Explore Nature with Children curriculum sets out a theme of the week for the entire year! I've wanted that so much, but that schedule battles with my climate here in Manitoba, Canada and my local ecology so much that it makes it nearly impossible for us to follow.
Not giving up, I pressed on! Making weekly themes that fit our calendar, climate, local wildlife and family learning goals!
I morphed that into a prettier version of a schedule in my Weekly Theme Planner: (PLUS! I have made sure to include blank pages for other mamas to fill-in, custom tailorable to wherever you live!)
You'll also note a bit of a social studies-theme for every month too. I threw those in as we have certain months that have holidays or seasonal interests that I want to remember to dive into as well! For example, it's earth day this month...and we're learning all about chickens and poultry...so we're going to make sure we cover Earth care & composition...and how chicken poop makes great compost! ;)
AND...because I have a classic-sized Happy Planner, I've made sure to share both a full-page PDF as well as a PDF that will print to fit in your classic if you have one ;) Both are in the download below!
Sold? Want to skip the chat and get it? Download it here <3
*Free for ...I don't know how long. I want to use it and make final edits before I throw it in the shop!
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So more about how I'm using this planner...
First, I set up out weekly themes like I said. Next I'm using the weekly theme planning sheets to brainstorm ideas around that week's topic or jot down things the kids ask to learn about surrounding our theme...and also make sure I'm listing what we already have in our home that I want to utilize! (dusty book shelf no more!)
But I'm not leaving my brain alone with a blank sheet of empty lines! I have a whole list across the page with inspirational ideas, habits and strategies that are useful or important to me.
Some of these are very Charlotte Mason inspired, like Art Study & Nature Journaling...and others are from the list of the Bravewriter Lifestyle...as well as some of my favourite kinds of learning strategies and resources. This will help me not to forget to incorporate some of these favourites every week!
Each week I can pull from units studies by amazing companies and creators, printables from my growing digital library and freebies I've saved, on-the-fly learning and research etc. as well as my own creations & materials we already own! We'll hit the library every week to load up on literature too!
FYI, I DON'T plan on checking off that entire enrichment list every week! We are leaning into a season of slowing down and giving some quality time to our studies and adventures...so it's just like an inspo guide.
And that's about it. The PDF also has some cute dividers with quotes to stay organized. I hope that the optional blank theme pages for the year will be perfect for other families to use this same strategy but customize it for where they live and their local wildlife!
Get your own FREE COPY of this weekly theme planner while you can!
Happy Homeschooling 2022/2023!
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