homeschool lesson planning

What to Do When Homeschool Gets Boring

  I feel like every year with homeschool brings its own highs and lows.  I’m always trying to find a way to keep things interesting and fresh.  Not just for my child, but also myself.  While it’s nice to have a rhythm and a system to do things, it can get monotonous too.  So what do you do when homeschool gets boring?   I realized this was a problem this week, when i was told, “Can we skip school today?  It’s so boring.”  My response, “Okay, lets skip school today!”  The look of shock your having right now is the same one I received. So I know what your thinking, “You really let him skip school.”  Yes I did and no, I didn’t.    What I realized is that what he was asking for was not to skip learning, but rather to skip our routine.  So instead of cracking open a book and doing the standard English lessons, we went to the park instead.  We birdwatched and excercised by playing on the swings.     When we got home I explained that I needed to make homemade chorizo and I needed his help.  I would get all the ingredients together but I needed him to put the recipe together.  This was done with great enthusiasm on his part.   When we were done, I told him I would clean up the whole mess we made, but I needed him to write down the recipe in our “special cookbook” so we wouldn’t lose the recipe.  What’s amazing to me about this was that not only was this done with joy, but his handwriting, which is normally awful, was completely clean and legible.  All of this was done without any pleading or arguing for neatness on my part.   So at the end of the day we accomplished the following skills: Practical living & home ec Writing Copywork Fractions & Math Science and Birdwatching PE No tears!   We ended our day on a happy note.  My child received the needed respite from the bookwork that wasn’t interesting.  So what’s the point?  Well, I suppose it’s finding balance in your own homeschool.  I believe there is a place in the educational process for both standard education, unschooling and directed learning as well as self directed learning.  I don’t think its an all or nothing process.     So when homeschool gets boring, change it up.  Reinvent your home, the process, the location or just get out of the house.  It may be the fix to your sanity and your children’s happiness.

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4th Grade Curriculum Picks

  So I thought I would share what we are using this year for our curriculum picks.  I always choose from a lot of different curriculum.  Don’t freak out!  This in no way means that you should use them all.  Some of these programs are not for everyday use.  I do a rotating schedule to fit more subjects in.  Some of them (All About Homophones for example), I only use once every other week.  I like to plan a lot of different options throughout the year.  But this doesn’t mean we use them all at once.  I always like to have more available than less.  Sometimes we use all of our curriculum picks, sometimes we don’t. Many of these curriculums have full lesson plans on Homeschool Planet to make it super easy for you to schedule your lessons. As you can see, we are keeping a lot of the same ones from the year before.  I have been pretty happy with what we are using and would like to continue.  So here’s what we ended up deciding to use. 4th Grade Curriculum Math- Beast Academy Level 4 and Saxon 5/4.  Yes, I really use both.  I use Beast Academy as our main math curriculum and Saxon to fill in any gaps.  You can read more about how we use our math program in my post Why Beast Academy Is My Favorite Homeschool Math Curriculum and you can also read about Choosing a Math Curriculum. Science-Super Charged Science Cursive-Zaner Bloser Cursive 4 Grammar-Shirley English Jingles and Fix It Grammar Art-Artistic Pursuits K-3 History-We are using a mix of unit studies this year from Homeschool in the Woods Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, as well as audiobooks from Story of the World.  We are also reading from A Child’s history of the world. Music-Alfreds Kids Ukulele Course Complete.  We started using this book last year.  It’s easy to use and comes with audio. Spelling-All About Spelling.  If you are interested in this program, you can read all about My Experience With All About Spelling. Homophones-All About Homophones. I’ve also written a full review on this program.  You can read Teaching Kids About Homophones for more information on this program. Reading-Pathways Level 3 English-Climbing to Good English 3 Foreign Language- We are trying a combination of Flip Flop Spanish and Talkbox Spanish this year.  Make sure to check out a complete overview of Unboxing Talkbox.mom Language Subscription Kits for more on this program. Critical Thinking-Basics of Critical Thinking Literature-  For our literature studies this year we are reading A Child’s History of the World, The Sea Wolf, and My Side of the Mountain.  All of these will be read Charlotte Mason Style as narrations with discussion questions or Novel-Ties Study Guides. Self guided reading is done throughout the week with independent choices using a “book box.”   Art History Unit Studies-We will be using Art in History’s Persian and Greek Pottery units to round out our history lessons. STEM-All STEM kits are KIWICO projects which we do throughout the year.

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