Everything has seemed to slow to a crawl around here. Now that the holidays are over, we can get back into our old routine. Everyone was so busy in December that we didn’t do very many playdates and no field trips whatsoever. The next couple weeks I have a couple playdates set up for the kids and even and field trip to City Hall. That should be a lot of fun.
Coming up soon we should be receiving our tax return. I always use a sizable amount towards our homeschooling supplies. Since I have finally figured out how to educate our children without spending a large amount on a packaged curriculum, we are going to use the difference to enrich our education through memberships, more field trips and activities.
My plan is to set aside $2000 or $40 per week for the next 50 weeks towards homeschooling expenses. I am hoping to use that money for all memberships, “back to school” shopping, and anything related to homeschooling expenses. This is approximately how much I spent last year on boxed curriculum. I feel confident that we can move away from the boxed curriculum, which is not much more than a reading list, and piecemeal our own, complete curriculum following World Book Typical Course of Study and the book list from Sonlight’s website. Leaving lots of time to follow more of the kid’s interests in whatever we are studying.
I am currently in the process of getting all the kids switched over from the Jump Math that they had been doing over to the MEP math, which is free (except for my print ink and paper). I still really love Jump Math, but it is becoming harder and harder to get the workbooks when I need them. Plus, Jump Math only goes up to grade 8, so I knew eventually we’d have to look for something more. MEP goes through statistics, and we also can use Khan Academy for any subjects that are beyond my understanding.
We have been using an Apologia science course and plan on continuing the titles as long as the kids are still interesting in those particular books. So far, they love them, especially the activities (which is really why I chose that publisher in the first place). They have recently added the Jr Notebooks to the Astronomy course, so I think we will be doing that one next. The one good thing about homeschooling, is we have no timelines on starting and stopping books. We can just keep going until one is done, then just start-up the next one the following day.
For the rest of the subject, we are going to follow along the World Book Typical Course of Study to be sure we are not missing any important topics. Zion has also been using Reading Eggs on the computer to learn to read. Right now, we have a free trial for Zion, Promise and Gabriel, but we will be getting a paid subscription for at least Zion once his trial runs out. I don’t think the cost is worth it for the older kids who already are confident readers. We’ll see since it is a small expense.
That is my plan anyway. Our education plans are always morphing and growing according to the needs of the kids, so just because we are starting this way, doesn’t mean this is exactly how our day to day will end up. We add things we like and throw out the things that are not working.