One Family's Curriculum Planning Approach

We were so excited to hear from one of our customers (She also happens to be my cousin AND her three daughters were a delight in our 2011 Photo Shoot!) about how she is planning out her daughters’ curriculum this year. With her permission, we’re sharing her ideas as inspiration for you all! Also, the poster above was made for us by the girls and now hangs proudly in our office!

I’ve tried clipboards for their checklists, but the papers end up getting lost and mixed up. I was going to use 3 ring binders, but opted for these thin and cheap “pocket portfolios” because I want to be able to save them (easily & without taking up too much space) at the end of the year as a record of what they did. I made sure to write the school year and their grade year, if appropriate, on their portfolio and leave room to write down any activities or extras that they’ve done.

Not shown in the pictures is a questionnaire filled out for each child. I found the idea on Hannah Keeley’s website. It is called the Student Q&A and has questions about your child’s favorite food, song, etc. Since I plan to save their portfolios, I thought it would also be fun to have something like this in each folder/each year to show how they have changed.

The other thing that we did when decorating their portfolios was to make bookmarks for each of their school books. I’m not very artsy, so I simply cut out bookmark sized card stock, brought out the stickers and some contact paper and they went to town. They also made some for each other. I like not having to try to figure out each morning where they are in their books.

I’ve taken a picture of our homeschool workstation in case you are interested. We’ve found that the only good space is at the dining table, which is a sacrifice I’m willing to make. I tried keeping all their homeschool materials in a separate location from the dining area, but found that didn’t work well for us. So, they each have a box where they keep their own pencils, erasers, etc.

Right now I don’t have a bookshelf to manage their individual books, so I’ve opted for milk crates that sit behind the dining table. At least I have the option of moving the crates to another location if we are having company and need the extra space. I also like the fact that each child has their own designated spot for their books. As they complete the book, it goes back to the crate and stays there until they need it again.

Anyhow, I’m passing on this information to you because I know how much I love to see what other moms are doing to manage their space and time, etc. Maybe you could get other moms to post their pictures as well…

I made some additional changes today to Katherine and Isabelle’s checklist. In the spirit of trying to develop more independence, I decided to add a column (A,B,C,D…) to represent each book. On the corresponding book I have placed a sticker in the top right corner. For one of my print-outs I’ve gone ahead and color coded it as well, but highly doubt that I will manually color each checklist for the week. But, who knows. While I was making changes, I went ahead and added to the school year to each page.