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how i build my own curriculum: start to finish, pt. 1 | our homeschool journey…

Yes, honey. You guys filming with three little kids is hard work. Okay, first up was the library so that I could pick up some more books that I ordered to finish up the articles, my planning article for you guys, and then I also stopped by the discarded book section, and I picked up a few goodies.

They like to run through these trees every time we walk back from the libraries alright. So now I have to head back home such a task to get to and from the library that’s right down the street hi guys, I’m back okay. So what do I start? I’r going to try my best to walk you through how I organized my thoughts and planned out our year. I don’t know how comprehensive this will be, but this is just what I did so these are all my books and telling you how I how I did things yeah now I can kind of show you what I got from the discarded section in the library.

I love Steve Jenkins books, they’re, always in my Amazon card. This one was just 20 husbands, so this is just the Vita book. The Secret Life is money, a kid’s guide to cash for Cameron, like 20 factors, one a very hairy bear grande big mission, and then the last thing that I got was Jane. The Fox and me, the people that I readed on YouTube are probably nothing like what you think I would read. Oh I’m obsessed with reading artist articles, there’s a few blogs that I read regularly and this book came up in one of the books that they love.

So I recognized it when I was still library and I just wanted to take it out. I don’t actually know what it’s about. I just know that they thought it was really wonderful. So sorry, this is all over the place. The other one should be a little bit more straightforward, I’ll, say well, my Instagram story, so I was going to be filming today. The whole planning process, so this article is probably going to be split up into maybe like eight or nine articles, because I don’t want this article to be super duper long.

So this one we’re just going to chitchat about how I organize, like my thoughts and our goals and things like that, how it kind of like organized yourself when I go to plan a new year and then after this I think I will break down. All of my curriculum picks for homeschooling multiple children by subject, though so I’ll do that one article for each subject to lay out all of my picks and how I plan on using them and then, at the end of the three articles a day in the life Article for each of the kids, following each of them around that will kind of show you what each of them are doing for their grade level and how I kind of pull all of the curriculum together.

So, in the end it will probably end up being maybe spoil article me in 12 articles or so hope you don’t mind but, like I said, I can’t have this article be like an hour and 30 minutes. So it’ll just be better. If I can just split them up into separate articles, I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to communicate this to you guys. So the first thing that I do is I went ahead and did about a week or so of assessment time.

That gives me some time and space to like really spend individual time with them and see if there are some things that I had been missing along the way, some things that I thought they were doing extremely well in and maybe they needed a little bit of Help in or whatever so you guys know, I did that and then after I finished that up, then I just sit down with a piece of paper and try to organize my thoughts and how I’m going to tackle each section.

That’s going to need a little bit of attention figure out what I want to do differently this year, what I’m going to get rid of what I don’t need anymore and, for example, what I mean my dad. You guys know that I have been using time to learning and I had two accounts one for each boy, and I just decided that this year I mostly use it as a safety net and a guide to help me when I am. You know just not as confident when times when I’m not as confident or where I need a little bit of assistance and then also like for homework time to keep them busy and always learning with each year.

I become a little bit more confident and so this year I feel like I don’t need it the way that I have been using it in the past. I think I am going to keep it I’m going to keep it for sure, but instead of having to account, I’m just going to keep one account and I’m going to still use it for like random homework time. When I need to keep them busy and then I’m also using it to help me with my planning to help give me a structure or a little extra assistance when I’m having a hard time, so I’m just going to have one time to learn the account now.

So that is one change that I made. We are no longer using there with homra. I love mine with Homer and it worked extremely well with my boy, but I noticed it is not working as well with my daughter, who is the one that would be using it now. I recognize that I was going to need to do a little something. A little different with her, so I went ahead and cancelled, learn with Homer for us this year. Those were the basic changes that I made and then after that was cleared up.

I just kind of organize my thoughts on a piece of paper. I’ll show you my piece of paper: it’s not gorgeous, but if you can see that or not, but I just used the sheet of paper to scribble down some of my thoughts and to kind of organize myself on how I was going to tackle each thing. So the very first thing that I started with was my portfolio, which you guys already know we I do my portfolio in Evernote.

After I finish that, then I will work on my goals, Dropbox and notability, which is basically my like electronic worksheets and I’ll. Tell you more about that in a little bit for five, I’m going to be working on apps Pinterest and YouTube my YouTube playlist, I Pinterest boards and then whatever apps, that I’m swapping out or changing or upgrading or whatever. After that, I’m going to be working on books so just sorting through the books that we’re going to be using this year for curriculum and then the new thing that I am using.

I’r going to try it out for a month or so and see how it goes, but it’s a site called epic comm. I think it’s good epic calm anyway I’ll get into that in a little bit. Seven step for me is going to be working on my wishlist and shopping for supplies and then the last thing that I’ll be doing is just planning getting. My plan supplies together this year, I’m going to be using a bullet journal and I feel like this article is going to be pretty lonely guys.

Oh well, okay, so the very first thing that I’m going to be doing is working on my portfolio in Evernote. So I basically told you how I use Evernote mostly and that’s another thing I have been wanting to do home school record, keeping a certain way since the beginning. But when you have a certain thing in mind, you start off by giving it a try or starting something, and then over the years you kind of tweak it and simplify it to make sure that it fits and works for you.

So Evernote is something that I started using in the very beginning, but I did nothing with this the first year because I overcomplicated everything – and this is when I show you guys what I do. You may think this is complicated, but just think about four years ago and started how complicated I really made things so over the years. I have simplified things and they’re starting to work better and better for me, and I will show you how I’m using that.

But basically, at the end of the year I take whatever I did actually compiled in our portfolio from the previous year and I kind of archive it and then make new stacks of notebooks and Evernote to plan out this coming year. So I’m just basically going to show you how I set up my Evernote notebooks for this year of school. I start by taking all of the notebooks that I have for the previous year and I’m putting them all into one stack and archiving that then, after that I start with building up whatever notebooks I want for this year and how I’ve been doing it is.

I have one notebook for my homeschool curriculum resources. I have another notebook for my homeschool planner and then I have a separate notebook for each child representing their year of school, so for Cameron this year. This is his third grade quote-unquote third grade year school for Kendall. This is his quote: unquote, first grade year school and then for savanah. This is her quote: unquote, preschool year of school, so I have one notebook for each of them.

I have a home school curriculum resources, notebook and then I have a home school planner notebook. Now. Last year I didn’t have a home school curriculum resources, a notebook, but this year I want to give it a try. I may not use it extremely well, but in my mind is going to work, so I might as well give it a try and then for my homeschool planner, that’s also new. For me. I did not do that last year inside of Evernote um.

I just did it in with my planning pages, so all I’m doing is really I’m just taking my same planning pages and recreating those inside of ever knows so that it’s easier for me to access from anywhere. I noticed what I was doing with my my note book pages, which you may not do, but I was totally doing is I was planning everything out and then I was taking things out to reference them and then I was leaving them behind in different places and Then, when I couldn’t find it, that was a problem.

So this way, I thought that if I made sure that I had everything planned out and Evernote, I always have access to it and I never run the risk of losing it. That’s why I wanted to do it this way, this time around, also because of the way I’m using the electronic notebook in system deal so I’ll show you inside of the notebook, so each of the children’s notebooks is pretty simple. It’s just going to be a notebook, and inside of it will be a page and I’ll create a new page.

Each time we have a new week of school and basically I will take whatever we completed from the planner section and I will copy that into their notebook. That represents what they did for that week of school. So that’s going to be pretty straightforward and simple, and maybe I will show you more of how I do that in the future when we actually get into completing our weeks of school. But that’s how that’s going to go, then.

I have I’ll talk about the homeschool curriculum resources, because that will be fairly simple. That has five notes inside of that notebook, and each of them are books, learning kits living books, websites and worksheets, and basically I the idea was to have an electronic log of all of the resources that I have because, like I said in a previous article, Evernote Is searchable so if I get a new resource and I go in and just kind of highlight each of the topics that are covered then, when I am going to learn about a certain subject, I can go in or a certain topic.

I can go in and search that topic, and it should show me every resource that I have that I can pull from it. I felt like it was a brilliant idea. No, absolutely getting it to work will be the other thing, but I think this will be really helpful to me because a lot of times we get resources and we totally forget there were certain things in there that we could have used or pulled from. So I thought, if I just keep a log of what I have then I can go in and search and it’ll automatically show me everything that I actually have that I can use instead of feeling like I don’t have anything and then you’re kind of you know You go out and try to get new stuff, and then you realize later that you had something it’s good of you.

So I’m going to give this a try and see how it works. It may not work this year, but I’m going to keep trying until it works like I had in my head for it to work, so you nervous the real notebook that is going to be an interest to. You is going to be my home school planning notebook. So I kind of sort of set it up. Basically, like I do my planning pages, but the first section I have the first note I have in this notebook is being homeschool calendar, basically just that it’s just a calendar that lays out the month so that I can input all of my dates that I would Like to remember like Earth Day, I don’t know oil Day Presidents Day.

I forget those types of things. The next thing you know it’s right around the corner and I forgot to add a little something to our plans to kind of celebrate that, and I also just have a layout of my school days so my school day is we do school from Monday through Thursday. We still learn every single day, it’s just not as structured. We have structured school days Monday through Thursday, and then I lay out my school weeks, which is basically 38.

I think public school has 36 weeks of school, so we actually have 38 and then I lay out my vacation weeks, which is 14, so I have 14 weeks of vacation that I can move around as like the way we’ve been doing it so far since we Started year-round, homeschooling was, I just have a one week off every month and so basically that that equals one week a month, and then I have 10 floating days that I can pull from when I want to the reason why I laid it out like that, is Just because I know that I’m able to keep track in my head and I can eliminate that guilty feeling when you have other things to come up – and you know you may not be doing you know, you may need an extra day or two.

You know or three or four, but this way I know that I can pull from this time or we can like forge through and give up our week for this month, so that we can exchange it for another month when you are going to be going out Of town good, I’m trying so hard to film this article, for you guys – and I love having my kids in the background, but recently they have gotten. That’s why you don’t, even maybe they are anyway.

I rather my home school calendar just lays out the months. For me, so I can see a month at a glance year at a glance what we have coming up and then I can also just keep a tally of the school weeks and our vacation days I’ll skip down to our home school yearbook. It’s pretty self-explanatory, anytime. I want to add any photographs or any memories or any articles I just wanted them to be all in one place.

This may have been a good idea. It may have not, but I figured I might as well give it a try. So I have a section for a home school yearbook, whole school unit studies. So basically I have about 10 unit studies. I think maybe it’s 8 to 10 unit studies, where these studies are lasting between 3 to 4 weeks. This is an addition to our regular core work. So if we get to add these things on then great, if we don’t and it’s not a big deal, but I wanted to have it laid out ahead of time.

So I basically just took way too much time to add a few pretty photos to the beginning of each unit, because that’s just how I operate – and you probably shouldn’t do that because it was probably a waste of time. But then, underneath that I just lay out each of the activities, whatever field trip and then I add any links to any articles or you know any documentaries or anything like that – that we could use to help us for that unit.

Study – and I just have little check boxes next to each one of them so that when we complete them, I can just check them off, because you all know how much I love check boxes. As you can see. I have a color unit. Has an ocean unit? Human body light outer space and then my next note has weather and seasons. Then I have biomes the grow unit, neighborhood unit and dinosaurs. That’s the last one and how I got most of my information.

I gathered that together in my Pinterest boards over time, and that is where a lot of these photos come from and a lot of these links come from. I organize my thoughts and Pinterest. You know every time I just need a little bit of stress relief. I go and search a certain unit topic and just add it to my board so fun stuff. So now, let’s talk about home school goals. This is a major portion of laying out my plans for the year and it’s basically just like.

I had the home school goals on paper in my last curriculum. Article is the same thing except for I move that over into electronic form, and I just laid out by subject, I will go more into detail of what I have chosen for us and then the curriculum pieces that I have chosen to help me teach those things And as I break it up by subject in the articles that are going to come after these, but basically just me how all of my goals now I do get a little bit of help in certain areas like language arts.

That is where I use things like time for learning and I think it’s k12 reader comm. I use those places to help me figure out. What is the natural progression of what kids are learning? I mean it’s really kind of simple. If you think about it, I think that sometimes we just need a little help, knowing that we kind of know what to do. You know, because when you first have your child, you start teaching them the ABCs.

Like that’s the first thing you need to know, if you need to know the letters in the sounds in order to start building words in order to start different sentences, and that’s basically what language arts is, it just seems very over complicated because of how they lay It out in order to teach it in school, so I think that once it helps me, you know get my thoughts together when I can see things like on the curriculum is laid out on time for learning or in the k-12 reader.

I can see that okay, Language, Arts, the next thing they’re going to be doing, is learning about verbs and nouns, and it’s like oh okay, I get it. I get what you’re trying to do and then you can find a way to teach those things yourself. For me, I found that the kids do a much better job, just learning that thing first and then me going back and identifying what it is that they already know. I think I’m kind of taking that approach.

That makes any sense. But what really helps me is being able to look at some other, like common core laid out curriculum to see what it is. That is the next step for them to teach in that area. So I get a little help in language arts area and I will explain that more in the article where I talk about what I’m using when I’m doing for language arts. So I basically just layout each subject: Bible language, arts, reading, writing, spelling and I’ll all go into further detail about that in their separate articles.

That’s basically what’s inside of my Evernote portfolio and how I set that up. The next thing I do is a binders composition and art books, so I basically go through the ones from last year, pull out whatever I need to pull out, simplify the process a little bit. However, I’m going to simplify it and then set it up. So it’s nice and clean for this new year, and so the first thing I started with with our binder.

I was really extra with our binders in the very beginning, because I laid everything out by subject. I couldn’t really figure out like what I wanted to do with now. If I’m to the place where I know that it just holds our basic supplies mostly, so I have a little stack of their writing paper it’s inside of their binder and then I have two folders or housing any loose papers that they’re working on, and that goes Inside our binder and then I have a little rule, what they call a pencil holder under their pencil to color pencils, a little sharpener their little passport and eraser that type of thing, and then I have whatever resources that we’re using most frequently.

So in this case it’s just a little laminated map. There’s inside of that binder, then the next portion is my composition. Notebooks, you guys know. I adore my composition, notebooks and again when I first started using them, have a very extra about it and really didn’t know how it was going to fit in. So I had a lot of composition, notebooks that had maybe three or four pages filled out and then the rest them had coloring little doodles that the kids did randomly and sometimes they had the wrong things inside of the wrong composition book.

No, I feel, like those things just kind of happen, and you kind of learn to tweak it and figure it all out. You know, as you move along what I decided to do is continue on with that process and continue separating them by subject and I’ll just include any physical worksheets or things like I mentioned before that I want to keep inside of that specific subject. I’r still going to forge through as if I can do a better job at disciplining ourselves to keep the proper items inside of the proper notebook.

So I just went through, and since I did have a lot of composition, notebooks that weren’t, you know even halfway full. I would just rip out a few pages and log them loved those items wherever they need to go, and then I just am still going to use the rest of that composition, notebook and then, whichever compositional, because that I need to replace, then I go and purchase Those items I have it on my list of things to purchase on my shopping day and after that art books same deal clear out.

Our art book see if I can reuse it, if not go, get a new one. So that’s how we’re doing that. The next thing I’m going to is my electronic work sheet system. I’r really excited about this, because I am NOT a fan of work sheet, so this in the past I like being able to do the practice on the work sheet. I’r trying to be kinder to the tree. We already use a lot of paper in like our little makerspace, so I don’t use extra paper with a bunch of worksheets that just end up everywhere and I don’t know what to do with so.

It just makes more sense. It makes more sense for us to be able to complete work sheet on our devices, and I figured out a way to do that, so how we are doing that. I am using both Dropbox and the app called notability. I know the notability after you’re able to just basically completely fill out the worksheet as if you would on a real piece of paper or real worksheet, and I love that so I can even change the color of the mark to red.

If I want to correct a certain worksheet, so how I’m doing that is whatever worksheets that I download, I include them into my home, school Dropbox account and then Dropbox connects with notability, and I can upload them and include whatever worksheet I need to for them to Be able to fill out for the day if we’re going to be using worksheets, so I set up that whole system. This is where this is, where a lot of these come in, so that they can fill out their worksheet inside of their notability app from Dropbox.

The next thing I did was set up my apps, so I needed to clear off whatever apps they weren’t using anymore and then add any apps that we’re going to be additions to our curriculum choices by subject, so I needed to sort through my apps, my Pinterest Boards, which, basically I already talked about, I just went to my Pinterest boards and added some new things that I found during my therapy time. I just added them to my board and created any new boards that I wanted to create, which I didn’t really have anything new to create, because I already had everything under the Sun and then also YouTube just clearing out my YouTube playlist for the kids by subject.

So they could go in and read the articles that we selected and picked and have chose them for later to look at so I just needed to clear that stuff up and get all of that stuff together. So my apps Pinterest YouTube all of my electronic resources. I guess the next thing I did was my book search, my book search, so I did a physical book search and basically, I pull together all of my books and I was going to be using to help me teach everything that had laid out in my goal And I went and actually reserved all of those books, but I could sit down and do these articles for you.

So that is what I did a lot of reserving and collecting books from the library that I would return after I’m finished with these articles and then I, when the time comes, I will check out those books for us to actually use to help get through that Unit or subject or whatever it is that we’re going to be studying for that specific time after that, I’m wrapping this up. You guys, I know it’s getting long.

This is why it’s going to be like nine to twelve articles. The next one I did was my wishes, so basically anything that I know that we’re going to be doing in the past. I have planned out to do certain projects or certain things and never got around to doing them. So everything that I purchased for that specific project was kind of a waste because I really didn’t use it yet I mean maybe it’s not a waste, because I will use it eventually.

I’r trying to do be a better steward over our school monies. So, instead of going out and purchasing all of that being all of that stuff together, I just created a wish list. So when it comes time to do that specific project like a week before it’s time I’ll just go ahead and place the orders for those things and I’ll always have the monies available for those things. But I’m not wasting my money by collecting a bunch of stuff that I’m not using just yet, and I may not actually use so that’s where my wishlist comes into play.

I basically do my wish list by building a board on Pinterest and then also a wishlist on in my App Store and then a wish list. Oh my god does that I go and then I’m going to be also shopping for any supplies. So I am keeping a list of supplies that I need to make sure that I have stocked up on like pencils. I need more pencils and then one day this week, I’ll go out and I’ll. Take you guys with me to pick up those items and maybe look for a few extra fun things just because so then after that will be my last step.

The last step in my planning process is to just it’s kind of like a celebratory thing for me. I have all of my stuff planned out inside of my computer and available all my devices and everything and everything is good to go. But I don’t want it to actually have a physical planner that I can write in and doodle in and draw and in general all over and around, and instead of doing something like an Erin, Condren planner or a happy planner, or anything like that.

I wanted to try bullet journaling this time around, so it’s going to be kind of like a reward to me for finishing out my planning to go out and get a bullet journal and any supplies if needed, to try my hand at my first bullet journal for Home school so we’ll see how that goes. Okay, so I think that’s it you guys. We made it to the end of this particular article specific just article one. I don’t know how long this is going to be.

I’r sorry, but I’m trying to be as thorough as possible, because I get a lot of questions without this and I don’t know I just kind of wanted to share just in case it was helpful to you. Of course you don’t have to do my whole entire process, because I’m extra, but this is what works best for me and yeah. It’s it wasn’t that bad. I mean it seems like a lot, but once you get it all together, I start to finish was done with planning in a week, and so that’s really good for me because in the past it’s just taking me a lot of my brain space for a long Period of time and this time around, I just did it my way and I got it done and I had a lot of fun.

So I just wanted to share that with you. So yeah, that’s how I am organizing my planning for this year and so the next articles are just going to be what we’re using for curriculum, homeschooling, multiple children. So I will see you guys in tomorrow’s article and we will do Bible curriculum for homeschooling, multiple children. If you like this article, please give it a thumbs up and make sure you’re subscribed and leave me any comments or questions that you may have.

I know there was a lot in this article, so hopefully you stuck around to the end and I will see you in our next article


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