I’ve Revamped Our Homeschool Year – Want to See?

ellapark

Well, I’ve gone and revamped our homeschooling.

And I’m pretty jazzed about it.

I’ve decided to break down our year into unit study months. Each month will be broken down into weekly categories that fit with the larger monthly theme. Want to see? Oh good, because I wanted to share it with you! :)

September: Our Immediate World

  • Seasons
  • Trees
  • Safety
  • Our Bodies

October: Our Universe

  • Planets
  • Continents
  • Maps
  • Bodies of Water

November: America

  • States
  • Presidents
  • Pilgrims
  • Native Americans

December: Jesus Messiah

January: Artists

  • Monet
  • Van Gogh
  • Picasso
  • Norman Rockwell

February: Composers

  • Bach
  • Vivaldi
  • Mozart
  • Beethoven

March: Poetry

  • Emily Dickinson
  • Robert Frost
  • Shakespeare
  • Hebrew Poetry in the Bible

April: Nature

  • Birds
  • Flowers
  • Bugs
  • Mammals, Amphibians, & Reptiles

May: To Be Determined

The {almost} everyday staples are math and reading lessons. I will read scripture to them at breakfast, and we will study and memorize one character trait each month along with a corresponding scripture.

WOOT!

I am really looking forward to this year. What are you most looking forward to as we head into fall?

Love, SM

P.S. My new book is rockin’ and rollin’ and I am LOVING writing (and living) it. I can’t wait to share it with you! That’s all. Such a tease, I know.

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  • Janelle

    You are making me want to homeschool! (kinda)

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      I love the “kinda” part! {snort!}

  • http://servantslife.com/ Stacy

    What a neat idea! I love it!

  • ashley

    are you hand picking each thing? how do you go about doing this type of thing with portfolios.submitting to school districts? iv been wondering. My first child is 4 so we do/play preschool;-)

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      I am picking each thing, except for math (Math-U-See) and a few other resources here and there. I’ll be using the library and Google for books, craft and field trip ideas. :)

      I love the Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson and in it they say forgo curriculum (except for Math). I feel confident enough to do that. Also, I just connected with evaluator today (she’s great) and she said this will work just fine as long as I’m meeting their learning needs as set by the state (we will). And good for you for just taking it easy with your four-year old. Just let her be little and play and have fun – she’s always learning! “School time” will come soon enough! :)

      • ashley

        haha Im such a newbie, how do i figure out exactly what is needed for state and assessment tests? Thanks so much for getting back to me so soon and for the book recommendation, i follow both your blog and sally via facebook and I love her parenting style, soft response/tone etc. much more grace based than what I am used to seeing!

  • Leah

    This sounds like a wonderful plan! Makes me wish mine were younger! I love your outline and units. Enjoy them to the full, for when they get older, things go from monthly units to whole courses they need to study:( I dealt hard with that transition!

    Forgive me for not being more in tune, since my blog isn’t live at the moment, but WHAT book are you working on?! Didn’t you just get done with one?!

    On a similar note, I have been loving Unwired!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Leah, I have a book due for Tyndale in January, so it won’t be available until (maybe) October 2014. :)

  • katielramsey

    I love this idea! Thank you for sharing! I recently started doing your checklist on a whiteboard thing for my kiddos and they love it! And I also took your advice and stopped reading the homeschool blogs that make me feel bad about myself… all of that to say… thank you for being such an encouragement to me on my homeschool journey! :)

  • Rachael Kennedy Knight

    Totally. Absolutely. 100% LOVE THIS! Our family takes the laid back, Lifestyle of Learning approach to school, so this is great. I honestly feel like it’s a prayer answered….until now, I have been trying to figure out what we were going to do this year. Your books are so refreshing in a culture like ours. Thank you for sharing, blogging and making me laugh :)

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Thank you for your encouragement, friend! You made me smile! :)

  • Tammy

    Love this plan Sarah! You might have shared this in another blog post but do you have a daily schedule/routine? I’m just starting my son with preschool material in 2 weeks and trying to figure out some sort of schedule.
    Thanks!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      My opinion that preschool is a time to just be a kid and you don’t need to do anything formal. They are always learning, and when you’re in the car sing a verse and the alphabet song, when you see ants outside say they are insects; when you go places point out the colors, and count cars, and it’s all just really natural. My routine with my four year old is to print out a few worksheets for her (because she loves them) and have her practice her letters or numbers or patterns. I don’t get worked up about how they look, I’m just trying to let her enjoy and get used to the idea of school work, as it were. It really depends on your child, where they’re at personally, their bents, etc. I definitely wouldn’t push anything though. Honestly? Just read to your preschooler a ton.

      I guess I didn’t really answer your question, did I? :) I guess I’m not a big schedule person for preschoolers! How about this: 15-20 minutes after breakfast of sit-down school time? That sounds good to me for a preschooler. The rest is learning through living at that age!

      • Tammy

        Maybe I was trying to get me on a schedule more than my preschooler. ;) BUT this sounds great. I love living through learning. Years ago I would have said “never!” To homeschooling and now I feel such peace about trying it. I appreciate you blogging on it so I can live and learn too.
        Thanks for the reply Sarah!

  • Summer

    Oh, I love this!!!! So exciting!!! Makes me wish I was back in school! LOL
    I did see your other post for this year’s homeschooling and was curious as to why you changed it up? :o )

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      I don’t know, I think it had to do with Clay and Sally Clarkson’s philosophy against curriculum (except math) and the revelation that putting theme’s into months could be fun and a great way to focus and engage on a topic. I’ll still use pieces of the curriculum I mentioned in that post, I’m just not going about them systematically. I might still use the spelling book…

  • Rachel Olsen

    Can I attend your homeschool next spring? Sign me up for January thru April.

    As a former homeschooling mom, this get my hearty stamp of approval. (Course that isn’t worth much, just the $8 I spent on the stamp at Hobby Lobby.)

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      You’re in! :)

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/ Barbie

    That sounds like a great plan. I wish I could be a stay-at-home mom and could do unit studies. I really love them. But alas, I work full time so we are doing traditional curriculum. Blessings on your upcoming school year!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      We all do what we can – keep on, mama! :)

  • Betsy Moore

    LOVE this! My oldest is 3 and I want to start homeschooling! Where do I even start?

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Start when they’re 6/7! :) Seriously, just play with your babe – they are always learning. The biggest mistake I made was trying to homeschool too early. Just relax, have fun, sing songs, go places, but don’t feel like you need to do anything formalish until they are older. My four year does worksheets here and there because she wants to be a part of schooling with her older brother and sister, but it is very simple and fun work. My son is six and we just do a few things, but nothing intense. Some math, and reading lessons, and letter and number writing, but we go slow. My oldest didn’t start reading well until nearly 7 1/2 years old, but now she is an avid reader. No rush! :)

  • Kathy Schwanke

    I would so do it again. And you have so much more available! Looks wonderful!!!

  • Helen

    Can you recommend any good character training books?

  • MomLaurM

    Oh Sarah this is BRILLIANT! Not only because it’s just plain smart, but it’s also so creative and solves the problem and struggle I’ve had for 4 years of wanting to do so much and just not having time to do it all, all year. Seriously, this has got some wheels turning that may never turn back! Thanks for this inspiration!

  • Cheri Nixon

    I love this idea! It’s a great way to keep it fresh and exciting. Luckily I schedule in pencil- I may be revamping too. Thanks so much, Sarah Mae :)

  • http://kindredspiritmommy.com/ Lindsey@Kindred Spirit Mommy

    This looks like a lot of fun! :) We’re forgoing curriculum (for the most part) as well, following the Charlotte Mason style. I’m reading For the Children’s Sake and it’s sooo good! I’m starting homeschooling my 5-year-old daughter at this end of this month and we plan to keep it all fun and play-based. She LOVES “school” (that isn’t too structured, haha), begged me to teach her to read at 4, and is pretty thrilled with handwriting as long as I keep putting stars on her “perfect letters”. ;-) I made up my own little unit studies for science with lots of nature study and our nature journal mixed in, and put together my own hands-on math too. Just games and fun activities found in books and on the internet. I think we’re really going to enjoy “Kindergarten” this year. :)

  • Val

    Nice!

  • Dawn

    I am uber excited about this year!!! It will be our 19th yr of home education. And I FINALLY feel comfortable letting go of OTHER people’s (read: my mother) notions of what our “school” should look like.
    It’s gonna be a great year. My 8 kids who are still at home will ALL be students this year. Can’t wait!!!

  • Melanie@carmelmoments.com

    Wow. What a cool idea. Kudos to you for being so organized. Sounds like a fun year.
    I’m starting homeschooling with one of my three this year and am slightly intimidated. But God is my strength. If all goes well I may be homeschooling all three next year.
    What day are you starting?

  • Modernish Homemaker

    This reminds me of planning our weekly story time themes and after school programs for the kids I work with as a children’s librarian. I love knowing that the work I’m doing to make a living now will also be applicable if I’m ever blessed to have my own children.

  • faigie

    That’s pretty ambitious. Just make sure you are flexible enough to work with parts that don’t end up happening.

  • Misty McKeithen

    Thank you for sharing Sarah Mae! I’m excited about starting our year too. Though we have a curriculum with a schedule, it’s a Charlotte Mason based one. I have a second grader and a kinder-gardener this year. (and a three year old who will just be playing and an 18 month old) I am totally torn about trying to keep up with the schedule for the books to read and just letting go of it and living a more loose and natural way of schooling.
    I have the Clarkson book about Educating the Wholehearted Child. I drag it around the house all the time and never actually get more than a page read at once. I had read the older version a couple of years ago but haven’t finished this new one. I wasn’t aware that they say not to use curriculum. Is that the way they always felt?

    By the way, I have read your blog for years and love your writing. I have a new blog of my own all about creativity and productivity. (perfect for writers!) Will you take a look? I would love it if you would. It’s just begun a few weeks ago, but I have scheduled almost a year of topics to tackle!

    http://www.ideanerdcreative.com

    Love ya!

  • Mindy Nave

    Love this! I’m a homeschooling Mom of 4 kiddos (ages 7, 5, 4 and 2). I love the idea of doing unit studies so they can all learn together (except math at their own levels). Are you getting your unit study information/curriculum from anywhere in particular? Or are you just picking and choosing from books and other sources? If you have any favorite websites for unit studies, I’d definitely be interested (especially if they’re free). :o )

  • Beth

    You mentioned reading scripture at breakfast and studying/memorizing one character trait each month — what a wonderful idea and one I’d love to implement with my 8 year old twin daughters. Do you have a schedule or resources mapped out for this that you’d be willing to share?

    Thanks for the helpful post!

  • Klaire Evonne

    Sarah thanks for the update – we are starting year one of homeschool this year and I have been struggling with so many options and wanting to have lots of learning through play. I have a 7, 4 and 3 year old and have just become a sahm so we are all adjusting to that as well. I love the Clarkson’s approach to learning but fear I don’t have enough self-discipline to do units. We read a ton and I did get the abc’s of Godly girls to work on character traits as well as scripture. Will your little ones be involved in all of your older ones learning?

  • http://madesacred.com/ Elizabeth Giger

    Will you share the character traits and accompanying Scripture that you’re doing each month?

  • Melissa

    Sounds amazing! I love all the topics you chose and how you kept with a theme for the month! Sounds like you homeschool similar to us. Going to have to steal some of your cool ideas… Thanks for sharing!

  • kitty

    This sounds amazing. I would love to attend your homeschool myself in March!

  • delicatefade

    This makes my heart ache. I have wanted to homeschool for the past three years, since my oldest started school. Unfortunately, my hubby is worried that it would drive me crazy…

  • Christy Yoder

    So, what are your ideas for Safety? Cause I’m drawing a blank. :)