Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thoughts on Planning

Now that we've had a few weeks off, I've reached a point where I'm willing to think about planning for next year.  We used MBtP for the past two years, and while I am happy with it I'm not sure that I want to use it again next year.  I may just be a person that needs change every few years. Or it may be that new things come along and catch my eye. Or a combination of both.  I'm not sure why, but I feel ready for a change.  At least for my oldest daughter. 

I started searching online and have seen some interesting things, but nothing that grabs me and shouts, "This is it!! Use me! Use me!"  What I should do is start reading planning threads (I have read a few) ... but typically this overwhelms me until I'm ready to spend several hours pouring over websites, etc.  I'll get there. 

At least I no longer carry that feeling of trying to find "the best" way to do things. When I first started out I was convinced that there had to be a "best" way to approach homeschooling, and, of course, depending on who you talk to you get a different "best."  Talk to unschoolers, and unschooling is the best way to homeschool. Talk to Classical homeschoolers, and that is the only way to educate your child. Talk to Charlotte Mason followers, and ditto. I always found talking to relaxed, eclectic homeschoolers left me feeling more calm and at ease than before the conversation, so I believed that to be my style (though I would say that I love the Classical idea of chronological history).  It probably is in that I've used an eclectic mix, although "relaxed" is a word that I'm not sure applies to how I approach anything - I am more of a "do or die" sort.  Though I am relaxed in the sense that I don't worry about covering everything (this is impossible), I'll use what is a good fit and/or free/cheap (this is smart), and I don't get stressed (anymore) over the idea of homeschooling and making choices (though actually creating my annual plan does create some level of stress). 

So while I'm not sure what next year will bring, I feel relatively calm as I think about the planning process. I'm excited about many of the extracurricular opportunities my kids will have, both new activities and tried-and-true oldies.  I'm certain the year will fall into place and that no matter the approach or materials, they will learn and grow. 

Kinda takes a load off! 

Still, I do love to look at everything that's out there... and I know I will plan out the entire year before the start of school once I figure out what we're using.  Here are some of the things I've looked at so far...
  • Calvert (too much $$)
  • Oak Meadow (I really love the look of this)
  • Complete Curriculum (the price is right but we've never, ever used textbooks)
  • Homeschool Programming (giving this a go for computer science)
  • History Odyssey (looks kinda dry)
  • Michael Clay Thompson (interesting)
  • Brave Writer (interesting)
  • JASON Science (looks good, but looks to be a lot of work)
  • Growing With Grammar (looks good)
  • K12 (not for me)
  • The Well-Trained Mind (not speaking my language this year, for whatever reason)
  • Sonlight (yes, this is Christian but I looked anyway as I know have heard of secular users)
  • PLATO science (interesting)
  • CK-12 (haven't done more than bookmark it)
  • Intellego (interesting)
..... the list actually goes on and on, so much so that I can't write it here, so maybe I've done more than I thought.  Though I haven't done much more than bookmark items and start looking over this and that.  Most likely I'll do what I did before we tried MBtP and go back to my eclectic ways.  I'll post our final choices when I make them ... probably sometime right before the start of the school year! =)


  1. Oy vey, planning! I have to sit down and do that next week. It'll be easier when my son is back at his dad's, the first trimester is over, and I can concentrate/focus.

    We still go with The Well-Trained Mind and it's served us pretty well over the years. However, we definitely have our eclectic moments. ^.^

  2. So curious to see what you decide to go with.

  3. Wow - you have it together! Planning is my favorite part - it is the carrying out part that is more difficult for me. I am impressed with your list and opinions on the various curriculum. I would probably save myself some time if I made a list like yours - then I would not have to keep going back and checking things out over and over.
    Mindy @ DenSchool

  4. I'm curious to see what I go with, too! I'm really drawn to Oak Meadow ... again. Every year I think I'll go with it and then go another route. Maybe this will be the year. :)

    Mindy, I don't at all feel like I have it together - I just have a lot, spread out all over the place. Sigh... And even with the list I check again, and again, and again...