Planning for the 2018-2019 Homeschool Year

Here we go again, embarking on a summer planning for the 2018-2019 homeschool year. After each school year, my husband and I sit down and over coffee discuss what worked, what didn’t, and what changes we need to make.

What worked last year… A year round homeschooling schedule fits well with our family. We were able to schedule multiple breaks for observance of Biblical Holidays, and three weeks for Summer break.  The bonus was that the kiddos loved the structure.

What didn’t work… We both felt that last school year we had lost our focus on why we started homeschooling. We started homeschooling because it was our desire for our children to be like the great warriors of our faith whose faith defined and separated them from others because they knew to whom they belonged and whose blood redeemed them. We want Christ as the cornerstone upon which we will build our plans for next year’s homeschool program.

Therefore, we want to focus our time on developing our children as warriors for Christ. We have chosen Zechariah 10:5 as our guiding verse for the 2018-2019 school year, “They will be like mighty warriors in the battle, trampling their enemies in the mud under their feet. Since the LORD is with them as they fight, they will overthrow even the enemy’s horsemen.” (TLV)  We also reaffirmed that our basic mission as a family is to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ by being His hands and feet on earth.

So, we have decided to make significant changes to our homeschool program for the next school year, which are as follows:

  1. Scripture memorization will be a number one priority. (Psalms 119:11)
  2. Biblical character studies will take center stage in our homeschool program. (Deuteronomy 6:7)
  3. Block Scheduling (Mayer Family Schedule) to help teach time management skills to our children.
  4. Each child will have responsibilities for which they are accountable for that will include daily morning, afternoon and evening chores. (Chore Chart)
  5. Health and wellness will be priority for my family and myself. I will seek to develop nutritious and healthy menu plans (Generic Family Menu Plan) and exercise schedules that help all members of our family. (Proverbs 31)
  6. Morning basket and afternoon tea basket materials that we will read together as a family will encourage us spiritually in our relationship with G-d.
  7. Evening family worship, in our house our daily Parashah readings, will be made a priority.
  8. My primary responsibility as a keeper of the home is to make my home a healing and calming space where my children can grow first and foremost spiritually and then academically. (Titus 2:5)
  9. All home management systems will be reviewed for efficiency.
  10. Melodious hymn music will continually play throughout our home. (Psalm 95:1)
  11. Friday Fun Days for the elementary aged children within our homeschool will focus upon our electives and offer independent directed learning opportunities for the children. Thereby, allowing for the focus of our Friday’s to return to Sabbath preparation. Sabbath preparation is vital for welcoming our rest in L-rd each week within our home.  We were designed by G-d for weekly rest in Him in order to rejuvenate us both spiritually and  physically.

My husband and I believe by making these changes back to our basic mission as a family make a significant change in the environment of our home.

Curriculum Choices for Our Rising 10th Grader:

  • Biblical Studies – Life of Christ by ACE
  • Literature – British Literature by Learning Language Arts Through Literature
  • English – Intermediate Composition by Jensen’s Format Writing and for daily grammar practice, Easy Grammar
  • Math – Algebra 1 by ACE
  • Science – Biology by Master Books
  • Social Studies – British History by Master Books
  • Art – Fundamentals of Drawing by EasyPeasy
  • Music – Church Choir and Individual Performances
  • Health – Health 2 (Sex Education from a Biblical Perspective) by Abeka
  • Electives – Etymology by ACE, Evangelism (Soulwinning) by ACE, and Biblical Hebrew by Kim McKay

Curriculum Choices for Our Rising 5th Grader:

  • English – Learning Language Arts Through Literature Purple Book, Writing Strands, and Word Building by ACE
  • Math – Math Lessons for a Living Education by Master Books and Flash Kids Workbook
  • Science – ACE
  • Social Studies – ACE
  • Elective – Getting Started with Engineering by Camille McCue, PhD

Curriculum Choices for Our Rising 4th Grader:

  • English – Learning Language Arts Through Literature Yellow Book, Writing Strands, and Word Building by ACE
  • Math – Math Lessons for a Living Education by Master Books and Flash Kids Workbook
  • Science – ACE
  • Social Studies – ACE
  • Elective – Coding Games in Scratch by Jon Woodcock

Curriculum Choices for Our Rising 1st Grader:

  • English – All About Reading Level 1, Writing Strands, and Spelling with Flash Kids
  • Math – Math Lessons for a Living Education
  • Science – A Lego Adventure in the Real Word: Lego Science
  • Social Studies – Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason

Corporate Subjects for Our Elementary Aged Students:

  • Biblical Studies – Foundations: Creation to Christ by Foundations Press and Biblical Character Studies by IBLP
  • Art – Modern Artists Study utilizing the Who Was Book Series
  • Music – Hymn Study within Biblical Character Studies by IBLP
  • Physical Education – Physical Activity Log and Baseball Legends through Who Was Books Series
  • Health – Prudence and the Millers by Green Pastures Press and My First Human Body Coloring Book by Dover Publishers

Morning Basket Materials:

The plan is to cycle through these books during the course of the homeschool year.

  • Polite Moments by Gary and Cathy Maldaner
  • Lessons in Practical Christianity for Children Volume 1 by Keepers of the Faith
  • Wisdom and the Millers:  Proverbs for Children by Mildred A. Martin
  • The Bible Promise Book:  One Thousand Promises from G-d’s word by Barbour Books
  • 50 People Every Christian Should Know: Learning From Spiritual Giants of Faith by Warren W. Wiersbe
  • The Great Bible Question and Answer Book:  From the Old and New Testaments by Claudia Vurnakes

Afternoon Basket Materials:

The plan is to cycle through these books during the course of the homeschool year.

  • Prudence and the Millers
  • Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children
  • Missionary Stories with the Millers
  • The Building of Our Nation by Eugene Barker
  • G-d’s Appointed Times: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Celebrating the Biblical Holidays by Barney Kasdan
  • Live Like a Jesus Freak by DC Talk
  • The Physical Death and Resurrection: A Surgeons View by Dr. Joseph J. Norberto
  • YWAM Heroes for Young Readers Books 1-6

Friday Fun Days

After morning basket and Bible study, the elementary aged children can choose from these activities:

    • Nature Study
    • Flash Kids Workbooks for Math Practice and Review
    • Interest Lead Reading
    • Cap Stone Art Projects
    • Engineering Projects
    • Coding Projects
    • Educational Play Such as Puzzles, Games, Legos, or Playing Store to Practice Money

 

I hope that this post encourages you as you contemplate your role as the Keeper of the Home, contemplate homeschooling or seeking to change up your homeschool routine.

Blessings,

K

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Meal Planning

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Menu planning is essential for me as a stay at home mom who has to watch her budget carefully.  I think that the following are critical components of menu planning:

1.  Resolve to do it.  That sounds easy, but it can be a difficult component because we all get busy. Life can take over and we can become complacent in our planning.  I use this template for menu planner planning.

2. Establish a routine for it.  Take one day a month for planning your family’s menu, inventorying your pantry, and making your shopping lists.  Have a certain day to go grocery shopping.  Make sure you review advertisements before you begin to do your meal plan.

3.  Keep a list of “go to” meals for when time or your budget is tight.  These can be meals that are quick and inexpensive to prepare.  These should be meals that can be easily made from your pantry.

4.  Keep a list of sharing meals. Those that you can make easily to share with another family in their time of need or at a church pot luck.

5.  Rotate meals to avoid boredom.  I use seasonal rotations when certain supplies are in more abundance and, therefore, are less expensive.

6.  Appoint days of the week for certain types of meals.  This has worked very well for me from a planning standpoint.  For example, Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Spaghetti Wednesdays, Turkey Thursdays, New Recipe Fridays, Soupy Saturdays, and Casserole Sundays, etc.  I also schedule meals that take longer preparation times for the Shabbat. It is not rigid, but its nice to have sometime kind of guideline to use in planning your monthly meal cycle.

7.  Post the meal plan.  I post the meal plan on the refrigerator so that everyone can have access to it. Make sure your kitchen helpers know where to find it and most importantly designate someone to help in laying out the night before your ingredients.

8.  Stock your pantry.  Having a stocked pantry is key to saving money because you are less likely to have to run to store in between meal plans.  Make a list of the items that you use regularly, including spices.

9.  Use leftovers for lunches if possible.  I’m a stay at home mom, so if I can plan to use leftovers for lunches I do because it helps with my grocery budget. Lunches can be costly if you don’t plan accordingly.  Pre-made bento box style lunches, snack trays, and even homemade lunchables make quick go to lunch ideas.

10.  Use a meal to make several meals from.  This is easy if you are preparing poultry or beef.  For example, with a turkey you can get at least three meals (basic turkey, turkey-n-dumplings, turkey casserole, etc.)  Looking for these opportunities for meal expansion really bring savings to your grocery budget.

11. Take your meal plan with you grocery shopping. I take both the menu planner and grocery shopping list so that I can make changes to my menu planner in order to take advantage of any in-store this day only specials that may not have been advertised in the store’s circular. This gives you the flexibility to take advantage of great deals.

I pray this post has been of help to you in your role as helpmeet and mother.  May these tips help you to look well to the ways of your household.