Well, this is our 3rd year homeschooling and we have done things differently each year. The 1st year we used a few books that they were used to (A Reason for handwriting and A Reason for spelling) when attending a Christian School. We added free Bridges math, science, history, and geography that I found online. The 2nd year we went a little more eclectic leaning towards unschooling. I thought we were going to study missionaries and variety of countries, but the kids just didn’t seem that interested. We primarily used checklists of subjects/topics for “bare minimum” work and did some lapbooking on topics they chose. We learned about the Arctic and Antarctic from Carisa’s Calendar Connections. We bought an art calendar at Jimmie’s suggestion (but have had to skip some days due to content.)
SO what are we going to do in year 3, you ask? Yet again something different. I learned about Margie Gray’s Prairie Primer during a library workshop about lapbooking. I thought it would be GREAT to do a major unit study approach using a great set of books as the main spine. The variety of topics that can be covered and the rabbit trails to diverse learning sound wonderful to me. I have put off planning specifics in order to keep ME excited about it. I even went a step further and have created a co-op around LHP and Pioneers getting 5-7 other families to join us. I did this for a couple of reasons. 1) To keep me accountable to actually using PP this year and progressing through a number of the books. 2) To help my kids have a set group of homeschoolers they meet with and get to know throughout the year.
(We have struggled the past two years with not having dependable friends that homeschool. We know lots of families in the area that homeschool but do so diversely that it limits what time we can spend together)
Back to this year. I read the entire Little House on the Prairie boxed set this summer to prepare for this year. I kept notes about what I thought would interest my children. I did some extensive searches on those subjects. I joined Prairie Primer Pluses yahoo group and became a moderator to correct broken links and add more links to share with other PP users. I also found and joined Prairie Primer Homeschool Support on facebook. Both groups offer loads of ideas, recipes, and support. This took a lot of the stress of planning away knowing that with a few clicks of a button I can have all sorts of videos, virtual tours, worksheets, and unit studies related to over 30 different topics from LHP. We will be studying presidents, states, science, health, bee keeping, railroads, and tons more topics this year!
Art/Drawing: found some great free drawing lesson’s online!
Bible: ABC Scripture cards or Scripture Cards, Seeds of Worship songs
Handwriting: Seeds of Worship from Bible Printables
Math: I found Ray’s Arithmetic in case we go old school. We will also use Living Math with lots of games and real-life hands-on math concepts.
Spelling/Grammar: We will use words that are new from LHP and McGruffey’s Readers and Speller found free online. I also have some old-fashioned primers from various free sources.
History/Geography: worksheets and lapbook elements related to what we read.
Science/Health/Nature Study: will try to incorporate more nature journaling this year.
TOT School (I can’t leave Lil’ Red out! I will be planning lots of tot trays and activities to keep him busy. We will work on numbers, letters, colors, and shapes.)
If you are looking for curriculum and do not know where to turn or have much money to spend check out these websites to get you started:
Homeschool Freebie of the Day- www.homeschoolfreebieoftheday. where I got most of my primers and handbooks for boys and girls
Freely Educate – www.freelyeducate.com loads of info all the way through college classes
Free Homeschool Deals- http://www.freehomeschooldeals.com/ free daily kindle e-book list
Guest Hollow– free science, history, and math. Full curriculum pre-planned using library and online resources.
Donna Young– loads of free EVERYTHING homeschool!
woo, all that types and just wanted to add a side note; somewhere I started this year’s curriculum list with ideas and such and have no idea where it’s at or even if it’s typed or written down. I’ve racked my brain for 2 days looking on pc, jump drive, and laptop trying to figure out where those words went to no avail:) Just another very late night on my blog.
Special Note: CurrClick is giving everyone 5 freebies! Just click on the graphic visit iHomeschool Network and get your free products!
Am so excited that you mentioned using Little House on the Prairie and the Prairie Primer materials!!! That Yahoo Group sounds great too.
We are also going to read that series this year.
Loved learning about your plans and what you have tried and liked.
Popped by from the “Not-Back-to-School” Blog Hop: Curriculum Week!
Hope that you have a happy homeschool year! Happy planning for 2012-2013!
Hope that you will pop by to say hello over at my blog and my Pinterest boards too!
Colleen a.k.a. Pinterest Mama
Sunrise Learning Lab
Are you using Prairie Primer or other Unit study? Heading to your blog to learn more:)
So glad I stumbled upon this post! We came across a used copy of prairie primer with the set of little prairie books. My girls are still a little too young to use it but I’m encouraged to definitely use it in the future after reading your ideas and how you use it! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
So many resources for PP so little ime:) Stay tuned as I share how we use PP at home and at co-op. Will try to remember to take pictures to share as well as new resources we come across.
Does the yahoo group still exist?
I am really not sure. You can search yahoo groups and see if they are still active but I would recommend the Facebook group since it’s easier to find free resources and interact with people.