I have not gotten to the point in our homeschooling life that I feel the need to purchase a complete curriculum. Instead, I take what I like from all sorts of sources/material and put together my own set of lesson plans. This can become disorganized…fast. I have nearly a dozen first and second grade math books I am using with Miss A, and if we simply started at page one and worked through each text, we’d be repeating quite a bit of stuff : it’s basically what we did last year and at times it felt like going in circles.
So this year I created a plan that would cover the math bases I wanted for Miss A while keeping things diverse, interesting, and hopefully moving in a forward direction.
I set up a weekly breakdown of math sub-categories, allowing a day for each:
Weights & Measures Wednesdays
maTHursdays (adding, subtracting, fact families)
Then I went through all the different math workbooks and bookmarked the various sections covering these areas…so on Fraction Friday, for example, she might do 6 pages of fraction work from several texts. This week we covered “1/2” and started on thirds, when we come back to Fraction Friday next week, we’ll continue working on thirds, and probably move on to quarters. If we were working straight through a book, Miss A would do a page or two on each of these, moving quickly through the concept without a lot of practice time for mastery…then when we started a new text, she’d have to start the concepts all over again. With the new method, we spend more time on each level within a concept, and avoid the “starting over” cycle.
It seems to be working quite well: Miss A gets some variety in her school week so she doesn’t feel overwhelmed and bored with days upon days of fractions (or adding, or whatever), I have the satisfaction of knowing we are covering all these areas, and won’t somehow overlook or neglect a section simply because we never seem to get to it, and by combining all the similar sections from each workbook together we avoid that “going in circles” feeling we get when we finish one workbook and have to start back at square one when we start another.
Anybody else have ideas or suggestions for keeping things interesting while staying on track?