Not-Back-to-School: Curriculum 2012-13

If I had written this posts a couple of months ago, it would have been completely different. Actually, if you asked me just a few weeks ago, it would have been different. I would have had lists of curriculum and plans arranged by kid/grade. Maybe a copy of my lesson plan spreadsheet I use every year. I would have told you that we will be using Teaching Textbooks for math and Saxon for language. I might have told you the plans for Lakin's kindergarten year. But not today.

I mentioned in my last, rambling post about how I was taking a leap of faith this year. So this year will look different. If you want a list of curricula, the only thing I have to tell you is we will still be using Teaching Textbooks. That is it. Rylan will be starting Pre-Algebra, Cale will finish Math 4, take  few weeks to better master multiplication and division  then jump up to Math 6. Cohen will complete Math 3 and move on to Math 4, while also taking a little bit of time to brush up mastery.

So, what is our curriculum?

It's an idea board. Where I will pin up ideas I find that might be of interest to the kids as they explore their topics.

It's a weekly meeting with me to discuss progress. To go over projects. To share and edit. To ask questions- both theirs and mine.

It's getting out of the house, going places to spark new interests.

It's going to the library to research and collect resources.

It's a shelf, fully stocked-  with most of the basic science experiment supplies, paper, notebooks, art supplies, etc.

It's books. It's chores. It's life.

There is a blog- Project Based Homeschooling- that I have read over and over again. And every time I read through, I think: this is how I want it to be. But I was lost on how to implement it- so I wouldn't. Then I would come across it again and read it all once more. If you get a chance- go and read, all of the past posts on project based learning, they are very good with a lot of good information in both the posts and comments (note- they have recently changed sites, the old one has a very easy to navigate side bar with lots of the posts highlighted).

I am still not exactly sure how to implement, so we are doing our own thing and seeing what comes from it and what it morphs into.

What will I expect from them?
  • To choose a project topic to study, research, explore. 
  • To spend at least a week on that topic. (no maximum)
  • To spend a minimum of 2 hours working per day.
  • To own the work that they produce
  • To work to the best of their ability

What can they expect from me?
  • To provide them with the materials they request or need
  • To suggest ideas
  • To stand back and let them work, research, etc without doing it for them
  • To be a partner in their learning

That is my rough plan. I have a feeling it will change as we go along and feel our way. I am sure we will all go through a deschooling period.  I am excited to see where this leads. I am apprehensive too- and have to actively push back the 'what-ifs' that tend to take over.

Not Back to School Blog Hop


  1. I bookmarked the blog so I can go back later and look at it. As you were describing this, I thought this might work with our unit weeks. It's always an anxious time when we are learning right along with our kids, but that's when we can be role models to their learning experience, too. Sounds like an exciting year is ahead of you! :)

  2. What a cool concept! I must follow you (and the site you mentioned) to learn more. It sounds lovely.

    I'm glad I found your blog through the NBTS hop. :)

  3. hey. :) it's always weird when i click over to read a post from twitter and find myself mentioned! :P

    the new site has all the same posts as the old one — a complete list of posts is here:

    i hope you know i have a book out. :) it walks you through how to set up the environment, find and feed an interest, help make learning deeper and more complex .. hopefully the specifics on how to implement that you are looking for.

    and — the new site has a forum as well: — this is where you can talk to other parents and get hand-holding and advice from me directly on specific questions you have or problems you encounter. :)

    or you can e-mail me (DM me on twitter for my e-mail addr — i’m campcreek there) and i will help you in any way i can.

    good luck! and let me know how it goes! :)

  4. That sounds amazing! I love it. I'm going to have to check out the blog you linked to for further thoughts on that style of schooling. Interest led is a huge thing for me too.

  5. It sounds like you have an exciting year ahead.
    Blessings, Dawn

  6. Wow, sounds like a fun change for your year! I'll take a gander at the blog you mentioned later, I saved the link.

    We're homeschooling our 7 children (2 girls 5 boys) and our plans are on our blog:

    Have a lovely year!

  7. We are doing something very similar this year. I am looking forward to seeing both of our years unfold!

  8. I LOVE it!! I wish I had done more of this when my kids were little. I think it is totally awesome!

  9. I will have to check out that site. My oldest son would probably do really well with it. It sounds like a great year!

  10. Sounds like a perfectly wonderful plan...I'm going to check out the Project Based Site. :)

  11. This is what we have been doing all along, but we too will be focusing even more on projects and less on true textbook like material. Everything that you do you remember so much more profoundly. Thanks for sharing your wonderful life and ideas with the world.

  12. I always enjoy peaking into what you are doing on your blog. I am glad I slipped in today. As I was reading what you wrote on this post, it sounds like this is what I planned on doing during the 6,7 and 8th grade years (in the future!) Since those grades tend to be review. But, I will have to take a look to see if I want to do it sooner! I will flip through the link you provided that is for sure. And, I look forward to seeing what you will be posting this year!
    - Carmen

  13. I saw your site on Hip Homeschool Hop and enjoyed reading some of your posts. Great site!

  14. Just found my way here from the NBTS blog hop, and I'm glad I did! What a great idea!

    We are gadget junkies here, so the boys (about to turn 13 and 8) have enjoyed working on our primary sites like Time4Learning and SpellingCity. But...this just looks cool! :D

    Even if I don't use the idea board as our core, it would be an excellent way to supplement throughout the year. Especially since we have a few interest-led weeks every now and again anyways, lol.

    Thanks so much for sharing, and I hope you have a wonderful school year! :)


  15. Love what you had to say! We also love project based learning.
    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