Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making your convention shopping list


With convention season starting it begins the annual question of, “what should we do next year?”  If you have a master plan some of this is already figured out for you and if you’ve chose to use a boxed curriculum you’ve left that creativity up to someone else.  We prefer to look at our needs, talents, callings, wants and desires in light of both the individual and the family to see what will be a good fit.  And yes, we do briefly consider “requirements” but it’s far down our list as we decide.
Having a master plan really does help but ours still allows for flexibility.  The master plan is where you take a look at what you want your child to “look like” at age 18 (or whenever you intend to graduate them) and work backwards.  This is something I’ve put together a speaking session on and designed several planning tools to help parents figure out what this should be.  But I’ll save all that for another blog sometime.  Just think of it as a way of mapping out what your family wants to accomplish with homeschooling from K (or wherever you are now) to 12.  It gives you a guide to know what does and doesn’t fit with your family’s goals.
So with that being said we do have several things we need to accomplish on our “master plan” but also have some new information.  For instance Ariel has decided she wants to follow in her brother’s footsteps and do CLEP testing and early online college.  This will mean we need to get most of her “other high school” things more quickly or simultaneously.  Basically, we need to think through the best way to prepare her for this.  She has also really developed a talent beyond her years in computer coding and we need to look into what to do with that.
On our master plan we need to accomplish Government for the two older ones and get back to the beginning of history to work through to current in the time we have left with Ariel.  It takes about four years the way we do history and part of my “master” plan is to give them a complete cycle at the high school workload level.  We do a lot of reading of first source documents and not just learn the facts but analyze the whys and where God was in all this.  Mystery of History and Truthquest are both great at guiding in this method.
So it’s list making time.  What do we need to look at, purchase and what do we already have.  Honestly at this point having already graduated one we have most of what we need but there are a few things I may look at and possibly purchase.
I’ll be looking at:
*Biology 101
*Forensic Science for high schoolers though I have used the online course Under the Tape before it has some drawback so I’m open to seeing what is out there.
*Some type of advanced html coding course
*Possibility some Government supplemental material though we use a Summer Program called Student Statesman Institute and a unit study (which includes the Uncle Eric Book on Government) at Election time to accomplish most of our Government.
There may be more I’ll add to my “looking” list but for now that’s it.  We have our Math through Algebra II all bought, the complete Mystery of History to begin again and we’ll do Total Language Plus for our Language Arts but I get to have that right here in my closet (the advantages of being a TLP representative!)  We’ll probably chose books for next year based on the time period in history.  For instance, if we do indeed go back to ancients to time of Christ we’ll probably do Bronze Bow.  Sometimes we also do one that goes along with science (like Carry on Mr. Bowditch for Astronomy.)
So have you started your list yet?  What are you “looking” for?


  1. What do you recommend for a basic computer coding course? If you do have something let me know the target age.

  2. We had one I picked up at convention that she learned the basics from, think it was Coding for kids. It's a DVD. He was supposed to be coming out with a part 2 for about two years now and hasn't. He's always at the Cincinnati convention. It was good but she ate it up, like was done in a week. Think it's supposed to be like 10 lessons or something... She did learn a lot from it though. Target age, I'd say it was probably 5th and up? Let me know if you can't find it and I can probably find you a link.