It’s August, which for many homeschoolers means that it’s time to start planning next year’s homeschool year. Or you know *cough* you’ve all already started your school year completely or never took a break and all I’m saying is, I just moved and life has been crazy.
We have never actually taken a summer break before, and tbh, my kiddo is sitting beside me reading Beast Academy for fun while I write this. So call our “break” whatever you will. Gifted kiddos are exhausting.
I chose to do something very different this year, something that I haven’t done before. (You can read about what we did last year here.) I outsourced for English and Social Studies. If you know me, you know books are kinda my jam, so relinquishing that control to someone else is terrifying but much needed for my own sanity. I am really hoping I don’t regret it. But honestly, I don’t think I will.
We chose Oak Meadow for English, Social Studies, and Science. I say “we” because yes, even though I’m the one teaching it I make my husband peruse everything because if I fuck up my kid, I’m taking him down with me, damnit. You can read about the myriad of reasons we chose Oak Meadow here. I’ll be sure to write about whether we hate it or love it but honestly, I feel like I’m going to love it.
We’re going to be trying grade 6. We came to this decision very scientifically: I read through their graded curriculum and stopped when I found one that had a few things we haven’t covered yet while looking like it would be somewhat interesting to my kid. I am really trying to go for mastery, which is almost cruel to do to a profoundly gifted kid, but this is effectively a four grade skip and I’m trying to buy myself a bit of time before I have to go pounding on office doors at a University (again). If I end up buying the seventh grade curriculum come January because he whizzed through 6 or was bored to death, so be it. We get funding this year, bitches.
For math, we’re going to be sticking with our hands-down absolute favourite, Art of Problem Solving. (Did I mention my kid is sitting here reading their Beast Academy for fun. Yeah.) I felt a bit swamped last year trying to get through Prealgebra with my kiddo, but considering it took a back seat to his physical science online course and we hopped around between it and Number Theory and Kahn Academy, I think we got through a considerable chunk and will be moving on from it in no time.
I’m still trying to decide what to do about needing a homeschool board this year. In Ontario, homeschool is basically “see yah later, you’re on your own.” In Alberta, they’re a bit more hands-on, which I’m actually looking forward to. That is, if I can figure it out. I have until late September to do so and still receive funding (I’m so excited to have a bit of extra money to put towards homeschool, gah!) so I’m sure I’ll figure it out soon. Hopefully.
One thing that I am looking forward to is living in a city again! We have already gotten year-long passes to the TELUS World of Science, and the field trip opportunities are endless. My son has signed up for a chess camp and tennis lessons, and we’ll see what else catches his fancy because honestly, there is so much to choose from here. My kid has always been a sponge that thrives from new experiences (but like, aren’t they all?) so I’m really excited to be able to tap into that. Hopefully it will mean lots of learning with little effort.
Another change I’ve made is that I’m going to be trying Trello for our planning and recording. I’ve never really kept track of my son’s learning other than throwing some choice projects into a file folder. Which maybe isn’t the most responsible way to go about it? But like he’s 6! I explored a few different methods and I really fell in love with School Nest’s Trello board. If you visit Megan’s “PLAN” story on Instagram she walks through how she set hers up. It’s beautiful and inspiring. (Give her a follow while you’re there too, her homeschool is just plain beautiful.) I will still have a paper planner too, because, I’m codependent on paper, but I love knowing I have our year all set up in one convenient place including links to online content.
Have you started planning your homeschool year? Are you finished? What do you have planned?