Monday, April 06, 2009

School Bits

I've been trying to refocus my attention in many areas of life, one of them being homeschooling! God has given me a renewed passion and interest for this very important job, so I thought I take some time to share some of the tidbits that I like about it, what we use, how we make it fun, and so on. Hopefully, you'll find something of use, interesting or just plain informative about what homeschooling is all about.

My first bit is:

Open and Go!

Before I started homeschooling, the aspect of PLANNING seemed extremely daunting to me. I imagined having to sit among stacks of textbooks, 1" thick planner and pencil in hand, stressfully trying to figure out how much of each subject to cover every week. My image couldn't have been more wrong & am truly blessed to have discovered the nature of "open and go", which describes our current curricula, by Hearts of Dakota. You simply open the teacher's manual where each subject is laid out for you in detail and begin your school day! Very little preparation for me! The manual tells you which pages in which books to read, the main idea of what you've read to review with your child, and gives you detailed instructions for simple activities when applicable. The first year we homeschooled {kindergarten}, I pieced together our curriculum based on the literature program Five-in-a-Row and therefore did much of the planning including which subjects to do, in which order, how many pages/lessons to complete for the different subjects, etc. I initially thought a open and go curricula would stunt my creative side, but it actually reduces the stressload of planning, allowing me to enjoy and focus more on the teaching and very little on the planning.

Open and go is perfect for the non-planner, busy mom, and new homeschooler alike!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask about our homeschooling methods or adventures!


Erin said...

I guess I am making an assumption...but is this format more expensive because all the planning is done for you?

Rebecca said...

I guess the simple answer is: yes. You're purchasing the teacher's manual, which varies in price from publisher to publisher, but has excellent resale value. The one I use costs $30, but also has instructions for activities, questions to ask for Bible time, an appendix of poems for copywork, and reading lists, so really I am getting MORE than just the planning done for me. Even for some of the more expensive teacher's guides I've seen, say $100+, that still only comes out to about $3 a week, which I think is a deal to have all the planning already figured out.

Great question!

Peaceful Chaoz said...

Have you done the pre-k one at all? I was thinking about doing this one with Selah and Addie? Let me know what you thought or maybe you have it and aren't using it anymore and I can purchase it off of you? ;0)

Rebecca said...

Alicia: I haven't since we sent Tati to a private preschool. I keep looking at the Little Hands to Heaven OVER & OVER again wondering if I should do that for Sienna next year!! I love the little hands-on activities, the songs, that it seems really gentle & is based around Bible stories. Did you see the free preview pages on their website?

If you decide to do it, let me know because I have access to lots of different resources for buying used materials!