Homeschool Plans for 2016-2017: The Early Stages

I’m trying to wrap my brain around homeschooling a 5th grader, 3rd grader, and 1st grader next year. {We school year round and begin 1 July, so “next year” is roughly four months away.} 

Because it’s still relatively early to be thinking about where we want to end up in June of 2017, all of my current planning is speculative at best. Still, I can’t seem to stop myself.

This will be Agent E’s last year of elementary school, and my goal is to use this time to transition her into more independent work. Up until this point we have emphasized exposure over mastery, with me doing a lot of hands-on guiding in all subjects. After this year, however, I envision using a somewhat different setup, with her delving into topics more deeply and me taking on more of a facilitator role. Of course I’ll still be right in the thick of things with Agents J and A for several more years.

We will likely stick with the plan where we do math, language arts, and Spanish together every morning. This has been working well with our routine, and it’s easy enough to have all three Agents doing the same subjects but at their own level while I’m right there to assist. We’ve already established our favorites when it comes to workbooks {Brain QuestStar Wars, SchoolZoneBrighter Child} so it’s just a matter of having the correct grades purchased and on hand. I do not expect Agent A to complete the same level of written work that his sisters will; much of our 1st grade math will be more hands on and the bulk of our language arts will be simply reading books. Spanish is mostly songs and games and puzzles and videos during our lessons, so that works for everyone.

I think we will probably have one more year where Agent E {5th} and Agent J {3rd} complete most of their work together, following the same “curriculum” and reading mostly the same books. I’m not quite sure how Agent A {1st} will factor into this plan. I’m torn between having him just “follow along” with what the girls do for geography, history, science, etc. or having a completely different schedule more tailored to his younger grade. I'll need a separate brainstorming post to figure out that one.

This year we decided to go with spine books for most of our major subjects, and it proved to be a successful system. However, the books we chose were rather large and detailed, and we tend to follow a lot of rabbit holes, so we’re on track to only make it through approximately one-half of our geographyhistoryworld religionsart, and music books. We should finish our human body book {primary health text}. We did not really have a spine for science, although we did consult The Animal Book quite a bit during our mammals study. {We had planned to use a particular human evolution book as our spine, but ended up reading a variety of shorter texts about the topic instead.}

So next year, at least for my 5th grader and 3rd grader, we will more or less pick up where we left off for geography, history, world religions, art, and music. We plan to add spines for American history {the book we use now is more of a timeline overview of world history} and science {likely this book}. The Senior Agents have also expressed an interest in a more in-depth Greek mythology study, and we’re already eyeing up this book. We don’t currently have a plan mapped out for health, but I’m thinking of using The Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care {which we already own} as part of it.

And that’s pretty much where we are in our planning stages for 2016-2017. I honestly love this part. Deciding what kinds of cool things we’re going to do next {and sharing it with you fine people} is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling. And picking out books. And picking out workbooks. And making a new schedule. And buying pretty notebooks and supplies. And . . .


  1. Sounds like you'll have another productive year in your hands. Kudos to you for homeschooling 3 kids at the same time. That takes finesse and balance, not to mention time management skills. Your kids are lucky to have such a dedicated parent on their side. Thanks for joining us today on #SHINEbloghop!

    1. Thank you so much, Maria. Have a wonderful weekend.

  2. Oh wow, we "school" year round too and I didn't realize that the summer was looming so close until you said 4 months! You are doing a fantastic job homeschooling and I'm sure next year will be an exciting adventure for everyone! #ShineBlogHop

    1. I know, it's crazy, isn't it? I was literally staring at the calendar and counting on my fingers, thinking this *cannot* be right, ha! I guess this year really flew by. Thanks for visiting, Erin. Have a great week.