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  • Writer's pictureMegan

Plan Ahead

If you only plan to homeschool for a year of pandemic, this post is only sort of relevant to you. If you're planning to homeschool for the long term, you need to know where you are now vs. where you want to be. For some students, they have had a consistent scope and sequence already in place and are on grade level throughout their working from their public school grade level is a good choice. Emma isn't that student so I need to devise a plan.

Each curriculum provider has laid out a plan for how students move through their classes. Sometimes this is called a scope and sequence. Sometimes it is called a curriculum or learning plan. Sometimes, it doesn't exist in a neat little tab and you will have to write it out yourself. The Memoria Press Scope and Sequence starts on page 34 of their current catalog here. You can see it and follow along with what I'm talking about to get an idea, even if you are choosing to use another curriculum. I started at the top of the chart and worked along as follows (keeping in mind that this was a process for 6th grade, which is why it seems different in some areas than what I've talked about so far on this blog).

  • Literature, Phonics, and Spelling: I knew I didn't need to worry much in this regard, because Emma has very strong skills in this area. I tentatively decided to start the novel studies in 7th grade and then add in the poetry component in 8th grade, when the poetry kicked over to a new multi-year book.

  • Latin & Greek: Latin has a sequence that can't be picked up in the middle. I needed to start with First Form Latin, which is scheduled for 5th. This meant that I'd have to decide on a place to combine or cut. I decided to cut the 12th grade year, which was AP level.

  • Classical & Christian Studies: Starting in middle school, it looks like this is on a two year rotation of Greece and Rome. I could pick that up at any point. I decided to leave this until 9th grade, so that I can teach a chronological history program over the 3 middle school years and make sure to fill in the gaps I know exist. I knew that I wanted a Catholic religion program, so I don't need to worry about Christian Studies.

  • Math: As I talked about in a previous post about choosing curriculum, I knew I wanted to use a different math program that would move through all levels within a single provider and instructional style. There's usually a placement test in a math curriculum, so if you do need to figure it out just search for that.

  • Composition: This has a sequence that can't be picked up in the middle. It's supposed to begin in 4th grade, so there's two years to combine or cut. I decided to combine Composition 1 and 2 into 6th grade and Composition 3 and 4 into 7th grade to get caught up.

  • Science: I want to use science from a different provider, so I need to look at their plan. A definitive sequence doesn't begin until 8th grade, so I had two years to work with if I needed it. After reviewing the science Emma had supposedly been taught (noted below by topic and grade(s) where it was covered) vs. what she remembered, I realized I would need that time to do an overview and fill in the gaps.

  • Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric: I knew I wanted to be on course in this area by 9th grade, when Logic and Rhetoric begin. However, I decided that Emma's grammar skills were strong enough that working on editing and proofreading her composition would be adequate until then.

  • Modern Studies: Since this is the other history stream, I was inclined to just leave it alone until 9th grade. However, I may pick up the United States History material in 8th grade, simply because I know that Emma hasn't really had American history after the Revolution and it will line up with the chronological history I have planned.

For 6th grade, I picked up Memoria Press materials for Latin and Composition and devised the remainder of my subjects either to fill gaps or to make a fast summary of things covered in early years of the MP curriculum.

For 7th grade, I plan to continue the Latin and Composition while adding novel studies and perhaps trying out their science curriculum.

In 8th grade, It will be MP for Latin, Composition, All Literature, US History (maybe), Science (same sequence though probably a different provider)

By 9th grade, I'll be on track to use MP for everything EXCEPT Religion, Math, and Science.

I hope that this narrative of my decision process provides you with some ideas about how to approach curriculum and level choice for your student(s).

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