New homeschool plan

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  • elsnow6

    Hi, I have an almost 13yo and almost 10yo. We are currently finishing up our first year of Classical Conversations Challenge A program with my oldest and have done a few years of CC Foundations program. However, we are about to move across the country to Albuquerque, NM, which apparently has a strong homeschool community and more options close by than where we live in GA. So, I’m reevaluating our plans for homeschool. In general, Challenge has gone pretty well though the pace is quicker than I’d like for some of the subjects. I appreciated the discussions, the various books/curricula for each subject, & opportunities for my daughter to be pushed a bit out of her comfort zone (she’d never speak in class if allowed though plenty talkative at home). I do wish there were a better opportunity to have both my girls working together for some things and for the amount of work to not feel as if it overtakes our days (partly bc of lack of focus on my daughter’s part & partly bc of the amount & type of work). Obviously, this can be done with SCM; however, I’m trying to formulate where to combine, in what ways, and how not to mess up my oldest in terms of being on-track for having to earn credits for high school in another year (if not starting that this year). I swear she snuck up on me with this whole growing up thing 🙁 We’ve dabbled in CM but never truly figured out how to implement well. I’m probably not a purist and struggle with patience (especially when hormones are kicking) so tend to need some of the work to be pretty independent or perhaps with another teacher (online) to give me a chance to pull back each day. There is a CM group in ABQ that we plan to join, but it’s more supplemental (ex. read Shakespeare aloud but understand they don’t discuss) so trying to figure out what I should do for everything else. Are there certain subjects I need to start being sure to follow some yearly order (ex. Oldest has done some biology, anatomy, & physiology this year through Challenge and wondering if should expand on those more or is it important to move to other topics in order to cover necessary areas of science) with certain subjects. I know math should cover Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus through high school but what about History, Science, English/Literature, etc. Anyway, can anyone help me sort through my thoughts and give ideas for how to develop a plan for our next school year?

    Tamara Bell


    SCM’s curriculum is family-style, which means you are going to be teaching all of your children together for almost every subject. We find that this is a huge benefit in saving you time and money, since in general you don’t have to purchase separate books for each student, and you can do many of the lessons all together in one sitting.

    We’ve found that school subjects can be divided into two groups: Skill-based and topic-based subjects. Topic-based subjects can be taught as a family since there are no prerequisites. For example, history or art study. Skill-based subjects are subjects that need to build concepts up over time as the child progresses in skill, such as math. There are only three skill-based subjects: math, upper-level science, and language arts. Everything else can be taught as a family.  We like to schedule family readings for history however we also schedule independent readings that are age/grade appropriate that dig deeper into the areas covered in the family reading.

    You’ll need to look at your state’s requirements for graduation.  While we don’t have to stay fully on track as home educators (if we are issuing a homeschool diploma), it’s a good rule of thumb to look at your state’s requirements should a student opt for running start or college and also at potential colleges your student may be looking at.  Most states require biology, chemistry, and physics but vary on how many “lab” sciences you need.  States generally require 1 US history and 1 World history but it does vary so again, you’ll need to check.  HSLDA is a great place to learn the home school laws of each state.  From there, I have googled to find out specific graduation requirements for individual states.

    SCM has recommended for individual studies available at the website.  Recommended sciences are listed as well as linked.


    Thanks! I hadn’t really thought of breaking things down into skill and topic-based, but that makes complete sense. I have an old version of the SCM Genesis-Deuteronomy History/Bible/Geography I thought about pulling back out so seems that’d work well for both the girls to do with me then assign each some me independent reading within that. I also have Outdoor Secrets, which both have enjoyed when I’ve used it, but I’ll have to see if I need to beef it up at all since they’re a little older. You’ve given me some great info to get going!

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