Hey everyone! We’ve been homeschooling for 18 years using CM and classical methods. We’ve been a part of CC for the last 5 years, but still love our CM traditions. Since we have homeschooled for 18 years, we have tons of books. I also have a ton of kids, which means school has to be streamlined, or I get NOTHING done. I have to keep things VERY simple to actually accomplish my plans.
Any tips on how to choose the best books to schedule into our plan for next year? I will not get to ALL the books, and I don’t want a pile of books we never read to stare at me in the face and cause guilt and shame.TristanParticipant
Summer is my time to do something like you want. I know the science topics and time periods we will be exploring. I look on my shelves at the books for each topic and choose the ‘must read’ book for each child/group. Then I put the rest of the books for that topic in a labeled box (much of mine are already sorted by school subject in boxes in the attic). When we get to that topic, I pull out the box of other books on the topic, show the ‘new’ stack to the kids, and put them on our shelf as part of that term’s available free reading/browsing material. When we switch topics, those books get boxed back up and the next topic is added to the shelves. I keep lots of general books out, but these topical sets are the fresh infusion of books for the kids.
Also, in the summer reading and sorting, if I find there are books I don’t love, or like well enough to offer on our shelves to explore, I get rid of them. 🙂
Now, like you, I have lots of kids. I have 10. Oldest is off to college. This year I had 7 official students and then the 2 and 4 year old still just playing. We did history as a group for my 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 8th grader. For the topic, I found one book to read aloud, or a book for kids 1st-3rd, and one for 5th-6th, and one for the 8th grader to read on their own or with me if that worked well. My 9th grader did history separate this year because he had a specific history study he wanted to do. We worked together during the summer to sort out what topics/books he wanted to use, then I simply put them in order chronologically and he would move through the list as he finished each one. My 6th and under crowd did science together, I read aloud to them. The 8th and 9th grader did Apologia Biology and added in some reading individually.
For language arts/literature: our main curriculum has a chunk of books built in, so those are automatic. Then I read aloud every day at lunch to the whole family, so I need a list of books to work through for that. And the kids have independent reading time, with a stack of books to choose from. And there are audio books at bedtime. 😉
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