The next step in choosing curriculum is to assess the teacher/mom and where you are in your life…because some years you can do/give more than other years. Ask yourself the questions below to take stock of the considerations you need to think about that will impact your school.
- How many children do you have?
- What is the age span of your kids?
- Do you have extra responsibilities?
- How much will your husband be able to help you?
- Can you afford outside help or trade for specific help?
- Is there a major turmoil in your life?
- Are you a highly structured person or more laid back?
- Are you neat or messy housekeeper?
- Are you creative or do you need someone else to do the creating for you?
Eight kids are definitely more people to teach than two kids, so moms with more kids might be looking to teaching kids together. As far as “extra responsibilities,” I usually tell moms, “Try to clear the deck of teaching Sunday school, a part-time job, or any other responsibilities besides homeschooling for the first three years, while you are getting started. If your husband is not going to be able to help you, that is going to be more difficult, and you may look for outside help. Outside help could be a maid once a week or a neighborhood teenager who helps with laundry for a couple of hours a week…OR…you can trade by teaching someone else’s kid, while the other mom cooks your dinner and keeps your toddler. Write your needs down and be creative with how you meet them.
I consider major turmoil…. moving, building a house, in some cases having a baby, major sickness in the family, people coming to live with you, etc. If turmoil is happening, schooling is going to suffer if not factored in. If you are highly structured, I would counsel you to relax and go slower…BUT if you are laid back, I would counsel you to be more structured and ramp up. The same is true for housekeeping. If you are Felix Unger in The Odd Couple, I would tell you to embrace the messes, while I would tell the Oscars among you to shape up and get organized! You will know if you need help with being creative or not.
Since I am the co-author of KONOS, I have to use KONOS concepts to help you think about how to even structure your day. The schedule below has worked very successfully for families of all sizes. Some subjects have to be taught on the grade level of each child (independently), while other subjects can be taught multi-level to all the kids at one time. The graphic below shows in the morning slot, moms would be juggling all the independent subjects for all the kids…BUT after lunch, moms stop juggling and teach to all the kids together.
This schedule can be tweaked to not include KONOS, but who would want to go to the trouble to re-invent the wheel? 🙂
Next week, I will share my Curriculum Evaluation Form that will make you each experts in choosing curriculum!