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A curriculum map is perfect for organizing your thoughts around all the things you’d like to teach in your homeschool for the year. They work for any age / grade by creating a structure that will help you look ahead and make a plan for how to reach the goals you’ve set in your homeschool.
To get started, you’ll want to determine the number of days you’ll be homeschooling in a year. Then divide the year into smaller groups. For example, if you’re homeschool requirement is 180 days of learning per year, then that would be 36 weeks of school.
When you divide that number by the number of weeks in a month (four), it comes to nine months total. You could create a map with nine “semesters” (or whatever you’d like to call them). Or, you could divide it out even further to have shorter learning markers. It’s up to you!
Once you determine the number of semesters or units in your homeschool year, you can move on to the content and set some goals.
The name of the curriculum map game is to simply work backwards.
You’ll want to start with the end in mind. What big goals do you want your child to reach this year? Are there any specific learning objectives you need to conquer?
Then, you’ll make a list of all major topics you’d like to teach! Consider bringing your kids into this part of the planning process! Ask them what they’d like to learn about. Determine if there are any areas they’re struggling in or lack confidence in. Write all of these things down… It’s the beginning of your curriculum map!
From this point, you can assign each topic to a month or week that makes the most sense (learning about things that happen in the spring in September, probably won’t be that much fun). But keep in mind that some topics will build on each other. So you’ll want to plan them accordingly with enough room to add on.
Once you’ve completed an overview for the year, you can then break down each unit even further. Simply repeat this same process on a smaller scale. Rather than writing “BIRDS” for the month of March, you’ll break it down by week and even by day. Example: North American Birds – Types, diet, habitat, etc.
Here’s another example of how you can work backward to create a Curriculum Map.
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In pre-k phonics, a low-hanging fruit to teach would simply be to work your way through every letter of the alphabet! Learn each letter’s name, the sound it makes, and how to create it. So, It would be fairly easy to simply spend a full week on each letter. Then, add a few “review” weeks built in.
EXAMPLE: Week 1- Letter A
Create a lesson plan that would provide a lot of opportunities with the letter A.
- Eat foods that begin with the letter A (applesauce, avocado, asparagus, bake something with all-purpose flour, etc.)
- Create the letter out of different materials (pom-poms and glue, play-doh, sticks, etc.)
- Read books that had main ideas or main characters with the letter (The Lady With The Alligator Purse, Amazing Airplanes, Hey Little Ant, etc.),
- Work on sight words for the letter A (and, add, any, etc.).
You may realize that you do not need a full week for each letter, and that’s okay! If so, simply adjust the map as you go along. Nothing is set in stone in homeschooling, mama.
To make curriculum mapping a little bit easier for you, I’ve created a free curriculum map template that you can download and get started with asap!
Here’s a few things to keep in mind when you’re creating a curriculum map for your homeschool:
- Check your homeschool laws (if your location requires any). You’ll always want to make sure that whatever you are planning will be aligned with what’s required from you as a homeschool teacher each year.
- Does the curriculum you’ve purchased for the year have a set timeline in place for completing it? If so, consider using it to help guide your mapping!
Personally, I do not bind myself to the exact days they have listed to complete each page in a curriculum we have. But I do like to use it as a guide when planning.
- If there’s a subject or topic you think your kids would like to spend more time on (like a really cool unit study!) then don’t be afraid to allow extra time in your curriculum map for that! The goal is to create a passion inside of our kids to keep learning… If they can have fun while doing it, even better!
- Don’t forget to include time for holidays and scheduled breaks in your curriculum map!
Using these tips, and grabbing the curriculum map template, will help you get started with setting goals for your homeschool and stay organized!
I’d love to hear more about your plans to use a curriculum map for your homeschool! Leave your thoughts in the comments below or over on Instagram! And if you loved this post and found it helpful for you, I’d love for you to share it with a friend!