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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!
Do you have trouble getting your pre-teen and teens interested in history? Maybe they find it boring or dull? Maybe they can’t keep all the dates straight, so they don’t engage?
Hope House Press has some great books that will not only excite them but bring history to life!
This month, several other homeschool bloggers and I have joined together to bring you an amazing giveaway this month from Hope House Press. They are giving away three different prize packages to THREE lucky Winners!
Prize Package #1: The Seabirds Trilogy Companion Curriculum (Print Set, Value $49.96)
Learn the who, what, why, and how of the Second World War. Simple Solutions to High-school Level WWII History, Social Studies, College Prep, Critical Thinking Skills, Academic Research and Writing, and Spiritual Growth. A Faith-based approach with a global perspective. The instructor’s guide provides answer keys, grading scales, scripts for Movie Night, and discussion questions so a teacher can successfully guide their student through the curriculum.
Prize Package #2: The Seabirds Trilogy (Print Set, Value $55.97)
Book 1: Voyage of the Sandpiper
When fifteen-year-old Agatha’s mother falls gravely ill, she is shipped off to the coast of Maine to live with her aunt, Edith Philipa Gordan, an eccentric writer who hasn’t finished a novel in decades and paints birds obsessively. What begins as a dull summer immediately takes a turn towards adventure with the arrival of Edie’s old beau, Horatio Macleay, and his handsome nephew. With WWII looming on the horizon, Agatha and her new group of friends race against time and across continents to complete their mission before it is too late. Along the way, Agatha learns the importance of trusting in the perfect timing of God and discovers the power of hope. 12+
-Book 2: Flight of the Seahawks
Newlyweds Piper and Peter return to Maine after Peter is injured on the North African front believing they are in for a quiet winter. When Aunt Edie sends them a mysterious manuscript, their vacation plans are pushed to the wayside. As the Adleman sisters struggle to find a place to call home, Peter and Piper must discover their new calling as the USA determines to remain neutral in the face of the rising Axis powers in Europe. 12+
-Book 3: Song of the Storm Petrel
Peter and Piper’s quiet life in Honolulu comes to an abrupt close when Aunt Edie and Uncle Horatio arrive for a surprise visit along with the Adleman Sisters. With no foreseeable end to WWII in sight, Piper and her cousins learn to trust God in the unknown and in the process discover what really matters. 12+
Prize Package #3: Girl Reporter Series (Print Set, Value $19.98)
-Book 1: The Exclusive
While Piper waits for Peter to return from the war, a mysterious stranger arrives at Kingsbarns. Meanwhile, Piper’s skills are put to the test when she receives an assignment to photograph a Hollywood legend. In these troubled times, is anyone who they say they are? Do they have the courage to do what God asks? An adventure story set “in-between” Voyage of the Sandpiper and Flight of the Seahawks from “The Seabirds Trilogy” on the coast of Northern Scotland. Perfect for ages 11+
-Book 2: The Con Artist
In 1940, the discovery of a fabulous and near-forgotten necklace hidden at the Kingsbarns Estate in North Scotland, a house full of strangers, and the worst blizzard of the century add up to a holiday party that goes terribly wrong. Will the jealous greed of a conniving thief hijack the joy of Christmas, or drive Piper and those she loves to discover the true meaning of loyalty and friendship? Perfect for ages 11+
Thank you to our sponsor:
Hope House Press is a family-run publishing house centered on Judeo-Christian values. We publish fiction, non-fiction, and educational material to encourage laughter, learning, and excellence. Our motto “Heal, Protect, Build, Nourish,” encompasses our heart for the restoration of the family and our desire to become more like the Savior every day. Our goal is to provide quality stories that change lives, heal hearts, and give hope.
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