Okay am I the only one who is geeked about planning for next year? Oh my but I love everything about it! Every year is a fresh start, full of possibility. New school supplies and clothes (we get these things), fresh teacher planners and juicy new dry wipe markers are all signaling school’s about to start!
I know you may wonder why I am chatting about this now. It’s early July, you think. I have plenty of time, you think. I’ll do that later, you think. I wouldn’t if I were you…
Planning for the year is important. You know the saying, “If you fail to plan you plan to fail.” It happens every time I think I can “wing it.” I like to think I’m a free spirit but I really need more structure than I want to admit sometimes. For me, writing it all down helps keep me on track and [mostly] productive.
Here is my planner for this school year. I have linked below to all the wonderful blogs whose free printables I used in this planner. Isn’t the cover beautiful? I cobbled the contents together from several sites to fit my needs. I laminated the covers and comb bound it (I happen to have tools to do both). Super cheap and just what I needed!
Here is a tour of my planner on YouTube. To me its easier than a bunch of pictures.
FACE offers a helpful resource for those new to BPA. It’s short and sweet and chock full of helpful info. It helps you take a deep breath and say, “I can do this!” It is written by a home educating moms who have been there and done that and lived to tell about it.
I’m so happy to come to this letter! GACE, or the Guide to American Christian Education by James Rose is my favorite go-to reference for BPA. It is chock full of almost everything you need to get started and stay going. I can hardly begin to list all of what’s in it. It addresses BPA in the home and in home education. There is help planning lessons, basic 4R’ing and other foundational concepts and disciplines. He addresses core subjects, enrichment and some subjects that are hard to come by in any other BPA materials–namely Kindergarten year full lesson outlines, economics and Anatomy/physiology. There are contributions from Katherine Dang and Mrs Ruth Smith, among others. (Did I mention how much I adore this book?)
It is inspirational and challenging, practical and comprehensive. We have a GACE study group on Yahoo! that goes through Mr. Rose’s study that is comparable to the Self-directed Study from FACE.
The Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE) is the largest organization in BPA. Originally in California, they moved to the east coast. Visit their About Us page here. They are the publisher of the Red Books, the Noah Plan and hundreds of other materials. (They have trademarked the phrase Principle Approach.) They are an invaluable resource for Christian history and home education the BPA way.
The Commonwealth is an online community that members can use to connect with other members, to access material from FACE and to interact with FACE staff.
Please visit their site for info on everything BPA. They offer many articles and materials that will help you on your way.
Katherine Dang is one of my favorite BPA teachers. She is so knowledgeable and gentle and kind and, well, wonderful. Her organization is Philomath Foundation and she is available for consultations, conferences and the like. Ms. Dang has been in BPA education for over 30 years. Her wisdom is inspiring and her materials are top-notch. I hope you’ll take time to listen some of her conference audio (her Series on the Introduction to American Christian Education is wonderful. I’ve probably listened to each session a dozen times!) Material from the Wednesday Night Salons she holds in California is also great for sparking discussions in your own small group setting.
Her materials are available here. Dang’s Universal History volumes are excellent texts for high school and beyond. She also offers others materials such as a science project guide and several literature guides on this page.
The Noah Plan Curriculum Guides (CG) from FACE are wonderful tools for almost every subject. They are chock full of info on lesson planning, teacher notebooks, foundations of the subject, timelines and more. There are projects and checklists and sample student work. They are a terrific resource for newbies and experienced BPA’ers alike. I talked more about them in this post.
There are CG’s for history/geography, literature, mathematics, art, English, and reading. They are useful for K-12 and are useful for planning lessons because they have quarterly lesson outlines for K-12 in the front of each guide (except art). Science is not available but I hope it they write one. For some BPA help with planning science lessons and laying a science foundation from PMom click here.
They are also excellent resources if you don’t use the Noah Plan and even if you don’t homeschool. They offer each subject’s Christian history, resource lists and more.
In our trip through the BPA alphabet we can’t pass up the chance to highlight the Bible. It’s our most valued tool and our educational guidebook. All subjects have their foundations in the Bible and therefore this book must be honored here.
The Bible is also irreplaceable in core subjects like literature and HisStory. It is full of material to help your family master the subjects and see how they fit into Providential history.
As Christians we should look to God’s Word for help in every area of life. There is wisdom for how to gain wisdom, what true wisdom is and more. We learn how to interact with one another, what God feels is most important and how to relate to Him.
The Bible is the foundation for all subjects and as we turn to His word we are changed into His image more and more.
I am really really really looking forward to this new year! So much change and so much to make me smile. I have been on sabbatical from home educating my children but God has brought things together for me to be able to joyfully teach my children again. I have missed it so much!
My two older daughter are starting junior high and high school this year at our church’s Christian school. The boys (8 and 4) will homeschool with me. So here are my basic plans for this new school year (third grade and preschool):
Bible: Judah Bible Curriculum
Math: Ray’s Arithmetic
History/geography and science: Noah Plan
Language arts: McGuffey readers and Harvey’s English grammar
Literature: on our own, not much structure, one basic book study per semester (lots of reading aloud)
My 4 year old wants to be just like his big brother so I have “school” things for him to do as well. Soon I’ll see if he’s ready to learn to read. I have had the privilege of giving each of my other children the Golden Ticket and I can’t wait to work with my last one.
This is just the skeleton. I am starting to put these bones together and then I’ll flesh them out with weekly plans and dress this guy up in some field trips and special projects.
I’m trying a new-to-me organizing system that I’ll share with you soon. I really like it so far! I’ll show you how I adapt it to fit my needs.