Now that you have determined your homeschool child’s trivium skills mastery, you are ready to develop a preliminary strategic plan for next semester that includes appropriate homeschool curriculum. In essence, your laser-like focus on trivium mastery will now allow you to build a coherent intellectual experience that is uniquely tailored to the needs of your child. A one-size-fits-all cookie cutter approach is not your objective. You want to customize the plan by selecting appropriate curriculum to teach the remaining skills of the classical trivium.
Examine all three completed road map grids. Has your child mastered any skills (scale 6 – “he is changing his behavior because of…”)? If so, there is really no reason to spend time developing this skill. For instance, if your child has mastered English grammar, don’t spend any more time drilling with grammar workbooks. What a way to create boredom and quash the love of learning! Of course, you can review the skills periodically to make sure that your child hasn’t forgotten anything, but daily drill is not necessary if the skill has been mastered. Move on to other skills that still need work.
Decide on the skills that you will tackle this semester. You can strategically plan under several scenarios. Perhaps you want to spend this semester working on skills that received a score of 1 (“he knows nothing about…”), or maybe you want to work on skills that he has nearly mastered (score 5 – “he is beginning to understand the deeper truths of…”). You might want to balance the workload between skills in the low range (scores 1-3) and those in the higher range (scores 4-5). It’s your call; you are the parent, and really, there is no right or wrong way to teach the three skills of the classical trivium. Each family will plan the journey differently, and that is part of the beauty of an authentic classical home education. I like to use a highlighter and pick out 5 or 6 skills that I want to work on for the semester, but you may select more or less than me.
Here’s an illustration for you. In this example, the young child is just getting comfortable with her alphabet and has entered the early stages of reading. I have completed the grid and decided (with my highlighter) what skills I want to focus on this semester: (1) lots of read-aloud time (by mom or dad at least 15 minutes twice a day and by the child with one easy picture book); (2) recognizing sight words (from the appendix of Trivium Mastery); (3) narrating the story and predicting content after every book during read-aloud time; and (4) playing some easy spelling games with 3 letter and sight words.
After you’ve highlighted all three grids, go back through the ones you want to work on and classify them as “must do” and “could wait.” You’ve probably highlighted more than you can comfortably accomplish. Remember there is plenty of time to teach the three skills. Give priority to the “must do” items, and create the “big picture” skills plan. Take the journal entry that you wrote (Who is My Child?) and brainstorm about you might teach these skills within the context of your child’s unique gifts, interests, and obstacles. Be creative. Does your child love gardening or digging in the dirt? Have her give a speech on the ph level of the soil. Are cars his passion? Let him learn how to solve problems related to car engines.
Select the homeschool curriculum that will help you teach these skills. Don’t limit yourself to canned homeschool curriculum packages! Imagine that you are selecting from a buffet. What works best for you and your child? Maybe you need to pick up a survey text to refresh your own memory so that you can teach without even buying a text for your child. Or use the natural environment like that plot of land in your backyard and the tools in your shed. Use library books, swap materials with friends, watch documentaries, take field trips, listen to mp3 or online lectures, and read classic texts to each other. In an authentic classical home education, the important point is mastering the skills, not completing pre-selected, pre-packaged homeschool curricula. Trust your instincts; you’ll be okay if you keep your focus on the skills, the child, and your family preferences for learning.
To begin your discovery, complete the following “absorb, do, and connect” activities.
- Read Develop Your Curriculum with Road Maps to Mastery
- Read Don’t Be a Slave to Curriculum Lesson Plans
- Consider this 10 page Strategic Plan for a 7 year old girl (pdf)
- Read What Are Your Priorities?
- Scan 54 Free Homeschool Curricula that Inspire
- Comply with your State Curriculum Standards
- Browse used homeschool materials at Homeschool Outlet or list your old stuff
- Searching for a particular product? Check out the forum at Used Homeschool Curriculum
- Consider supplementing the math text with Timez Attack for learning math facts
- Order a free 1300 page Rainbow Resource catalog
- Create your own worksheets and quizzes with the SchoolExpress generator
- If you have homeschooled before, complete your Homeschool Curriculum history (pdf)
- Complete Reading Skills Curriculum Plan (pdf)
- Complete Thinking Skills Curriculum Plan (pdf)
- Complete Speaking and Writing Skills Curriculum Plan (pdf)
- Find your local homeschool convention or curriculum fair
- Select some classic kids’ books for daily read-aloud time
When you are satisfied with your curriculum choices and strategic semester plan, go on to How Will You Teach the Classical Trivium?