Planning for Next Year and Pre-Planned Curriculum

I usually start planning for next year's homeschooling in January, but for some reason it's taken me longer over the last few years. Partly that's because I've had a string of high schoolers and they take creativity and thought through every single course and curriculum decision.

So here we are in March and I'm a tad unsettled about a few things. For one thing, I need to make some adjustments and spend a lot more time with my high schoolers and junior highers. I wasn't altogether satisified with how our second son's high school years went, and I would like to be a lot more thorough with the next two.

High schoolers like to fly under the radar, and then *boom* they have a D on the midterm. I'm not naming any names.


What I'm really pouring over is the Illuminations curriculum from Bright Ideas Press. I love Bright Ideas Press, but you knew that :) Illuminations is BIP's all-inclusive, pre-planned, ready-to-go curriculum that uses The Mystery of History (score!) and Christian Kids Explore Science, both programs we've used for years (this will be year 13 of Mystery of History for us) and recently discovered (you can read what we think of Christian Kids Explore Science here).

My thoughts so far:


  • I like that the planning is done for me. No reinventing the wheel.
  • Illuminations looks to be customizable. I won't choose to do absolutely everything on the list for the year, or even weekly or daily. It looks to be set up in such a way that a mom can feel free from the planning of school, not a slave to it.
  • And by that I mean that if I choose to skip a book, no biggie. It doesn't matter what plan or book or curriculum you're using -- if you need to skip something, do that. No education will end up a loss if a kid doesn't read The Grapes of Wrath by graduation. Or whatever. 
  • I'm planning to use Illuminations with my 1st grader and my 5th grader.


 This isn't really a review, then, is it? I'm really still thinking out loud here. If you use a pre-planned curriculum, what do you love about it? 

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