Why on earth did we put so many grades in one Schola Rosa suite? Before we went into full development of the Schola Rosa: Co-op & Home Curriculum as a product, we had to figure out a way to organize it. This took a great amount of brainstorming as well as a great amount of time working with other homeschool families.
Our Rolling Acres School curriculum for 7th grade and up was doing very well, having been started two years previous. Now, we asked ourselves about the younger grades. After all, we had an emerging Kindergartener!
My husband and I were new to homeschooling in our own house, but we had been tutoring children in public school and in homeschool families for over 10 years. At the time, we had also had experience teaching young adults in the collegiate environment. We had ideas! The first logistical question that came to mind was how on earth to organize materials for Preschool through 6th Grade in a way that would be most helpful to a Catholic family.
As we all know, most curriculum providers sell their materials by grade. You order a box for the grade you need, and it all comes in the mail. There is one set of lesson plans per grade. I myself tried this approach with a beautiful, Catholic provider. What I didn’t like about it was only having one grade in a box. My daughter was 1st Grade Math, Kindergarten level reading, and so on. She was all over the place, so the box did not fit.
As I had more children, I didn’t like having to look at a separate set of lesson plans for each child. I kept asking myself: “Why not have lesson plans for all your children on the same page?”
We also wanted a cycle for the study of history and science, which the curriculum providers did not offer.
What’s a mother to do?
What started out as a personal question, quickly became a broader question that applied to our company as well as to our neighbors. We asked the families we knew about their homeschooling desires. Would an all-in-one lesson plan help? Would access to all the grades at the same time help with children who are not in a box? We sent out surveys to clients and friends. We gathered advice from other curriculum writers.
The majority of the results pointed toward, “Please put all lesson plans together and let us see it all at once! Give it to us now!” This has been our goal ever since 2012: Make it easy for the big, Catholic family; make it available right away. These goals have been achieved: Parents get access to grades Pre-K through 6th grade upon enrollment; don’t have to wait on the post office. Parents can adjust more easily what their children are doing and at what level they are working by adjusting the Lesson Plans as they go.
In my next article, I’ll share more about why we organized the curriculum into historical and scientific cycles.