How to Create your own Curriculum

Hey, it’s us again. I looked back and realized that in my Curriculum Planning, I never actually explained how I created our curriculum. Now we do unschool for majority of our days, so Matt leads the way and asks questions. However there are things I still need to teach based on our state requirements and things I want to teach him. Now if you have read that article, I mentioned we do 1 hour of workbook 4x a week. That is where I plan for when it comes to worksheets. Our activities, are spread out. Some days he wants to do a lot, and others we do a little. Now we are in the midst of finishing up 1st grade and I’m preparing for 2nd grade. This is my 6th year doing this since we started when he was 1. I’ve learned a lot since our preschool days but you can find how to create preschool lesson plans here.

This one you can find on our page. I’ll make a version for older grades as well.

Now that he’s older, well our lessons get a bit longer and go into more detail. More writing involved as well. We still focus a lot on field trips (when possible), active playing and crafting and reading, Unfortunately with this Pandemic still happening, well our weekly trips to the library will not be happening. Our library may son be doing a pick up of reserved books, so that will be a possibility. I’ll plan 2-3 weeks worth at a time if I’m allowed. However we already also using the Kindle Unlimited, Audible, Libby and The New York Public Library System for our ebooks. For physical books we’ve been using what we have or ordering through amazon, through I’m trying not to order as much. Now honestly, unless a lesson surrounds a holiday or season (ie Memorial Day or Gardening for spring), nothing is set in stone. If that works for you though, hey go for it. You can absolutely use lesson plans similar to these below as well.

From Jenelle Cox at

You can find more about this on ThoughtCo, which goes into detail.

From teachervision

Or this is another type of lesson plan, which you can find more at TeacherVision, plus they have Printables.

I just found that as we went, it never really went as planned. Everyone has their method that works for them but please don’t feel like you failed if you get in a rut. The rut is very real, we’ve all felt it.

Anyway to get started on the actual planning. Besides my blog and large list of resources I have and continue to gather, I found that Pinterest and various Facebook groups to be a big help on topics and ideas, and to get other Printables. Just use that search bar. Trust me you can find a lot, that’s free or low budget/cost. You can add all three of our Pinterest accounts to get more @AlexNeznamy @Homeschoolinginnyc and @Matthewskitchennyc for more info and ideas.

I used our grade goals to help with our IHIP (individualized home instruction plan) which is needed if you plan on homeschooling in NY. Your state may require a different document or none at all. My IHIP gives our district the basis of what we are learning based on their requirements, and which materials I plan on using. It can absolutely change as you go and I Do Not add everything. I give them a glimpse for the year.

Now I did write this part up back in March, will be sent to our district come July 1st. This is our 2nd grade IHIP and the only thing that’s additional is the Bilingual aspect at the bottom. We speak French and he’s been working on it with his Mandarin. That is not mandatory as a homeschooler but it is in public schools. I can go way more into that but hey, I’ll save it for another post.

It seems like a lot to cover over a year but a lot is done within our 1 hour workbook time and then as we do a lot through cooking, reading, watching educational shows, field trips, Minecraft and crafts. He doesn’t just learn but he researched and explores the topics, on his terms. That is what I love about homeschooling in general but especially unschooling, as he takes the lead. That is what should be exciting about learning.

Now as you notice up above in the IHIP, it is themed up by topics per subject. This is where I focus on when it comes to the planning. If our workbooks don’t cover it, then I’ll find a worksheet, craft and books to cover, and add on to what we do learn about. As I said sometimes he asks for an unplanned subject like the Titanic, I explain, use videos and books (if we could take a trip to the exhibitions we would) and if I can find a Minecraft world or challenge on it, well we use it (Ps, yes there is a titanic world).

Titanic Minecraft

The other thing I used for lessons, as I mentioned above are books, especially for age level, and for subjects we use. YouTube, Prime, Netflix and other watching platforms are also great for certain topics. I know many don’t like to use screens to teach but I found it beneficial especially if that’s your learning style. I also can’t explain everything to him as I don’t know all the answers. Research and learning how to birth online and using books, is so important to teach. If you can learn to research, you can learn anything you want.

I have posted a few themed lessons. They are aimed for preschool age but you can absolutely use it for older and adjust with worksheets and harder activities. I will be adding much more to that as I continue to blog. Things like life cycles, gardening, camping, oceans etc, we do every year. We also learn a lot around holidays as well. Remember, everyday is a chance to learn something new, whether is a history lesson or a new skill.

Oh, my last note. Life skills, what I like to refer to as learning to be independent (cooking, cleaning, sewing) is just as important for learning. Our goal as parents is to raise kind and successful independent human beings.

If you need help or ideas, please check out Pinterest and Facebook, we have as I mentioned above, accounts. You can also reach out to us as well.

If this isn’t for you, you can always purchase a curriculum or piece together you own. Here’s a list of curriculums to check out.