For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Backt to Homeschool Blog Hop - Planning

BacktoHomeschool Planning, Planning, Planning, this is a word I have mixed feeling with. I am not a planner, I do not like routine, however  I like having things done. I know these are contradictory, but that's me.

I have discovered though that with homeschooling, especially in a classical way, planning, schedules and goals are a must. Winging it when it comes to rigorous studies and mind training is not exactly an option. So for the past 4 years I have been at school when it comes to planning.

I am no expert on the topic, I am still learning and figuring out how to best plan our year and how to keep up with the plans.

So, how do I go about doing this?

1.  I pull out a calendar.  I first need to figure out, when we are starting, when I am going to give the boys and I breaks, and tentatively end the school year.  In the past I have tried to have a year made up of 4-6 weeks of school followed but 1 week off and so on. Last year, with my involvement with the TOS crew review, and various other happenings, this has not been working out as nicely. We sort of kept doing school and took days off here and there. This year I am hoping to go back to that as I think this is the best yearly routine for everyone involved.

I love this calendar from Donna Young's website.

2. I plan out the different curriculum from a yearly perspective. That's where having an open and go curriculum, (where you pick up the book, do the work, close it and continue on the next day where you left off) comes handy. I take each of my curriculum and figure out how we are going to go through them.  Fortunately a few of my planned curriculum are open and go, the only one that I have to actually plan out are the Language Arts ones. The way I do this is by looking at what needs to be covered and divide it in trounces that makes sense, leaving rooms for catching up, as life and field trips always happens. I can never find a planning sheet that I like so I usually end up making up my own.

For Math, since my main curriculum is not a workbook, I list the concepts that I want to cover over the year, and go through it as the year progresses.

3. I plan the week. Steps 3 and steps 4 are where I tend to go astray. Our week is very broken up. Tuesday being the boys' music lesson and the day I have the car, it has become our errand day as well, that is grocery and library day. This being so, there are not many many hours left for school. Thursday is my hubby's day off, and our elective day when it is running, so this is a day off for the boys too. That leaves us with a 3 days school week. That makes it hard to plan everything that needs to be done in a week. I am still trying to figure out how I am going to make this work. I think I will have to schedule something on the Tuesday, somehow, but I have not figured it out yet.

The way I will try to plan the week out is by making sure what I want done be done first. Since my goal this year is to have them learn Latin and French (see my curriculum post from yesterday), these are going to be done everyday, except Thursday. Next come Language Arts  and Math as musts, so  they will be done 3 times a week.

TOG is a heavy subject and it needs to be planned out in details, I need a full post on this. But, suffice to say that it will need to be done 3 times a week if I want us to cover the material. At any rate Zach is not satisfied with a school day if there is no History!

Next will be the other subjects - science probably 2 times a week, and Art/Music appreciation 1 time a week. Bible is also done everyday.

4.  I plan the day.  Towards the end of the last school year I came up with yet a new daily schedule to help our day go smoothly and minimize the boys' screen time. We did not get to use it for long as the school year was getting to an end, so this will be resurrected this school year. The gist of it goes something like this:
  • No computer play except on Thursday and Saturday (the boys love being on the computer and I find that it alter their diligence when they know they get computer time once school i done). 
  • Outdoor time and free time from after breakfast till 10:00 AM
  • School block time starting at 10:00 - 11:30, then again from 1:00 - 3:00. Reading time can be included here if school is finished, or it has to be done in their free time.
  • After their music practice they've got free time.
So here you have a very broad idea of how I go about doing my school planning. It is a very wide brush with lots of adjustments and perfecting along the way, but this is where I start.

I have just started my planning so I still have lots to do. I am exited to be able to utilize some of the forms from the Schoohouse Planners this year.

I am looking forward to reading about how my crewmates plan to glean wisdom and ideas...

1 comment:

Mary said...

Great system! You should do a dedicated TOG Planning post :)

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