I have been spending some time working on our homeschool planning for this upcoming school year. I am so pleased with how the planning has gone so far. Usually, I never feel like I am organized enough. I continually try to find methods that might work "better" than others...but I have never been fully satisfied with how it has all been set up. I know many struggle with this, as well, so I thought I would share what I have found to work best for us...
This year, after reading Managers of their School by Steve and Teri Maxwell, I realized a few things that have helped me to gain a better feel of organization with my homeschool planning. In PA, we are required to do 900 (elementary) hours *or* 180 days of school. This equals 36 ~ 5-day-weeks of education. So when you look in your curriculum, for each subject, you can figure out how many days per week you need to do to accomplish all the lessons.
For example, if your reading curriculum has 180 lessons, you would need to have a reading lesson daily. If your reading curriculum only has 72 lessons, you would have to schedule reading lessons for only twice a week. Our art curriculum only has 39 lessons...which puts us at around 1 lesson per week. So, because of this, each child will not have *all* their subjects to do everyday.
I have written up a routine for the school year from the time we wake up until 2pm. After that, the children will be free to play for the rest of the afternoon and I will be able to get some things done and start supper. Here is a look at what I have planned...
Mom Daily Schedule:
6-7:00am: Breakfast, Devotions/Quiet time, Computer (and in winter, go out and check the woodstove)
7-7:30am: Wake Chris, make his lunch and coffee, Get children's breakfast
7:30-8am: Shower, Start laundry, Kiss Chris off to work
8:45-9am: Devotions/Prayer/Singing with Children
9-11:30am: Schooling with Children
11:30-12: Prepare lunch
Noon-1pm: Lunch Break
1-1:30pm: Schooling with Xavier
1:30-2pm: Read aloud with Children
2pm +: Housework, Supper Prep
Children's Daily Schedule:
7-7:30am: Feed Dogs/Chickens, Get dressed
7:30-8am: Eat Breakfast, Make Bed
8-8:45am: Help Mama with Housework
8:45-9am: Devotions with Mama
11:30-1pm: Lunch Break/General clean-up
1-1:30pm: Schooling for X, Free Reading for Madelyn, Rest for Jaxson
1:30-2pm: Mama reads aloud from chapter book.
Of course, there will be days schoolwork takes longer or shorter amounts of time...we can still be flexible, but I like having a general plan. It makes for a smoother day!
I also have the children's school time mapped out. There are subjects we will all work on together (such as astronomy, bible, and PA history)...and then times they will work alone on things. I have set aside certain times when I can give individual attention with each child...and will also help them as needed, through the day!
I have also learned that I don't have to *date* everything ahead of time. That was my first problem in past years. This time, I found a wonderful undated planner HERE (actually, I found mine on Amazon for cheaper! You can also get printable pages like these and then put them in a binder. My printer is on the fritz, so I just bought my own books). It has no fluff...just the basics, perfect! Then I began planning weeks one and two for Madelyn (remember, you won't have every subject every day...so you will have blank spots)...
A look at X's first week of schooling, all planned out...
Have I lost you yet? ;) Honestly, I really like routines and I truly feel this will work very well for us...keeping us on-task and get much accomplished. I have tried other methods and ideas out, but found I was more easily prone to not get as much done as I would have liked to. I really feel each homeschooling family needs to explore different methods and use the one that works best for them. Some people may find a nature walk to be a wonderful way to approach a science lesson. For me, I like to get the book work done...soak in the knowledge and *then* take a nature walk, just for fun (learning alongside of it just happens to be a bonus)!
Of course, learning is a daily process...it happens in everything we do. We each are always learning something new. While driving in the car or eating a meal, the children enjoy when I give them words to spell or have them answer questions from Brain Quest. I believe learning can be fun and enjoyable...but for us, I think the book work part is also important.
This year, we are again using Christian Light Education for the majority of our curriculum. However, I wasn't a huge fan of their science curriculum so we are doing Apologia Astronomy for our science studies this year! Also, I have an old PA History schoolbook that the children and I will use to study our state history. I am looking forward to all the learning we are going to do this school year!
I have tried to read back through the post to see if I was confusing...but it's just so hard to tell from my viewpoint (since I already have an understanding of what I am trying to explain). I hope you have found this post useful...or at least found a tidbit of an idea to use with your homeschool planning. :) If you have any questions...please feel free to email me (left sidebar) or comment on this post. If I get numerous questions, I may just make a new post of them, in case others are wondering the same thing.
**Before I go...I just wanted to thank you all for sharing in my joy that I posted about HERE. God is moving in Chris...truly. It's as if Chris has had a breath of (Holy Spirit) fresh air go through him! It's amazing! I am continually thanking God. It's breath-taking when you see your prayers answered, isn't it?
**And, I am excited to be able to share that my blog has been featured on THIS site. I've never been "featured" before, so I was quite surprised when I got the email. I hope it is not prideful to share this excitement with you...?
Well, I need to skee-dattle! Thanks for visiting today!