Planning Our School Year: Step 4, Daily Assignments

It occurred to me just today that I kind of left this series of posts hanging.  Step 3 is a large and exhausting process, but well worth the effort.  Once that is complete, all there is to do is make a list of daily assignments every week. It took me a few months to work out a good system for this, but I think I have settled on a basic structure.  I don’t plan out more than a week or two at a time since the daily activities can change depending on how much we were able to accomplish the week before and what happenings occurred to derail my plans.  For this step, I use the following tools and documents: 40 two-pocket folders (10 in each of 4 different colors, one color for each quarter) A bin to hold the folders The workbox planning spreadsheet from Confessions of a Homeschooler My … Keep reading…

Planning Our School Year: Step Three, Lessons

In case you don’t remember my previous posts, here are Steps One and Two.  They covered when to teach and major goals for the year.  Step Three is where the rubber really hits the road.  I took this step one subject at a time. First, I added columns to my dates spreadsheet, one for each subject I was going to teach.  Next I printed the sheet, gathered up my books, and spent an afternoon locked away in my bedroom while hubby entertained the kiddos.  I recommend this kind of a retreat on occasion even if you don’t have major work to do.  It was glorious. One subject at a time, I began filling in what we would cover for each of the 40 weeks of school.  For subjects that were already pre-planned into lessons, like math and handwriting, I just filled in one lesson per week.  If there were more … Keep reading…

Planning Our School Year: Step Two, Set Goals

In Step One, I told you how I planned when we would do school.  That was pretty easy, but next up is what to teach.  For some subjects, this is a simple decision.  Just follow the lesson plans already laid out and relax.  But for other subjects, I was faced with compiling lessons from two or three sources and creating my own materials.  Lots of freedom, but also lots of work. … Keep reading…

Planning Our School Year: Step One, Dates

As everyone gears up to begin their homeschool year, I wanted to share with you my planning process.  It has been a work in progress for months since I wasn’t sure what to plan.  But now with five whole weeks under my belt, I have an idea of how much we can accomplish in a day and how fast or slow we will move through our curriculum. The very first decision to make was an easy one; We would homeschool all year long with short breaks.  So the first thing I did was pick a start date and make a spreadsheet There were three columns: Week #, Dates, Notes.  The weeks are simply numbered 1-52 and the dates begin with week 1 on the first Monday we began school (June 20, 2011.)  Notes is where I entered any special event for that week such as birthdays and holidays.  Then I … Keep reading…