How do you plan for your school year? A detailed day by day schedule planned out months ahead? An unschooling or “wing-it” approach? Something in between?
I always start with a yearly plan. I decide which general books and curricula I’ll be using for the year.
Then, I use a marking period planner (from The Old Schoolhouse Planner) to sketch out which weeks/months I’ll be using each item. Since we often use short-term unit studies or more than one book in a subject, this helps me see the big picture at a glance. This schedule has the weeks numbered, so it’s no problem to take off a week here and there. (Since we’ve been doing school much of the summer already, we plan to take time off during the year.)
Then, I fill out daily/weekly schedules. We don’t do every subject every day, so Emily and I just check each day to see what is on the schedule. I usually plan 2-3 weeks of daily/weekly schedules at a time.
I haven’t been this organized every year. When Emily was in K-2nd grades, all I really had was a big picture sketched out on one sheet of paper and we were a lot more flexible day-to-day. Now that she’s in middle school, I feel the need for better record keeping and to make sure that we’re devoting enough attention to each subject.