Thursday, August 11, 2016

Planning Out Our School Year

This is the time of year when I work on scheduling out our new school year and writing lesson plans. If I used a “boxed” curriculum, this would be quite easy, but my eclectic approach to school and curricula requires a bit more planning ahead. Fortunately for me, planning and organizing are some of my favorite things to do!

First, I look over all the books and materials that I plan to use for the year. (These have already been purchased over the past few months.) Some will be used for the entire year. Others might be used for a semester, or for just a few weeks. Others might be used for a few weeks, then alternated with another resource.

Although I have a general plan of what will be used when, I need to narrow down that plan and record it. For this, I use a grid that shows each subject with a block for each week. I find that the Quarterly Planner pages from the Schoolhouse High School Planner are perfect for this.

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Once I have my big picture in place, I can get to my weekly planning. I’ve used a variety of paper planners through the years, including simple grids that I just made up myself to commercial planners like the Schoolhouse Planner. Since last year, I’ve been using Homeschool Planet and just love it. I can put assignments in quickly using its sophisticated scheduling features that allow me to repeat assignments using sequential lessons or page numbers. I can easily shift assignments to another day, keep attendance, and record grades for each subject with the software.

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This year, I’m actually using a combination of online and paper planning. On Homeschool Planet, I am planning assignments by the week. Emily will look at the weekly assignments and fill out her personal planning grid as she plans her own schedule day by day. This will not only streamline my planning, but allow her to become more responsible for her schedule and assignments. College is only two years away and I won’t be around then to make a schedule for her!

Having a plan is important to me and helps make our school year successful. I’d be lost without it!

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