Planning a Whole Year of Homeschooling Part One touches on not planning specific lessons for each day.
Planning a Whole Year of Homeschooling Part Two addresses how to keep lesson plans in front of you.
Planning a Whole Year of Homeschooling Part Three delves into how much mom-prep should be required.
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I’m so thankful Danielle asked such detailed questions, aren’t you?If you have more, please feel free to comment and we can keep the discussion going.
Danielle’s final question:
How do you actually do the planning for each subject?
In the evenings when kids are in bed? Stay up late? Get up early? Find a babysitter? Leave the house? Do you have a special place you sit? Spread everything out and just go to it? Or do one subject as you get bits of time until its done and then move on to the next one? How do you handle constant kid interruptions? Every time I'm interrupted I lose my train of thought. Then I have to start back over and try to remember what I was planning. It's slow going to say the least.
I learned a long time ago that I was not cut out for weekly lesson planning. I’d rather eat worms than spend a Sunday night tied to a bunch of textbooks. Besides, Downton Abbey is on and needs to be watched!
And so I begin to plan for the next year in my head as early as January. As I begin to think about each child and what I want them to do, I write it down in Evernote so that it’s out of my brain and on “paper”.
I try to be as specific as possible so that I don’t have to think about which curriculum I wanted which child to use. Again, let’s use Annesley as an example:
2013-2014 4th/5th grade
Math Rod and Staff 4 and 5 (she’ll be finishing 4 and starting 5)
History- The Mystery of History III
Science- Christian Kids Explore series (probably start with Physics since we began late)
These are her core subjects, but geography is combined in The Mystery of History and Writing Tales covers grammar, so we’re killing a couple of birds with one stone. She’ll also be singing in a choir and I’m debating about what to do for PE.
After I’ve got their lists made, I begin to purchase things as they either go on sale or I can gather them for free. I make a list of anything that needs to be purchased at a homeschool convention, but I admit I don’t purchase a whole lot that way. That’s the benefit of non-consumable curriculum; so much of what we use gets passed down now.
Then the big planning happens:
I set aside an entire weekend in the summer to focus solely on school planning and photocopying. Sometimes my best friend and I do it together or sometimes my husband helps me do all the photocopying or sometimes I lock myself in the schoolroom and ask the kids to bring me iced tea. No matter how it gets accomplished, there is always some stray planning to do in the evenings that follow (the few things that don’t get done during the weekend) and I always, always do it when my husband is home and taking care of everything else.
He’s fabulous that way, and he sees it as his contribution to our homeschool and as a ministry to me. He’s busy running a business in another town and I can’t rely on him to teach from day to day, but he always sees that I have all the time I need to plan for the year each summer.
Danielle, it will get easier. I promise!