I like to plan an outline for the year and then do a detailed plan for day by day in three stages. Over the summer I plan out Sept to Jan. Over Christmas break(we take 3 weeks off, I plan Jan to Mar. And over spring break (we take 2 weeks) I plan the remainder of the year. That way if we are off in something, I can make adjustments as needed.
In early spring before I head off to our Homeschool Convention, I evaluate our current curriculum. I figure out what is working and not working and what I need to purchase. I will spend the summer getting ready for school in August. I use a Charlotte Mason curriculum that has 36 weeks planned out. I pick a start date in August and we take off. However, because we farm, have major life events and continue to have babies, that schedule gets tweeted every week. On the farm we have harvest in the fall and planting in the spring and so we just adjust accordingly. We may not get it all finished but it’s ok. Sometimes we have light school work during the summer.
I use a spreadsheet and have goals I want to accomplish with each child. Some subjects (Bible, poetry, Art/Music Study, history/science for my 2nd grader, Character, geography for my 5th grader) I enter for the year and adjust as needed. For the other subjects I have the goals in mind or booklist handy and work from there. (I’m trying to give my fifth grader some input into book selections for history, science, reading, and literature read alouds). In the past I have homeschooled year round, but the past couple of summers my son (the fifth grader) has been spending the summers on his grandparents’ farm training a calf for the fair. If he doesn’t do that this year, we will do some light schooling during the summer. But I will continue to work with my second grader during the summer regardless.
For preschool this year I planned for the whole year and then made modifications and changes as needed.
I plan weekly for my soon. He is in preschool this year. I am already looking for curriculum for next year.
I’m starting to plan now for the fall. I’m using some of the forms from donnayoung.com to plan out each subject first. I’m hoping if I have each subject planned out with lessons 1-x, then I can just move on to the next lesson each day. I plan on updating my “lesson planner” book each week or month for the next lessons. – I don’t know if I’m making this far too complicated or not. I am very open to learning new tips, and I was hoping this question would be posted in this forum. I asked a similar question the other day on a FB page, but hardly anyone responded.
Hi- I am interested in the curriculum that you are using. Where can I find it? Looking forward to hearing from you.
I always handwrite out the weeks schedule. I do about a month in advance. I have tried using the computer to just type something up, but find that i become enslaved to the print out. My OCD kicks in and I don’t feel the freedom to change things if we need to or do something different. It takes more time, yet it works for us!
We have yearly goals, I usually plan the first few weeks of school and then I ditch the planner once we have the hang of things. As long as our yearly goals are completed then I am happy. We also end up adding things in throughout the year that were not planned at first, so I like the day by day / week by week approach after a while.
Oh yes, we also use work boxes. Which I love because my kids know exactly what needs to be done in a day.
In the spring I order any curriculum materials I will be needing. During the summer I make a general list of science and history topics to make units for, and the order I want to teach the units - this way I know approximately which month I’ll be teaching them so I can prep the lessons far enough ahead. I always plan all of our topics and lessons one month ahead - so in September I plan October, in October I plan November, etc. I do it this way because with my type A/ OCD personality if I planned the whole year at once and it ended up changing (due to traveling, sick days, snow days, etc) my brain would not be happy (I know, a changed schedule is not the end of the world, but some folks, such as myself, just can’t handle a schedule that’s obliterated by unexpected stuff!) So that’s it, I plan one month at a time, with a very good idea at the beginning of the year where things will fall. (btw - I use a COAH planner - the colorful one - I just love it!)
I plan our whole year over the summer knowing I will probably have to move stuff around, but it’s very easy to do since my year has been planned out. At the end of each month, I look at the coming month and double check the schedule to see if our co-op has added any field trips that we might take and move the schedule around accordingly.
I wish I was better about this. I try to at least plan ahead for the week, but there have been days that I have had to throw everythig toether that morning.
I usually plan a week ahead, but next year I am hoping to plan a year or 6 months ahead.
I started homeschool in August this past year for the first time. I attended a homeschool conference and found it very helpful. They had some special classes designed for first time homeschoolers that were very helpful. I did not buy a lot of curriculum, because I had already purchased most of it, but it is a really good place to talk to reps from the various places and see the curriculum hands to help you make decisions about what will work best for your family.
Hope this helps and good luck.
I usually plan 2-3 weeks ahead. That way when things come up, such as field trips, it doesnt take much to make some changes. That being said, most of our field trips are on Fridays so I don’t plan a lot of work on that day.
Next year my son will be in high school so I may do things a little differently. Who knows? I usually start researching curriculum in the spring, order in early summer, and start planning in August.
Planning is one area that I have really struggled with and I am trying to do better. I am currently trying to plan on Sunday nights for the week to come. I really need to sit down and do more of a long term plan. I have an idea in my head, but I need it on paper
Last year I planned week by week, which turned into planning on the fly. It was frustrating. So this year I planned everything through the week I was thinking of taking off for spring break. That was much less stressful, but I felt obligated to stay with what was written down. I need to find a balance between the two. But I love my arrows calendar pages from COAH!!!
I’m one of those people that needs organized chaos in order to function. I try every year to plan on paper for various lengths of time, but I just can’t get myself to fall it, lol! What also works for me is having an idea in my head of how long I need for subjects done together. Then for everything else, like language arts and math, I just bookmark our spot with sticky notes. I have each kid “color coded”. So I buy sticky notes in each kids’ color, and just place the sticky note in the teachers manual where we left off. So we just open the book and work as we go instead of planning what to do when.
We try to school in 6 week chunks (6 weeks on, 1 week off). I say try because sometimes life (and babies) happen and we need more than a week off, but usually after about 6 weeks my little scholars get antsy and need some time off to run around in circles. I made my own planner because I haven’t found one that I like. Still searching for that! I usually plan for the six week at a time, but map out the entire school year (we school year round) so I know when we can take longer breaks and when we can take bonus breaks.
I plan weekly/monthly for our toddler activities right now but this summer I plan on trying to get next year all set up. It’s easier for me to stick with if it’s all done for me. I am keeping my eye out for a planner that works with my brain. Right now I make a folder on my laptop that says the month and fill it with ideas/activities so an online planner may be the way I go with a written one for changes/ideas/notes.