I enjoy planning. Well, I enjoy planning for unit studies and finding curriculum. I really like unit studies and all the research and reading I get to do to prepare.
But the day-to-day school stuff? Yea. Not so much. Sometimes I feel like I am writing the same thing over. And over. And over.
I do our day-to-day planning stuff a whole lot differently than most people seem to who write about it. I don’t do the whole “sit down for a couple of day and plan out your whole year for every student and every subject.” Number one – I am not that organized. Number two – we change things to fit the girls or the subject or the attitude way too often for that to work for us. Number three – I just don’t want to!
So what do I do?
This year, I spent a lot of time thinking. Pondering schedules and subjects and curriculum. All of this was done without any pencil or paper and without sitting surrounded by curriculum books. I just thought. About what has worked. About what has not worked. About each of the girls and their personalities. About where I wanted to push harder and where I wanted to back off.
Then, At Home Dad and I spent a comfortable Sunday afternoon sitting on the porch and discussing our plans and goals and ideas. I jotted down ideas while we talked and we sketched out weekly schedules for each of the girls. (You can find those here.) We also did some planning for the next 5 years – yes 5 years, from the lady who hates day-to-day planning – for Miss E. We wanted to make sure we had covered the initial thought process for her as she enters high school levels in the next couple of years.
Once we had our weekly schedule in place, it helps me know what to do for a day-to-day basis. I am going to be writing out weekly plans and those will be pretty easy to do since I have our schedules. I will be writing down on each day and subject how much will get done but it will be written in pencil so it can change as things actually happen. Because, you know, life happens and that means we don’t follow a script. I allow lots of flexibility in the plan.
When we reviewed the Hey Mama! Planner a bit ago, I shared about how I keep track of our day-to-day stuff at the monthly level. I keep track of read-alouds, audiobooks, videos that pertain to studies, volunteer work, and field trips. I also keep track of school days and other activities that we do on a monthly calendar. We are not required in our state to track or report these things but it is always good to do so, even when not legally required.
And, since life is learning, don’t forget to track Bible classes, worship services, dance or other sports, library visits, art projects or classes, camps, and all those other things that happen to enhance life experiences. These are all important learning opportunities that help shape and guide our children to become who God has designed them to be.
We consider anything worthy of our time to be a learning opportunity. Learning is a lifestyle and as such, many of the moments when learning happens are unplanned. So don’t forget to go back and keep track. When you have a lifestyle of learning, planning is not always proactive. And that is okay. Many times it is a reactive activity, pulling out the planner (maybe a better name is tracker!) and writing down what has already happened.
Remember, keep track and plan for what is legally required but more importantly, do what works for your family. Know what YOU need and find the way that it works best.
This post is the second in a series for 5 Days of Homeschooling 101 and is part of the TOS Review Crew Blog Hop.
Monday – Curriculum
Tuesday – Planning
Wednesday – Home Management
Thursday – Traditions
Friday – Encouragement
Some of my blogging friends participating in this blog hop are:
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Linsey @ Lille Punkin’
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Margaret @ Creative Madness Mama
Megan @ My Full Heart
Meghan @ Quiet In the Chaos
To read more please visit the Review Crew post or the link up to read more on planning and to get a whole bucket full of idea to help you plan. If the linky doesn’t show up below, please just head over to the Review Crew post to find the link up.