Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Here is the first in a series of the before-mentioned planning posts for our 2010-2011 school year. Planning has a been a bit more difficult this year because we have several changes that will be factored in. For one, we will be moving our school room from the basement to the upstairs room that has been our "family room" for years. It's smaller, but it has more natural light and it will be a nice change. I don't have a picture of this room, but in this post, about mid way down, there is a picture of the wall to wall shelves in the basement school room that we will be giving up. Yikes! I think I'll plan to keep alot of our things down there and use it as a sort of library or storage area, only bringing up what we need, when we need it. The other change is on a much grander scale! We'll be blessed with a special Christmas gift this year that will change quite a few things! Due on December 23rd, our new arrival is sure to cause a bit of upheaval in our daily routine. That's okay though! It is a very welcome upheaval!
When I plan for a coming school year, I always start with the daily schedule. I'm not sure why I do this since it usually changes once we get into the school year, but I think it helps me to feel better knowing there is at least a plan for the day.
To keep things as simple as possible, we will follow the basic routine that I wrote about in this post:
Lesson Planner . It outlines the day's schedule as it describes the planner I created.
After a schedule works on paper, I decide on the curriculum we will use and place my book orders. This is a huge process and takes the most time. We are enrolled with Mother of Divine Grace so much of the planning has been done for me, but there are some things that I change, based on my children's needs, so there are still plenty of decisions that have to be made. In Planning post 2 I will be talking about the curriculum choices.
I also need to plan for the planning which will happen on a regular basis all year long. In the past I have planned weekly, usually on the weekend. This year I am going to try something a bit different. I'll be planning for 6 week periods. So, every six weeks, I will be taking the time to plan for the coming six weeks, and it will take a while I'm sure, but it will free up the other five weekends. I'm also going to build in a catch up week that will occur after each 6 week period. This week will be "unplanned" as far as academics go, and I will use it to catch up where we may have gotten behind, do extra work where a child might be in need, or simply have fun and take some field trips. In order to make this work so that we don't have to continue with school until next July, we will be starting our school year on August 1st this year. It is early, but usually by August the kids are starting to get bored, it's hot and humid so there isn't too much desire to be outside all the time, and they've had a long enough break that they are refreshed and ready to start back in. I think the promise of that lighter week every period will also make starting early a bit easier to handle.
The system I use for my planning is a bit complicated. I'm simplifying things this year and will talk about that in a future post as well.
Finally, there are the workboxes . These have become a regular part of our homeschool and we will continue with them. They are going to make the transition from the basement to the upstairs school room easier, I'm sure. Social Butterfly's system will change but Jetter and Builder will be using the same drawers that I mentioned in the workbox post above.
So that's a start! I'll be writing up a couple more posts on this whole planning thing which consumes me this time of year. I don't mind it, because I'm happiest when all my ducks are in a row. I just have to get the kids to cooperate! :)