Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Planning for the School Year

I AM A PLANNER!  So, don't flip out when you read this...I know there are perfectly normal homeschool moms out there that think I'm crazy...and I might be, a little, but don't tell my husband I admitted it. Everybody has their own style.  Homeschool Creations keeps a homeschool planner, and she tells all about it hereBusy Lil' Homemaker really motivated me to get organized, even more than normal. 

I am starting to plan for the upcoming school year.  We choose to follow the calendar of public school, because daddy is a high school teacher, and we do not get much work done when he is home...its just too exciting! So, we are off for the summer at this time.  I have been ordering books...more about that to come. 

I start by figuring out how many days/weeks we will be in school.  In our state, we have to do 1000 hours (600 of those in core subjects).  There is no designation as far as number of days, as long as we get our 1000 hours in before June 30.  So, I found out the hard way, that I must plan. plan. plan. our year and figure out how many hours we have to do per day, and how many weeks we have to do per year, to get in all 1000 hours...hope that made sense.  Otherwise, we get half way through the school year and realize we have to bust our heiny's to get all of our hours in, and that's NO fun! 

(Number of days/weeks divided by 1000...not too hard, even for the mathematically challenged)

This year we will have a 36 week school year.  We will do 5 1/2 hours daily. We are trying a sort-of 4 day week (sorta).  We will do our special subjects like Spanish, Typing, Art, Music, and P.E. on Friday.  That will be our fun Friday!  Yeah!  The other days will be typical: Math, Bible, Reading, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Science.  Thrilling.

Yes, we do a more classical approach with workbooks.  We still do some lapbooks, and fun activities, but I like to keep it simple.  

Planning for each subject:
I begin by looking in the teacher's guide and find out how many lessons/units there are.  I do a yearly goal sheet, which helps me stay on track for the school year.  I can just glance at the week and see if we're behind or ahead or on track.  Here is my simple document that I use to do this.  I just fill in the date at the top, and put in my lesson numbers in the middle (make several copies). It's simple, but it works for me!

 Then its time to plan for each subject.  That's what I've been working on the last week or so.  I bought a file crate from Wal-mart, and I am doing a hanging file folder for each subject.  I have been making supplemental posters and informational sheets (and laminating them- I love my laminator!).  Actually, I am just too cheap to waste spend money on something I can make myself.  I will place them in the file folder to grab when needed. 

I also have a binder.  It has three sections so far:  schedule, household, and the third will be for daily lesson sheets.  I use Homeschool Tracker (love. it.), but I still prefer to write out Jellyfish's activities on paper.  Crazy, I know.

This year, I will be doing his portfolio as we go along, rather than waiting until the end of the year.  Live and learn!  Jellyfish will have his own schedule, so that he knows what subject he should be doing.   I will be posting our schedule soon. 

I will also be posting more about our curriculum in the upcoming days.

Read this if you're having trouble getting motivated!

Until then,

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