For our family, we just ended our school year less than a month ago and I am not ready to think about the new school year, but I know for many of you the new school year is about a month away. I wanted to share how I organize our school year to make it quick and simple for me to plan as we go through the year.
I've shown you how I keep on track with working, homeschooling and keeping up with a house, kids, etc. Today, I wanted to show you how I keep on track with homeschooling. Before we left on our road trip, I took a few minutes to get things prepped and ready for the new school year. I know it sounds crazy, but I also figure out what school supplies we are going to need because if we don't get them when we are on the road, they are gone by the time we get home. Uugh…but whatever.
Back to the planning, today I've got a great planner to show you that I'm super excited to use this school year. The planner is from Say Not Sweet Anne. She gave me the planner and asked me to write about it, which I was excited to do since I love how she has this planner organized.
You will want to start by downloading and printing out your planner. Downloading the planner is simple. Now, let me tell you that I recommend that you print it out at home on your own printer or if you have to use a copy center, print it in black and white. I didn't do it that way and I learned the hard, expensive way that it cost a lot more money to print it at the copy place in color then it would have to print it at home.
Once you have it printed, just take it to a copy place or office store to have it bound. That part only costs about $5.
Now, I don't like to plan out the whole year. That is just craziness to me…but then again I think I get hives when I am too scheduled and when I write things in pen instead of pencil….because. they. can't. be. changed. Aaagh!
What I do like to do to plan out my year, and quite frankly so I can be the laziest I can be with homeschooling, is to get an idea of what we need to cover and how many days of school we need to have each week.
Now that I have one daughter in school and one homeschooling, our life is a lot more structured. We follow the school schedule now, so I need to have an idea how many mental health days or mommy needs to work days or field trip days we can take and still make it to be done by the end of the school year.
I start with the handy Curriculum Week Overview add-on.
I probably use it in a different way than was intended, but it helps me see the whole year at a glance.
I start filling in the subjects and curriculum we plan to use. Some of them, like math, we are already ahead of the game, so I know I don't have to stress too much over those. I just know we are halfway through our current curriculum and I want to hit that 4 days per week. When we are done with the level we are on, we will start the next level. Same thing for spelling for us (except we are not ahead there, but you can only get carryover with so much material at once, so we just hit lessons and hope we learn to spell some year).
Our main curriculum is Moving Beyond the Page. It covers all of our language arts, science, and social studies. I want to get through that in one year. For that curriculum, it is broken into concepts and units. They vary in their length. I write down each one and figure out the number of days. Then I am able to total up the number of days and figure out how many days per week we need to cover. It works out to be about 4 per week. I also know that some lessons are short and we can combine those to make up for my need to work some days or mental health days.
You can do this same type of planning with your school year and your curriculum as well. It really helps me know what we need to hit for the year. It also helps me know what kind of time we have available for other classes, co-op, etc.
Next up, I use the Curriculum Weekly Overview – which I totally realized later, I didn't fill this out correctly. It still works, but what you could do is put the subjects down the left column and put and check mark or an X on the days of the week that you will be covering those. It would make it way easier to visually see what is going on each day and to see days that need to be re-arranged because you have too much stuff.
I filled mine out different from that. It still helped me see our plan.
Next up, I can take that information from the first two planning sheets and each week I can add it to my weekly planner.
What I LOVE about this planner is that it combines together what I was doing in the past, but I don't have to modify something to put this together.
At the top of the planner, I can use my calendar to fill in our schedule of activities for the week.
At the bottom, I can pencil in the plan for our subjects for the week. I cross them off as we complete them.
I LOVE that on the right side of the planner, there is a space for me to write the supplies that I need for the week.
I used to do all of these thing, but in the planner I used last year, it was me modifying things and then a separate sheet of paper for the list of supplies. I love to simplify and organize and this does that well. All in one place makes life simple and easy to figure out what is going on.
I'm not a hard-core planner. I think some people plan a whole year out and I guess you could say that I do, but mostly I'm just looking to have a clue how much we need to school so I'm not a total stress ball at the end of the year when we have only completed half of our curriculum….not that that has ever happened to me or anything. 😉
How do you organize your homeschool year and plan for the new year?
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