Sunday, September 05, 2010

Homeschool Organization for This Year

We have started our 2010-2011 school year, and things are going really well.  I'm doing something different this year for planning and organization.  In the past I have kept all our lesson plans/schedules on the computer, and then printed each child out a weekly form with their assignments.  This has worked okay, except they would lose the paper, or I would not get it printed out in time for them, and there was a separate sheet for each child.  I also felt like we were wasting paper, and the time to type it all in each week was excessive.

This year I actually regressed, technology-wise, and bought a good, old-fashioned paper planner from Home Education Family called "The Well-Planned Day."  Now the kids don't need to worry about keeping their lesson sheet from getting lost.  They can just look in the planner and see what they have to do.  I also changed my planning in this way:  I used to figure out the whole year, roughly, and then only write lesson plans a week at a time.  This meant spending a LOT of time planning.  This year I took a day and planned out six weeks worth of lessons/schedule.  We've done two weeks already, and in about another week or two I'll take several hours and assess how the school year is progressing.  Then I'll plan out another six weeks.  The planner also has report cards that can be used for each child, a gradebook section, and other household planning helps like budget lists, reading lists, tear-out to-do lists, and year-long planning sheets for each child.

Another nice thing this year is that I'm only doing the planning for two of them.  Daughter #1 decided over the summer that she would plan out her own Senior Year, with my help.  Awesome!!!  She sat down and figured out what she has to do each week and day in order to be finished with her school work by her graduation date, which will be May 21, 2011.  She's working now in addition to doing school, so she has to stay organized.  It's so nice to see her becoming a young adult and being responsible!

So far the school year is going well.  This week we'll add a little extra work for each of them, since they are taking classes again through our home school co-op, which starts on Friday.  I'm teaching two classes at the co-op this year: Expository Writing and Biology.  Fun.  I have14 students in each class, so I'll be busy with that!

We never took first day pictures this year.....I'll have to take some "first month" pictures and post them soon.  I love home schooling!


ciao babe said...

What's up?

When I see planners like that, I have the urge to run away from them as fast as I can! I would feel compelled to use every part of it.

And what do you mean child #1 is working and planning her own year? You know that they're not meant to grow up!

Miss you and here's to a great year!

Alice C. said...

Ah, yes! The compulsion do to absolutely everything in the planner....I had to get over that sort of thing when we first started using Sonlight curriculum. If we did everything possible in the Instructor's Guide it would have taken all day. With this planner, I'm only using the parts that will benefit our family. For example, I'm skipping the "Good Books to Read" lists, since my kids read so much I don't need to keep lists like that for them. Sometimes I have to make them stop reading (for pleasure) to do math/science/or other school work. I'm looking at the Planner as a helper for me, not something that controls our day.

Miss you, too! Love you.

ciao babe said...

If I could follow a planner like that I would have come back here to write sooner ;-)

Anyway, I still remember (and appreciate) your comments about not doing everything in Sonlight. What I didn't realize is how hard it is for me to break away from my self-imposed need to stay within schedule.

Anyway, I am primarily here to let you know that we are praying for you guys. Love you.