I was finally able to spend more than a 5-minute snippet with homeschool planning last night. I’ll share my plans as I get them in order, but for now, I thought I would share how I go about planning.
It’s All About Me
I did something unconventional this year and put off all homeschool planning until our budget allowed me to do some shopping. I used the time instead during June and the first half of July to work on myself. I worked on praying more and inner work. I tried to play more with the kids and be more intentional with my time. Instead of telling my kids that I didn’t have time to do such and such with/for them, I reminded myself of my true priorities by replacing “don’t have time” with “it’s not a priority.” A huge thank you to this blog for teaching me this lesson and introducing me to 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think! Now I have time for everyone and everything that really is important to me right now.
I also took this time to try to make some self improvements. I worked on budgeting, better food habits, and this was the hardest one for me, exercise. After a mere week of exercising daily, I have more energy, more patience, and a better overall outlook. I’m cultivating this new habit with a friend via Facebook, so I have motivation on those difficult days.
Taking It All In
I took some time to re-read sections of Rhythms of Learning and various articles on the the topics I plan on teaching this year. After getting acquainted with the whys, I read the the curriculum(s) and the books that I’ve gathered in their entirety. I then focus on each unit. This year for 4th grade, we’ll be doing 2 Local Geography units, 2 Norse Myths units, 2 Man and Animal units, 3 Math Units, 1 Old Testament unit, and a Science unit as suggested by Christopherus. For Kindy, we’ll be focused on the world around us, festivals, and the seasons.
Looking At the Calendar
I look at the calendar from August to May with all of the festivals, holidays, and commitments marked on it. I “pencil in” each unit study for the length I hope we’ll spend on it. This part is incredibly flexible. Some units go over better than others so it’s nice to keep track online with i-Cal and adjust it as necessary.
Planning Each Unit
I’m a list person and so are my kids. I make lists of craft projects, books, stories, poems, field trips, activities for each unit, working one unit at a time. In the past, I’ve just pulled each day’s or week’s lessons from this list as we go along, but with two kids doing school (and a 3-yo wanting school time too,) I’m going to try to get daily plans done now for 4th grade so my oldest can work from a list with minimal guidance if need be. I’ll try to have extra projects and ideas listed, just in case. For Kindy, I’ll just get it down to weekly themes with lists of stories, rhymes, and projects and so I can pick and choose each day.
How do you plan you lessons?