Thursday, March 1, 2012

Planning

Sunday afternoon, or more likely Sunday night, is the time that I prepare kids' lessons for the week. Since last fall I've been trying to follow a more strict class schedule. I did write up a weekly schedule showing which classes should be taught daily and which weekly or biweekly etc, and I do try to follow it (of course it does not always work ...).

For long term planning I use Homeschool Tracker. All I need to do is every few months input the lesson or page numbers of the books we are using in the order I want to teach them. I do that for every subject and every child. Then I can either look up the schedule on the computer or print it out. It's also very useful if one has to keep track of the work already completed for the schooling authorities. Having everything written up in the order it needs to be taught helps me a lot, I don't need to worry anymore about forgetting to teach something. Of course this matters more when one is homeschooling an older child, like our Zosia.

So ... every Sunday I look up on Homeschool Tracker which lessons are coming up, for Jas I lay the books, workbooks and worksheets out in piles, one pile for each school day, for Zosia I just put them in one big pile so she can choose what she wants to do on a particular day by herself depending on whether I can work with her or she needs to work by herself. Later Jas' piles of books gets put away into big transparent envelopes, with days of the week written on them. This way every morning he can just take one envelope off the shelf and knows exactly how much work he needs to do that day.


Jas' envelopes with work for each day.

On one day Jas may have the following lessons: math (in Polish), history, biology and word puzzles (all in English), Chinese and English grammar/spelling:




Below is Zosia's pile for the week. It includes: science and biology (both in English), religion, physics, chemistry and math , history of Poland (all in Polish), Polish, English and Chinese. The following week we would switch all the science for geography and history from Sonlight Curriculum.



Throughout the years I had different ways of planning the work for kids. Some of them lasted longer, some shorter time. For example, when Zosia was small (6-7 years old) she loved choosing subject to work on by herself. That's why we had a box with all the subjects written on strips of paper (there were more math and languages strips than arts and games). Zosia would pull a strip out of the box and do the assigned work from the subject written on it. I had a folder where I would keep a list of assignments for each subject. Later, when she got a bit older, I started writing her daily lesson schedules on separate sheets of paper - one page per day. She could do the assignments is order she chose to and after finishing she would just tick them off and put the completed work on a pile for me to check.
I like to be prepared for the lessons. If I am not then a lot of time is wasted, because neither kids nor I know what to do in the morning and during the day I have to keep answering the question: Mom what should I do now?

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