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Super Simple Scheduling


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#1 KathyJo

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 07:33 PM

My oldest is an eleventh grader this year, so we're beginning our 12th year of homeschooling. I thought I'd post how I'm scheduling these days in case it might help someone else.

I used to be known for my reading lists. 180 days of reading scheduled out every year, page by page, chapter by chapter. I didn't keep the boys together in history and science--it didn't work well with the reading list mentality.

Over the last couple of years, we've simplified. I turned our daily reading lists into yearly reading lists. When each boy finishes a book, he simply moves on to the next. They seem to read just as much, but it feels more laid back, and it allows for more rabbit trails and exploring the library shelves.

Ironically, though, I simplified a bit too much. History and science spines were being forgotten. So here's our No Spine Left Behind method.

I have a master composition book. I figure if I go crazy and start making extra notes, I might need a second one before my youngest graduates, but probably not unless one of the cats pees on it.

Inside the front cover, I filled out the handy schedule with our normal subjects, in the order that I'd like for us to complete them each day. This gives me a quick reference guide.

Then I fill out a series of pages for the year. The first page has anything that we'll do together listed, and then each child has his own page. I leave the backs of the pages blank so I have room to make additions and changes if necessary. I list each program or book, how often we should do it, and how much we should do on each day. For example, Jared's history spine is listed as: Visual History of the 20th Century, 5 pages per day, 15 pages per week. The schedule at the front is the overview, and the details are on the pages.

Those keep me on track. To help the boys stay on track, I made a single schedule page for each of them, but instead of being a detailed schedule (e.g. read pages 10-15), for Wednesday it just says to read 5 pages of the history spine and do additional history reading. It covers all subjects, just like a normal schedule. However, I takes only 1 page instead of 36 since we're just repeating the same week over and over again.

 

With this method, the boys can still see at a glance what they need to do each day, but it's flexible enough to account for playing hookie or other interruptions, and it took me 20 minutes instead of 20+ hours to complete a year's worth of scheduling for four children.



#2 scrapbabe

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 08:53 PM

Yay!!!

#3 threedogfarm

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 05:39 AM

Great post!  There have been so many threads about scheduling using OneNote, etc. that it can feel like I'm slacking when I use a simple, straightforward method like you described, especially when it takes less than an hour to write down the yearly plans.  BUT I'm sure you did spend a lot time and thought on your choices prior to making the schedule and that is what makes the schedule work.

 

The one difference for me is that I do not make my plans by the week since we sometimes don't complete a week of school at a time because I like to take advantage of my husbands unexpected days off.  So I have daily plan (___ pages/day or ____ chapters/day).  If the subject is done by lessons I make sure I have enough days in the years for the lessons or I know going in that I have ___ days where the lessons are doubled up or I know in advance that we have ____ lessons to skip.  

 

While it's not as satisfying as paging through a beautiful, filled out lesson book, it takes a lot less time and if plans change, it is easily adaptable, just like you mentioned. 

 

I do have a detailed lesson plan (page numbers listed or lesson numbers, rabbit trail info) that is created while we are doing the lessons and a checklist of the subjects we did on a particular day.  These are preprinted spreadsheets that I fill out as I go and a place to make notes of what worked and what didn't and any changes I need to make in the future. That way I always know where I am in a particular subject and it does make for a nice record of our work. 

 

Thanks for sharing (and the warning about No Spine Left Behind!).  



#4 KathyJo

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 09:19 AM

Great post!  There have been so many threads about scheduling using OneNote, etc. that it can feel like I'm slacking when I use a simple, straightforward method like you described, especially when it takes less than an hour to write down the yearly plans.  BUT I'm sure you did spend a lot time and thought on your choices prior to making the schedule and that is what makes the schedule work.

 

I have OneNote. I loved it when I first started playing with it, but it became like a closetI added everything that I wanted to keep to it, and now it's a big mess and I'm scared to open it. :-)

 

I honestly don't have a detailed, daily list of what we did anywhere. I'm not legally required to keep any sort of records at all, so I'm comfortable keeping the bare minimum. Each boy has his own comp book for his reading list. Every book gets written down. At the end of the year, I add a page of completed curricula.

 

You said you don't always complete a week. We are like that, too, especially back when dh traveled a lot. Our "schedule" is more like guidelines. In a perfect world, history is M, W, F, science is T, Th. If we skip a Tuesday, we pick back up with Wednesday's schedule. If we realize that we've missed a lot of Tuesdays, well, we adjust. :-) We school year round, so it eventually all gets done; it just doesn't always look like what other people might expect it to look like, kwim?

 

But yes, at this point in the game, most major decisions were made years back, and I'm just taking the appropriate book off the shelf. I also quit feeling like we *need* to use more than one resource in a given year. Simpler attitude towards resources definitely helps with a simpler schedule.



#5 MerryAtHope

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 12:54 PM

I love to work from a booklist as well, and let my kids read at their pace each day. On my list, I jot down a target goal for my info, so I know if they are ahead or behind what I thought (For example, I'll write: 2/12, meaning roughly 2 chapters per day, 12 days to read it). That way I know if I need to add or subtract books at some point!

 

We use workboxes, so my kids textbooks/spines etc... are all in their drawers. We go over at the beginning of the year how to know what to do. If it came with a checklist/schedule, they use that, or I just tell them a section or so many pages etc...  Super easy, and nothing gets forgotten!

 

Merry :-)

 

 




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