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What type of planning will you do?


What type of plans do you make  

  1. 1. What type of plans do you make

    • I use some type of media, such as Homeschool Tracker.
      21
    • I write out my plans on planning sheets.
      49
    • Plans?? I have to make plans??
      26
    • other - please explain.
      27


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I am posting this poll to see what most of us use to plan for the year. I write out my plans on planning sheets, but I know a lot of you use programs like Homeschool Tracker. So why do you use what you use? And how much time do you spend on your plans?

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I very rarely write down what we are using/scheduling for the year. I do have a loose idea in my head though, and of course, I decide on what materials/curriculum we will use to achieve my goals.

 

I do generally write out weekly schedules, just to keep straight on what pages I want to cover in each subject that week. Sometimes I'm lazy though, and don't even do that. It's easy enough to just do whatever comes next in most subjects.

Michelle T, who might be lazier than the rest of you! :closedeyes:

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I don't do any formal planning except a basic schedule of which subjects on which days and for how long.

 

I glance through the books to see what were studying and what extra materials we will need. I make a library list in August and get the books for the first couple of months (our library has a 6 week check out for educators). And make a list of videos from the library or United Streaming to coordinate with our material.

 

That is pretty much it. We just pick up the books and go at the beginning of the year and move from one lesson to the next. Sometimes the kids are really enjoying a subject so we will finish early in the year, and sometime we go long. We do school lite in the summer so this isn't a problem for us.

 

I tried planning one time but had to change it so often that it wasn't worth it to me. I am considering Homeschool tracker for some other reasons, but I don't find scheduling necessary.

 

 

Tap

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I use planning sheets modified from donnayoung's website. I use homeschool tracker to input grades only.

 

I finished my planner this week. I do my planning a few different ways.

 

- I plan each subject out into individual lessons, unless it is fairly obvious in the book itself. (ie: LFC is broken down into weeks, no work there)

- I make a master shedule. 36 weeks showing where we should be on pace in each subject.

- I do daily lesson plans. Those I only do about two to three weeks in advance. That gives me ample time and room to move thing around as we get ahead or behind.

- I do not date my planner. I use an undated method.

- we do 36 weeks of school so the weeks are 1-36

- the days are labeled .1 - .5, simply so they don't have to co- ordinate with Mon - Fri. (my ds was getting confused when we would have a holiday. Now he knows what subject we do on day .1, day .2 etc, and those are not always on the same day of the week.) clear as mud?

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I voted other as I track what we do after it is done.

 

I have tried using planning sheets in the past and found that it was a waste of my time. I spent hours finding the sheet that would work best, printing them and writing out all the plans. When it came time to use them we found they weren't very practical for us.

 

So, I keep a record of what we do by writing in a calendar everything we did for the day. We pretty much "do the next thing" here so my dc know what they need to be doing.

 

One thing I would like to work on this year is to give my dc a list of goals for the week so they can work on them in whatever way they want to. I am interested to know if this style would serve us better. :)

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I have my core subjects, pretty much they stay the same. So not much planning with those, aside from adding some fun crafts or extra reading as we go. The most planning I do is for Canadian History. My plan is to read through Canadian History in maybe two cycles. I just research and plan ahead the books we'll read, crafts, field trips. I used to plan them out, how much to read a day, and from which ones, but not anymore, it got to be way to much work.

 

Now when we move to the 3rd and 4th year history cycles, I'll be making my own up for that. Being Canadian I find any of the packaged programmes are too American for us, or I should say from too much of an American point of view. So I'll round up books from Canadian resources.

 

I usually track it all in Word.

 

Core Subjects:

Singapore Math

Growing With Grammar

History Odyssey

Noeo Science

Canadian History cansmile.gif

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I like to break some of our work into daily lessons on word per subject. I don't create complete daily lesson plans until a week or two ahead of time. But having everything written out at a glance really helps me plan out my week. Things change so much here that having everything planned down to the last detail doesn't work and only causes me stress.

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I am posting this poll to see what most of us use to plan for the year. I write out my plans on planning sheets, but I know a lot of you use programs like Homeschool Tracker. So why do you use what you use? And how much time do you spend on your plans?

 

I've done this gig for nearly eight years now, and I'm still not sure what people mean when they mention planning sheets, creating plans, and so on. I'm a "do the next thing" kinda person, but I'm well-organized so that approach does seem like a plan, to my mind. Most of what we use is just "go on to the next lesson" in nature: Singapore Math, Spelling Workout, Vocab from Classical Roots, Galore Park English & Latin, Apologia sciences. We use Sonlight for history so we do have a schedule before us in that case.

 

We jot done the day's work after the fact on spreadsheets, one for per week, per child. Days of the week are listed horizontally, subjects vertically. Simple and effective, this is my highly recommend method of "tracking" school work.:)

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then I print it out and write my notes so that I can be mobile with it. After I get it on paper, I then create a spreadsheet and lay it out. It depends on how comfortable I am with the information whether I do the outline, with TOG I go start to their Topics page for the year we're doing and copy/paste their weekly break-down into a spreadsheet and add what I want to it. Easy-peasy.

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I just follow the plans in the Calvert Manuals. Everything has already been scheduled.

 

Same thing with K12. All planned out, with little boxes to check as subjects are completed.

 

But during the times I put together our own curricula, I used Homeschool Tracker for all my planning. :) I'm a box checker. ;)

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Whew! I'm glad to see the answers on this thread don't leave me in the dust for not having a truly organized personal plan! I use the WTM for most things, because it is all spelled out there. Some things are a little off though; we spent 3 years on the first two SOTW books because we enjoyed them so much, and my dc should technically be in 4th grade this year, but most of our work is in 5th grade, but they DESPERATELY need to incorporate some logic study this year (or I'm going to lose it!:glare:). So, I guess I just dog ear the appropriate pages (gasp!), order the books I like most and go from there. Around the middle of the year or so, I break out Rupps "Home Learning Year by Year" to see if we're on track, and if not, make up the slack. So far, so good. If I needed to be more organized than this, no one would get any dinner - I don't have the time.

 

I do, however, hope my dc grow up to be much more organized than I am. They probably won't learn it from me, though. I do have to have "structure" to my days, and by that, I mean a hastily written list on scrap paper every morning of the things that have to get done. I cross those things off and add things to that list all day. It is the one piece of paper I always know the location of. That's about it.

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I have a list of the curricula and books I plan to use, but I don't plan out exactly what we'll be doing week to week. For our core/mastery subjects, I work at dd's pace. We do one other subject on each day of the week, and for most of those I use living books, so we are just reading, discussing, and narrating at this stage. We read as much as dd's attention span and my voice will allow on a given day - anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more. Since the time varies so much, I've found any plans I make get shelved pretty quickly, so I just don't bother at this point.

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For those things that are "do the next thing", I usually copy the TOC and put those in a notebook for my planning purposes. I'm using materials that are mostly "the next thing" or easy planning for me. I sit down on Sun night before each week starts and fill in the assignment sheet for my older ds and my younger ds' work is mostly "do the next thing".

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So why do you use what you use?

 

I have homeschool tracker and keep track of attendance and field trips on it.

 

For actually planning of the year/month/week, I use looseleaf notebook paper and lots of sharpened pencils. It is easy to change, doesn't cost much, I can write whatever I want for the subjects and I always have enough room.

 

 

And how much time do you spend on your plans?

 

I probably spend 5 to 6 hours in the spring planning out the year. And then every other week I spend 1 to 2 hours printing out worksheets and pulling everything together for the next two weeks.

 

Sometimes, I do change things and it will take me 1 to 2 hours to revamp my schedule.:001_smile:

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I have been pretty poor at planning and I need to get better at it. I've had the benefit of well-laid out curriculum (MFW for K and 1) but I think we're going in a different direction next year, which will mean I need to get better at planning.

 

Actually, last year I spent a lot of time while I was pregnant making up spreadsheets for our weekly plans, and then never looked at them. It was pretty silly. I wanted to have the week-at-a-glance option, and then didn't use it. I was a little whelmed, shall we say, trying to get school done and fit a new baby into the picture.

 

My problem right now is trying to decide what I want to do! I thought we would do Classical Conversations, and center our school around that, as a way to provide structure and accountability to our homeschool. However, I feel continually pulled towards Charlotte Mason's methods, and just found out that there is a CM co-op in our area! I'm waiting to find out more about that before I make my final decision. What that means for planning is that I don't have a clue what actual curriculum we will use beyond math and spelling! :willy_nilly:

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I use to be a 'real' teacher :smilielol5:so I got use to doing weekly lesson plans in a plan book (which costs $10 at the teacher store!) so I still feel the need for that. however, I create a master copy in Excel and then print out 9 weeks worth. I have 2 plan books, 1 for each girl (color coded: teal and orange, their favorite colors!). This year I am doing quarterly plans. I will do a general 9 wk plan, and then fill in the page numbers every week. On Sunday I spend about an hour at my desk reviewing where we are, making sure the concepts have been grasped and then I fill in the blanks for the next week with the actual page numbers. In math, sometimes we will skip pages (R&S Honeycombs, for instance), or in another subject I may make a review sheet because I feel the concept has been lost.

 

As we approach the 9th week, I will probably spend about 2-3 hours in a review/planning mode. I will get their work ready for the next 9 weeks, (after making sure we have completed the previous work, of course, some of it may just be carried over).

 

I probably over-plan, but I had it drilled into me during my student teaching. UGH If the plans were NOT in the principal's box by Friday afternoon, you were MUD.

 

Mostly what we do is just go to the next unit/page in the book, but since it was so drilled, I feel like it's incomplete if I don't have the plans. Something about BIG BROTHER, ya' know!?! (Especially since the super of our current district was one of my principal's during my student teaching!!!)

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I used to only plan a list of books to read for the year, would just "do the next thing" in math, and be very free form in history and science. But now, with a high schooler, I have to be sure that enough work is done in each subject to warrant the work counting as a high school course. I also have learned the hard way over the last few years that when life gets in the way, not having a written plan to refer to keeps my kids from independently staying on track. So, I'm now a planner.

 

I like my spiral notebook! I keep a list at the back of all the wonderful recommendations I see here, and I "think aloud "on paper about, for instance, what a course in world history for my learning challenged ds might look like -- what books and DVDs to use and projects to assign. Last year I wrote things out in a weekly planner, but this year I think I'm going to make a college-type syllabus for him for each course, to help prepare him for managing his own time. I'll probably do something similar for my 8th grader.

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I like to use the software because it's easier for me to see what's going on -- and it's also easier to "go with the flow" and make adjustments as the year goes on. It didn't take me long to figure out I was completely overscheduling my son. With the software, it was a snap to make the needed adjustments.

 

If I had used paper, I'd be spending a lot of money on erasers. :-D

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. . . type it all into a table in Microsoft Word. Nothing fancy. You can see a sample of last year's plans on my neglected blog: http://tweakedacademy.blogspot.com/2007/07/how-do-you-write-your-lesson-plans.html

 

I spend a lot of time planning, especially history and literature, because I build those from the ground up. I probably spend the equivalent of 40-50 hours over the summer planning out the whole upcoming year. Occasional tweaks are required during the year, but I don't spend more than a couple of hours at a time on those.

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I've done this gig for nearly eight years now, and I'm still not sure what people mean when they mention planning sheets, creating plans, and so on. I'm a "do the next thing" kinda person, but I'm well-organized so that approach does seem like a plan, to my mind. Most of what we use is just "go on to the next lesson" in nature: Singapore Math, Spelling Workout, Vocab from Classical Roots, Galore Park English & Latin, Apologia sciences. We use Sonlight for history so we do have a schedule before us in that case.

 

We jot done the day's work after the fact on spreadsheets, one for per week, per child. Days of the week are listed horizontally, subjects vertically. Simple and effective, this is my highly recommend method of "tracking" school work.:)

 

This is what I do too. The plan is "do the next thing" and what we did is recorded after the fact in an excel spreadsheet. Works really well for me and allows for us to speed up or slow down as needed/desired without reworking a bunch of plans.

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I create weekly sheets in excel (1 workbook w/ 36 worksheets) and type everything into them.

This is what I do, too. I do a yearly "overview" but only plan about 1 week in advance in detail. I find that too much can change from one week to the next and I was using a lot of time revising my plans.

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I purchase a planning grade book each year for each child. I write down what were going to cover daily in each class. I do 170 days of school work with 10 to 20 field trip days..we are in Europe you know. :D I make field trip notes and I keep these if there's ever any question about what was studied. I also keep a picture book of all projects and field trips. I write a summary to add to each picture with dates and what we did. This is a great way to remember what weve accomplished as well as grades and projects all in one nice binded book.

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First I have a general idea of how the day will flow. It takes tweaking as we begin the school year but I try to make sure there are regular times for all the important academic things.

 

Then at the beginning of the year I sit down with the different program/curricula and get an idea of how much we should do each day/week. Is it a weekly lesson? Is it better to just take the number of pages and divide by the number of weeks? Whatever works to have a general idea of what ought to be accomplished at what pace. For the first few lesson or chapters, I might plot out how many pages or what exercises are to be done on what days. This may or may not turn out to be accurate, which is why I write in pencil. We can change the dates as we go, if they don't correspond.

 

At the beginning of each curriculum I meet with the child using it and we talk about how it is set up and how we are going to use it. I let them know generally what is expected when.

 

Then we just get up in the a.m. and work through the books/programs accordingly. I always write the date we actually do work in pencil at the top of the pages.

 

At a couple of points during the year, I'll reassess how things are going. If it seems we are going too slowly, I might pick up the pace. If we are having trouble with the program I'll see if I need to change things or supplement or take a break and do something different.

 

The child has a cubby where all his/her books are kept. She also has a checklist either on the inside door of the cubby or in a binder so he/she knows what is expected each day.

 

That's it! It is really simple and far more effective for me than writing out elaborate detailed plans that never, ever got done the way I planned.

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I am posting this poll to see what most of us use to plan for the year. I write out my plans on planning sheets, but I know a lot of you use programs like Homeschool Tracker. So why do you use what you use? And how much time do you spend on your plans?

 

Excel here! Flexible, easy to use, and does exactly what I need and only what I need. I spend time on them weekly, but we hs year around. :D Probably 30 mins a week, tops.

 

Heather

 

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I plan a whole 'skeleton' for the year, then I go in and add details by the quarter, and finally, I tweak it for every few weeks to have more concentration in certain areas.

 

I am always planning. I like to be able to start school without having to make decisions. We just go through and do it.

 

I use HST+, but for TOG, I am making my own planning sheets first, then I'll upload things to HST afterwards in a simplified version.

 

For Latin, I just use the MODG syllabus, so no planning there. For Apologia Science, I use Donna Young's schedules. It all gets put into the tracker for records, but those are very simple (week 21, day 2 or Module 5, day 1, etc.). For the TOG that requires so many details, I need a better visual than I can get from HST+.

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In a nutshell, here is the extent of my planning: I purchase the materials, and we work our way through them. No schedules, spreadsheets, trackers, or anything of that ilk. For high school, I do record subjects taken and approximate semester grades earned.

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During the summer I select the books/ curriculum I'm going to use for each subject. I then divy all of that up over 36 weeks (some subjects get only one or two lessons per week, some have stuff for each day).

 

Then I take that information and put it on Outlook (calendar in Microsoft Office) for the dc to use as their checklist. The days aren't important so I'm hoping to figure out a way to make the calendar read "Week 1" etc. instead of the actual date.

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I use curricula. I pretty much do the next thing. I take stock about once a month to see whether our progress is reasonable or not. Then I adjust to make it reasonable.

 

So, for instance, at the end of April I decided that we could slow down on math just a bit; DD hates it but had been dutifully doing a LOT of it, and needed a slow down. We will continue it through the summer, as we must to keep her skills up, but we are not flying through Saxon 76 as quickly as before.

 

We have slowed down on American history but continued quickly through world history. This is because I want to use American history to teach other skills, using Critical Thinking in American History, some geography stuff, and using more living field trips and living books than I normally do for world history to help DD get a real feel for the civics of our country's unique government and principles and roots. We are looking at original sources for the first time (she is ending 6th grade; we did not start this as early as WTM suggests) and in general going into more depth than we have before. We are having some great discussions about different viewpoints on our history, and it has been wonderful on several levels. We are also doing a TLP literature guide, our first, on "Rifles for Watie"--so this is giving us a slow slog through this one book in addition to all of our other reading and literature work. I plan to use LLLOTR starting in August or September, and wanted this TLP study to pre-figure it.

 

We are still chugging through writing at about the same pace, but getting more and more sophisticated in her subject area writing.

 

Grammar--we are going as fast as we can, which is a slow but steady pace.

 

Science--we are just finishing up a focus on chemistry together. DD has simultaneously studied "How the Body Works" on her own. Now we are working through her first Science Explorer book, the one on animals, which builds nicely on the anatomy work that she has been doing on her own. I like the SE emphasis on teaching how scientists systematize their information, which follows nicely on the heels of the chemistry work.

 

So that is how I do those reviews. I think about each subject area, and decide whether to continue as before, make a correction of speed, and/or make a change in curriculum or approach.

 

I also informally choose to feel good about everything as long as DD does math, writing, spelling, grammar, and literature every day, and science and history at least a couple of times per week. We always maintain at least that pace, kind of loosely tracking it, and she is definately educated.

 

We are not doing as much as we had been with Bible, and that is my major correction coming up in August. (But we are not doing 'nothing', just not where I would normally be according to my standards.) DD is attending a church summer camp and a VBS-basketball camp, and I am going to use those to kick off a higher degree of focus in this area. I have a great applied Bible curriculum for 7th grade that I can't wait to start. But she starts confirmation training this coming year as well, and I am kind of waiting to see how much that workload is before I commit us to starting the other curriculum.

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I have used HST for the last 2 years but it seemed like overkill for the grades my kids are in. We'll be starting 1st and 4th this fall and I've made up some basic spreadsheets in excel for the year to let me know how many lessons a week I need to finish things by the end of the year. As we do the lessons daily I'll write them in on looseleaf notebook paper I have in a binder. It will be like a daily journal. I think it will be a bit easier for me. I don't have to keep a record here like I did in FL, but thought it would be safer to have one just in case. Being in the Navy we never know where we'll be going next and what the laws will be.

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I do plans in a Word doc (media?). Like the SL grids. (In fact, I put them up for free on my blog, just in case it would help others.)

 

I have Homeschool Easy Records, but I just don't like the way the scheds print off, so I just use it for transcript purposes. (I also have Homeschool Tracker, but I don't use it at all.:glare:)

 

But, you are reminding me that I really need to get my rear in gear and get the planning done for next year!

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I use calendar pages from MS Outlook for a more long-range yearly plan, as well what I'm going to do week to week. Then I organize all my copies, work pages, and calendar pages in a 3 inch binder for each week-reading, math, science etc. all tabbed out-along with blank looseleaf to make notes and keep a running list of books read. I try to keep my binder 4 weeks ahead-that is, I have 4 weeks worth of work in the binder at any given time (at least I try for that, although I do have some catch up weekends where I have to re-org the binder).

 

It's worked out well for me so far-but once I have two "official" hsers, they'll each probably need their own work binder.

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I have HSTracker, and while I LOVE the concept and all, I just never seem to really use it as I ought to. I'll do most of my planning on paper.

 

Plus, I teach two classes at our co-op, and I can't use Tracker for them because it violates use policy. (Actually, one of my sons will be in my Geometry class this year, so I suppose I could use it for that.)

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I have Homeschool Tracker Plus. I found it very bothersome and time consuming to enter weekly lesson plans into this program. Now I only use it for grades and transcript purposes. As for lesson planning, I just use a word document program and than with one click of the mouse transfer everything to my Adobe Reader because I like the way the lesson plans look when they are printed out on the Adobe Reader. I use a very simple format for lesson planning which can be seen below.

 

 

Logic

 

Week 1

 

 

Monday

Logic Countdown page 7

The Fallacy Detective: Read pages 13-16

 

Wednesday

Logic Countdown page 8

The Fallacy Detective: Read pages 17-19

 

Friday

Logic Countdown page 9

The Fallacy Detective: Lesson 1 pages 23-26

 

Blessings

 

Zoraida

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I create weekly sheets in excel (1 workbook w/ 36 worksheets) and type everything into them.

 

You know- nice little grids like SL an WP .

 

Mandy

 

That is kind of what I do too. I use the computer, but not a program like Homeschool Tracker.

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I track everything into Homeschooltracker daily. I'm pretty good at keeping our routine/schedule doing the next lesson in each subject. My oldest uses a complete curriculum that is planned out daily. For my ds I have a weekly daily order schedule. I keep a master calendar in a teacher/plan book, that includes the classes they take locally along with things like Lego League, art, piano etc.

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Umm I do both homeschooltracker and write it down...And yes I probably do make more work for myself than I really need to, but it's just the way I have to do it in order for it all to be worked out in my head.

 

Actually, I have some stuff that's do the next thing like SWO & R&S so those are easy to plan. But mostly, because I can't ever find a program that has exactly what I want, I tend to combine a lot of things, especially for Science, History, and Language Arts. So for those things if I didn't "plan" it and write it all out-we'd be lost.

 

What I usually do is write it all out first, then put it in HST+. For my younger ds I use it mostly for organizing. For older dd who will be in 9th grade next year, I'll use it more for transcripts and grades.

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Each of my children have an "assignment notebook" which is just a journal type book that they get to pick out. Each day I write in their assignment notebook what they are to do for that day. If there are things we do together I put those on a white board mounted on the wall. This accomplishes two things at once: 1) They know in advance what is expected of them so they don't complain and 2) I don't have to "think" about the same thing several times during the day. I think about it once, write it down and it's in their court. This method also serves as a log of what we've accomplished so far. I guess I sort of log in instead of look ahead.

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I'm really enjoying this thread. I am a horrible planner. Every year, I have spent countless hours filling in plans in everything from a spiral notebook to pages printed from Donna Young to commercial lesson planners and the old Franklin Planner that used to work so well for me when I had a job in a bank. None of those plans have ever even remotely resembled what goes on from day to day. I finally realized that as much as I like those neat little squares, I have trouble "seeing" my day in neat squares when it's actually occurring. I do better with general to-do lists

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