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Planning: Do you just pace or do you micro-plan?? Why?


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Here i am plan books in hand...ready to start on Monday.  I used to plan VERY specifically....step by step plans until I totaly crashed and burned. (wrote all my own teacher manuals which in a fit of dejunking I threw in the burn barrel...I can now kick myself!!!)    Next few years were deer in the headlights,  shoot from the hip....LOL!

 

This year,  I am basically just pacing my courses and maiking materials lists and/ or copies that I need for anything.  No real nitty gritty, just lesson # and basic title of lesson.  This year I am also using mainly CLE across the board with Veritas Press Hx for my boys.  and CLE completely (except math) for dd in 10th.

 

So,  can we discuss the merits and problems with bith of these types of planning,  what YOU do,  why and how it is working for you and what you would like to change or keep the same. 

 

And YES<  I hate planning and I know my kids are sabotaging every single effort I put forth because once I am done they have to start school....bwahahahaha!

 

Faithe

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I do not plan. I spend a lot of time researching materials and select what I want to use for each subject - then I hand it to my kids, they pick which things work for them, and run with it.

I have several times tried to make detailed schedules, and every.single.time we were off schedule because the kid got enthusiastic about one subject and worked ahead, while at the same time neglecting another subject. So, I have given up on schedules.

I require time on task, and my kids know how many hours of school they must put in each day. They know what materials they have available for each subject, and they are free to choose on which subject they want to work with which materials for how long. It all averages out over the course of the school year. We may have history binges, science binges, and I may have to remind them of neglected subjects, but it works very well.

the only exception is math: there I require one hour of daily work from DS. I do not, however, stipulate a number of problems - we work at whatever pace works for him and are done with the book when we are done. This means that we may start a new textbook in March, or in October - does not matter.

I do give my kids the freedom to select among my materials choices. They usually end up using a subset of what I have chosen - they may opt for just text+TC audio lectures but not the online course or video clips I found. As long as they put in time on task, they are free to choose whatever works best for them .

 

My DD has transitioned from our relaxed homeschooling  to fast paced college classes with strict schedules and deadlines without any problem.

 

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I do a combo.  I plan thorough lessons and day by day schedules two weeks at a time.  But - I also figure out where we need to be at the end of each quarter in every subject.  So, for example, I know that I need to be at (pick a number) page or chapter in a math book by (pick a date) in order to complete the curriculum by year's end.  That way, when we inevitably get sidetracked by trips or illness, I know how much I have to do to be caught up every quarter.  This stops us from ever getting more than a few days off of schedule.

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yeah,  I am not a big ol planner,  but somehow,  I like having 180 days of school in a planbook per kid.  I don't care how it  gets done....as long as it gets done.  If They want to finish one book at a time,  fine.  If they want to do a months worth of history or science and then switch....fine.  I am beyond caring how it gets done,  and now just make sure it DOES get done.  I do require Math and writing daily....

 

but,  like I said,  having the breakdown of 180 days gives me a level of comfort.  :-)

 

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If by micro-plan you mean that on x day we will be doing y, then no.  The only things I know we will be doing on set days are outside classes and pre-paid field trips. 

 

Otherwise, I know where I want to be at the end of the year.  How much planning I do beyond that depends on the subject.  Most subjects are do the next thing.  I estimate where we need to be at the end of each quarter and set our pace based on that.   

 

I plan the most for history, mainly because I rely on library resources for this subject.  Prior to the start of the year, I made a list of core text chapters and supplemental materials.   Every few weeks throughout the year, I request the next few chapters’ supplemental materials from the library.  Quarterly, I purchase resources not available at the library and supplies for projects.

 

For science and art I made lists of supplies and purchased those items not readily available locally.  The remaining items, I’ll get closer to when we need them. 

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I plan.  I don't know how let go of that, nor do I feel inclined to do so.  Now, I don't always STICK to the plan as I'm always changing things around based on what works and what doesn't, but before the year starts I have a plan and it is all typed up and pretty, ready to go.

 

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I don't really plan.  I especially don't micro plan.  I have no idea how long stuff will take or whether or not my kids will pick something up quickly or need more time.  The only thing I have to think about ahead of time is if I need supplies for something.  So I might look ahead at the next few projects to make sure I have what we need.

 

Most of the focus is on picking books that I think will work for me and my kids.  I just open them up, and we do the next thing.  The pace is different day to day based on how well my kids are paying attention, etc. 

This is pretty much what we do. Open book, do the next thing. Maybe look ahead and see if there are a few library books that will go well with History or Science.

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I teach in a school, but we have very loose supervision for how we structure our program. What I have found works for me is unit planning, not day by day planning. So, for instance, when I start a JK booklet, I know there are X pages in it, and I know what order I'll do the pages in and what activities I will choose to accompany each page. Then I just do them in order. Sometimes, one page will take more than one day (especially at the beginning of the years when we are still teaching routines, and some of them will take 20 minutes just to find a crayon and glue stick). Sometimes, a planned lesson will get interrupted by picture day, a long weekend etc. So it is pointless to say 'on Monday, we will do this' weeks and weeks ahead. I do Friday's lesson, then I pick up where I left off on Monday :)

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I pace.  I set my secret internal clock to go off if we get too far off pace.

 

Micro-planning always seems like a whole other job to me.  Like you're record keeping instead of homeschooling.  I get that it works for some people, and I'm sure my loosey-goosey, we do it organically, system sounds just as crazy to them, but there's no way I would micro-plan anything other than a specific lesson in the days beforehand.  And even that I only do for some things like teaching co-op.

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I have general goals for the year. About once a month I do a big library run and get lots of books. To do that I look ahead for the month and think about what we might cover in history and science and about books for the preschooler.  I can then put things on hold that can come from elsewhere in the library system and can get the ones form our local library that they have. I don’t worry about it if we don’t use them all or “are behind†but it helps ensure that I don’t get to a week on something like ancient Egyptian mummies and wish I had some read-aloud books . We still go other times with everyone and pick books more spontaneously but it’s been helpful to me to have a time when I can go and not be with kids. I’m guessing that as the kids get older I’ll do this less as it will be easier to have them all at the library and I’ll get less books as we move beyond the mostly picture book stage with the younger guys. 

 

I also plan weekly but I don’t think of it as micro-planning. I give my older son a notebook and write down what I want him to get done that week. I like that it gives him the chance to work independently. It’s also necessary for us as he’s often doing work when I’m not home so it gives him some direction. I also think about what I want to do that week with the younger guys. 

 

For me the big things is to plan but not to get caught up too much on what happens if you go off plan. Each Sunday I look at our notebooks, see where we are and what didn’t get done the week before. Most of the time it’s fine and I just write it down for the next week. 

 

I have found that for me if I plan anything specifically more than a week head I start to feel stressed about not getting it all done and being behind. I’m a recovering list-maker and box-checker and I’ve had to find that sweet spot between feeling in control and not getting too caught up in the details so that I forget the big picture. 

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I've always "shot from hip" sort of thing; just did the next thing and didn't plan where we'd end up or be at the end of the year.  It worked fine for elementary.  However, as a result of that through middle school, they're now behind and needing to catch up.  And, now, this year, I have some more serious chronic health issues that makes it imperative for me that I be more organized.  So, I'm planning (read that as a dirty word).  :)   I am micro-planning most subjects but not all (I think) but I plan to remain very flexible.  I'm hoping that will help keep us on track as well as catching up and also alleviate the stress for me when I'm having a bad day.  My high schooler has a few issues too and this may actually help him.  

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I usually do the next thing with a loose history plan of resources. This year I micro-planned history and science but there are only 28 wk of MOH2. I also planned out lit so that I could get a feel for how and when to schedule them a since last year I got lazy about lit. I'm hoping the plans will help me stay more accountable when things get "old" in the winter/spring

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I have a very basic outline of our year.  Beyond that, I printed our first quarter's worksheets & maps and gathered supplies for our first month.  My detailed plans always get changed.  This is my 2nd year with loose plans and it's been much more successful for me.  

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I planned three weeks in advance for my olders, but I burned out; there are lists of supplies needed for each lesson  in the front of ds's math book so i'm trying not to type up my pretty neat pages and just be grateful that if I ever have time, i can sort through all of my pretty neat binders and find the ones for '94 and '97 so i can see how many items never got checked off and what kindy really looks like.

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This year I planned by subject.  Each subject is broken down into lessons I can check off or record grades.  I made a weekly planner for my 2 youngest, but that is blank.  It lists each subject and each day.  I plan on having them fill it out at the beginning of each week so they can check off what they get done.  This was per their request.  

 

I tend to be a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal, but I have specific goals this year and a decent plan to make sure things get done.  I think too, with a plan, I feel like we won't just get the lesson done, but do the lesson well, KWIM??? (that may be in my dreams!  :D )

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This is pretty much what we do. Open book, do the next thing. Maybe look ahead and see if there are a few library books that will go well with History or Science.

Same here. I update my kids' weekly checklists every Sunday and make adjustments as needed, but I don't make detailed lesson plans.

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I make a weekly plan because it helps my son who does better with a checklist. As he has gotten older, we have made the plan together. For my dd8 we just do the next thing. We keep a basic routine from Sept. to May, then do summer until the end of August. Then it's back to routine. We seem to have done well with this. I'm done stressing about whether we are "behind" or "ahead" or whatever. We are who we are and we all love what we do. works for us.

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I plan and my plans do include pg. #s and problems, etc. I do not plan for 180 days except for creating our school calendar which is the first thing I do before writing plans.

 

I think the definition that i believe you are using for micro-planning will depend on what you are using for curriculum, number of resources, and the age of the child. For example, my 2nd grader's plans are not detailed. Her plans are simply Horizons math lesson x or copywork or spelling--not much bc it really depends on how she is progressing. However, her plans for Paddle to the Sea are more detailed so that I know ahead of time what I had planned for us to do......research beaver dams or map the GreatLakes, etc.

 

My older kids, otoh, almost everything is planned out in detail. If I don't create writing assignments, or detailed daily plans on what they need to do for history, literature, science, they are going to have to wait for me to figure out what resources we are going to use and how they fit into what they are supposed to be doing. And in my world......what actually gets done in a day is what I have planned. So, if nothing is planned, unfortunately ,that is what will get done. For some subjects, especially those that they are following a program ,like French in Action or Artes Latinae, I don't write down specific plans but instead they work based on time bc the program pretty much dictates what they are doing.

 

One thing that has happened to me over the yrs is brain mush. :(. I can't remember things like I used to. Writing things down holds my thoughts together for me. It also enables my kids to read,etc what they need to doing without waiting for me to figure it out (which these days would require reminding myself what that particular child did the day before before I could think forward to today.....definitely not a good way to start their day....waiting for mom to remember what she thought she knew we were going to do but she can't remember quite what that was, so wait for her to look at her lists and go back and look through what was done the last few days. Our days function better when those thoughts take place ahead of time and are sorted out in written plans. :). )

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Last year, I micro-planned the entire year over the summer.  Everything for every. single. day. of the year was entered into Scholaric over the summer before we started.  It was a lot of work and not entirely realistic.  This year, I planned by weeks on a syllabus and we will work from that.  So far, DS14 is liking that a lot better.  I'm still keeping Scholaric to calculate my grades though. 

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We have been open and go the last two years. This year is harder. I am doing History for the first time with real books having a library that basically has NOTHING. So I have to plan what books I need and when I need them. Then I have to schedule at least two weeks in advance to order them so they can get here in time. But only two weeks in advance because you can only have them for two - four weeks at a time. I will not know if it's two or three or four weeks till the books come in because it's the library that the books come from that says how long I can have them. I will not know which library my library is getting them from till they actually receive them. UGGG!

 

We are excited to do real book history but if your in a small town it's hard. We will preserver for one year and then reassess.

 

O and I can't check out some more if I already have some out so no overlapping if some come in in the wrong order. And it's a $1 a book.

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I guess I'm kind of half and half.

 

With math, she just goes at her own pace and I hold on for the ride :D Sometimes she likes to work in just one AoPS book and other times she likes to have two going at once. Number Theory and Intermediate Algebra (algebra 3) are waiting on the shelf for her after she finishes Geometry and algebra 2.

 

For the past three years with history I have written down what supplemental resources (books, documentaries) go with which chapters of the spines. This year I have planned it in detail (see American history link in signature) and will include writing assignments for the first time.

 

For the past three years with science I've had a pretty good idea of what we were going to study and what supplies I needed on hand. I would write detailed plans one week in advance. This year is totally different! I have a very planned syllabus that includes assigned problems and labs for each chapter in physics. Hopefully I will hear back soon from the College Board that the syllabus has been approved for AP Physics B. After last year's success with science I believe dd is ready for this additional challenge in science as well as math.

 

I am outsourcing English this year :) My planning was to sign her up, buy the books, and remind her to do the summer assignment. Lovely. (I hated planning English!)

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Typically I micro-plan, but we always end up behind.  A last minute, unexpected change to my Am Lit lessons has now left me scrambling to fill in gaps I didn't originally have.  I decided I'm not micro-planning it again.  I'm making a note of what we'll cover each week in order to match up with our history timeline but specifics will be decided upon when I sit down with the kids each Sunday so they can fill in their planners.

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Both.

 

Math, grammar, spelling and such only get a time block on the planner Those are just do the next lesson subjects.

 

Science and history for my younger ones have been microplanned, but not so much for the big ones. Writing goes in spells of being microplanned.

 

Regardless each subject gets planned individually, and I compile those plans into my master planner one week in advance. That way a roadblock in math or a surge in science won't mess up the rest of the subjects.

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When we were homeschooling full time I figured out what sort of pace we needed to maintain in order to finish by the end of the year. This required me to chunk material into lesson sized pieces if it wasn't already. Then I would use the pacing lists to make a more detailed plan each week that wasn't written in stone.

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I'm pretty new here but I'll jump in.  I spend about an hour every weekend putting together an agenda for each kid, with the days across the top and a checklist of each thing they need to complete down each day.  I have a general idea where I'd like to be at the end of the year, ie finish grammar or whatever.  For history and science we are block scheduling and doing unit studies, so when we finish Ancient Rome in 3 weeks, we'll start on a science one and I'll look it over and plan the length of time and go from there.  I know that anything super strict or requiring a lot of planning and organizing won't work for me, so I don't even bother, as long as we are progressing at a rate I consider acceptable than that is good enough.

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I like the idea of micro-planning, but that is just not who I am.

 

I am nodding "Yeah, that!" to 8's post.  I simply cannot keep track of ev.er.y.thing. in my brain anymore... sleep deprived from my little nursling. 

 

I have everything we do as a family in it's own module.  History time?  Grab the history box.  Done.  Science?  Grab the science box.  When we finish what we have in those boxes, we will refill the boxes.

 

The skill subjects are killing me right now. I think I'm going to have to micro-plan these at this point. I certainly won't be planning out 180 days.  A week or two at a time.  

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I plan whatever is needed so that I can operate on a "do the next thing" schedule throughout the year. In subjects like history and science, I plan lessons and/or make copies, gather materials, etc. I set them up so that when we complete one unit (say electricity in science), I can grab the folder for the next unit, which has all my lesson plans and any copies, and go. I do not plan for, nor do I really care about, time frames. So I have no weekly, monthly, or similar plans. I just have my lessons and materials ready to go.

 

For subjects that allow (math, some of our language arts like spelling, handwriting, etc.), we just do the next thing in the text. I know I plan to work on certain subjects every day we school. Where I stop within a lesson, how long we spend with a difficult area, or whether we skip something depends on how it's going for the child. So, again, I have no daily or weekly plans. It's a just a matter of picking up where we left off and working toward mastery or whatever the goal might be for the subject.

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I have an "idea."

 

I have the books, I know what they say and outline. Depending on the curricula, I make a routine, get an idea of a plan, have a rough outline, etc. Then we go.

 

When I started homeschooling, I tried to plan about 6 weeks in advance. Then it was a month. Then it was a week. Then I stopped. At that time, the oldest was kinder and we wound up going off on bunny trails constantly (we were also using OM K then.) I learned it was best for us to have a goal for the year and then plan as necessary, if at all. Generally we are a "just do the next thing" family until I decide it's time to change things up.

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I have loose plans, such as reading lists for history and science. I write detailed lesson plans for science since several different sources are used, and it helps to know  what supplies to purchase a week or so in advance. However, Singapore Math, All About Spelling, and R&S Grammar have detailed lesson plans in their teacher manuals, so these courses are pretty much open and go. I do work all the math problems before the lesson so the teaching process is smooth. 

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I go back and forth between being a micro planner and a do the next thing planner, I think. Right now, I'm working on having realistic plans for History and Science. I know what topics we will study, and where I want to end up at the end of the year. I've broken it down into manageable "units" and I've got (probably too much) material ready. I know what kind of reading/writing/discussion/activity type work I want the girls to do. And now I'm hoping to be open to whatever happens. There will be rabbit trails, and moments where the plan falls apart, but if the girls are enjoying the learning and retaining the knowledge, then we're in good shape. 

 

For math and language arts, it's all very much do-the-next-lesson. And many parts of that are routine, eg: Monday is copywork; Tuesday is spelling pre-test; Friday is dictation; we begin with math facts, etc. But what I try to do is not so much "plan" for that stuff, but "be prepared" for that stuff. Right now, I'm spending a lot of time photocopying things like test pages and timelines. What derails us most is when I don't have the materials handy to get core work done. If I have to run up to my office to find, print, or copy something, our day can unhinge quickly. So I'm trying to think of every instance where I didn't have the needed items last year, and get those items ready now. 

 

I'm sure I'm forgetting things, but each year, I remember a little more. By the time they go off to college, I'll be a pro. ;)

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Last year I did no planning. I mean, I had an idea of what we wanted to do and finish, and just did the next lesson sort of thing. It didn't work. We ended up schooling into the summer because I had no idea of how much I needed to do each week to get through stuff, and I was forgetting stuff because it wasn't written down.

 

This year is definitely planned! I decided first what I expected/wanted to cover this school year. Then I made a schedule for each subject, to complete it in 30 weeks. I skimmed through books to make sure the workload seemed good, I didn't always just count pages etc. (regarding the 30 weeks, we like taking a week off here and there, plus it gives me some wiggle room). I had the bindings cut off our books. I put 6 weeks of work in binders, spiral bound, by subject. First tab contained 6 sheets of blank schedules. Each Sunday, I fill out the schedule for the week (I don't want them trying to rush through all six weeks of something, which is why I only let them see a weekly schedule). Plus it allows me to make small changes as needed. If they finish early that week, kudos to them and they have more free time. It also allows me to see exactly where everyone should be, and what lessons I need to prepare that week. They can check their boxes. :). And so can I. :).

 

I'll know later in the year how well it works. One week in, but so far so good. I also made a corresponding teacher book for me, with calendar, all schedules by subject, plus a copy of their weekly schedule, answer keys, lesson plans, and some empty pocket protectors and folders to be able to carry stuff I hadn't planned on. I'm feeling pretty together. And we are getting to those things that used to always be forgotten.

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Last year I micro-planned. I loved the planning part, but I hate sticking to rigid plans. Just doesn't work for me. This year I have divided everything into weekly chunks. I find that it works better for me to think in terms of weeks than days. With the daily plan, if we're having a hard day or someone is sick or I just have a bunch of errands to run, it throws everything off. With the weekly plan, I can squeeze more into a good day and cut things short on hard days, but we're still accountable to some kind of pace.

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Note - I have older kids....

 

Beginning of the school year, I go through the materials and make a list of need-to-get items.  I place an order for those things we need that aren't handy at our local store - like a Cow Eyeball.  I make a note of books on my calendar that need to be reserved at the library.

 

Then each week on Sunday, I go thru and put together the supplies for that week.  I help the kids fill out their planners with what needs to be accomplished and make a run to the store/library to get any last minute items.  In general, we just do the next lesson/chapter/assignment, so filling out the planners is easy - maybe half an hour at most.

 

It's all pretty structured - my kids like to know what they are working on for the week so they can plan for themselves how they want to get it done.  But it's easy to change things up if we miss a day due to sickness or a special activity.

 

so definitely more pacing than planning here.

 

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No, I don't micro-plan because it's been done for me. We use ABeka for our spine. I have all of the teacher guides. Each day is already planned out. I adjust it as needed for only one student instead of a classroom. I know if we stay on target we will complete everything by the end of the year. I supplement with MP Lit guides. We read one chapter every other day. Pippi has two days to complete the lit guide for that chapter. We discuss before moving on.

If I didn't use something that was already done for me, I would be a micro-planner. When I taught school, I did lesson plans two weeks in advance to leave room if we needed it.

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I micro-plan because I'm too scattered to pull together the resources I want on the fly, even a week in advance. In the past, when I haven't planned past a certain point and just figured I'd wing it after that...nothing more got done :( Also, I usually need to put holds on library materials at least two weeks in advance to make sure I get them. And I like to know when my year (or a particular resource) is set to end. I don't have a secret internal clock; I have a secret internal enabler who likes to tell me, "Oh, don't worry, it's OK, you're not that far off schedule." And next thing I know, we've pushed out into the next school year. I have the same problem with dieting  :glare:

 

 

In my plans, I like to include the books I want to read/assign, DVDs that go along, games/projects that tie in, etc. If I don't get those written down and connected to the lesson I want them to go with, the ideas vanish out of my head like they were never there. I'm like your deer in the headlights!  

 

Now, I don't always stick to my micro plans. In fact, I rarely do. But I'd rather have all the ideas in one place and let go of what we don't need then not have any ideas and find myself wandering and scrambling and lost. 

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I have the full year laid out.   Child's name, subject, book, page numbers.  Not a script but which book to pull and which page to find.  I order everything but library book before the year starts.  Library books I put on reserve a week prior to needing them.  I schedule time off.   I like knowing how many days we need to finish and (potentially) when our last day of "serious" school will be.

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I "micro" everything, :o but I am pacing this year in grammar, spelling, and math. I don't know what we're doing in history or science...it's not micro managing, though. My goal this year is to get most of our core subjects completed, and cover a decent portion of US history for my kids' ages. Not sure at this point how we're getting there, but we are moving (5 1/2 weeks in!) and it is getting done, as frustrated as I am.

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I LOVE planning. Like, to an insane degree.

And my planning to doing ratio is really wonky, so I have to watch it. In other words, I am capable of planning out the most amazing schedules complete with tips, hints and optional extensions. But if I miss or delay stuff (like a diabetes sick day or hubby staying home) everything gets out of whack and the entire schedule just gives me hives.

So now I purposely move my planning fetish to another area, and tweak how I plan school. So school is not paced or micro-planned, but just "listed".

 

If I want to do "that book" I will print or photocopy that books table of contents and add that to my "planning binder" and thats IT. Each book on my shelf, kindle or in another binder, basically any resource we are planning to use, I just print, type up or photocopy the TOC, then just tick off as I do each bit.

 

I am also planning on writing out a resource list (1 page per subject/area with 2 pages for misc) so I have an idea of resources I have at my disposal, and adding that to my filofax (sometimes I will forget I have a certain resource or won't use it for a bit, simply because I forget about it. I have planning recording pages I created in my filofax that are more as unit study/theme ideas, and other pages that are for recording. My system is rather higgledy piggledy. I also plan out rhythms for the entire year. I plan lots of differet things but I never ACTUALLY plan. LOL.

If you asked me what we are doing tommorrow, I might have a vague idea (taking dog for a walk, playing outside, cleaning bedroom), as you can see these are more what one would count as chores or free time, none are "academic". Academics just fall into our day. If we are up to it, we might do certain things. We also don't laze around and actually fill our days with lots of hard work and school, they are just approached in different ways.

I found micro-planning just made me burn-out and stress for various reasons, either because I was behind or overplanned or the various curriculum that was suppose to take one day took three or the curricula that was suppose to take 20 weeks to finish only took us 3 weeks.

 

Our house works in weird ways, weird hours, and each of my children are so different that putting them into one box was driving me crazy and leading them either to frustration (over their heads) or boredom (below their grade). That they (and I) changed so much with what we wanted to do and how we paced ourselves (as I am learning alongside them doing my own courses and such) that trying to schedule or plan these things was simply insanity and a waste of time. It was better to display what we had (out of sight, out of mind and all that) and to concentrate on observing and recording what did happen and being prepared for future works rather than planning what will happen that is rather like chains here, and no-one likes chains.

Would this idea work everywhere? No, I am being honest and admitting that. Some children (and adults) would flounder without a schedule or being told they must do certain things. Its also a lot on the parent/teacher too. As a thread was about a few weeks back, the reality is it relies as much on the teacher as the child, so if the teacher cannot understand it, the child is less likely to.

I have found I flounder with no plan myself, but dislike schedules and actual plans (even though I love making them) so what I do is like creating the foundation, the concrete slab, as the prep work. This is my plan. The children can walk all over the slab, whichever direction they want (I walk behind them, and try to figure out which directions they would like to go, and go lay paving there for them, I also lay paving in several directions I would like for them to pursue. Each of these directions/areas have the barest hint of frame work, the child can walk around and admire the framework, or as in a room of paintings that may not grab them, give a cursory glance and run through to the next section (but that room is waiting for them should they like to head back that way later on). The child may become interested in a particular frame and start climbing upwords, I then provide more framing as needed, sometimes the child will stop at a particular floor that is empty, I provide one wall to get them started, and come back to find they are completed the walls, and as I watch, are starting to furnish the room themselves.

So I "plan" in rhythms for the year, month, week, etc which is a Steiner view. I make sure their day breathes in & out (Steiner). I display everything at the childs level and have everything available to them (Project-Based-Homeschooling & Montessori). I work in yearly cycles, provide groundwork for the child, read good literature, and make available to them the best of (Classical/WTM) homeschooling. I also provide and agree with the physical and philosophical views of CM, ones not related to academics, but more about how children should be brought up, like that children should be outside everyday, be with their parents till a certain age and use some of her and other CMers ideas about Nature Study & Shakespeare (Charlotte Mason). Because I do need to provide the faint framework and be ready to build upwards, I don't plan in days or weeks, but in Units, each unit having a theme with a list of optional ideas to follow (Unit Study/KONOS-inspired). Each of my children follow their own way through school, but ones needs a scope or some degree so I use a very child led feel one (Montessori), and I use a mixture of 3-4 different pedagogical/parenting styles (Montessori, Waldorf, Unschooling & Radical Unschooling). My daughters have medical needs (Diabetes Type 1) so I often use that to bring in other areas like science, social events, educational events, etc I love blogs like D-Mom. My son has special needs and I have my own, so I use ABA, backwards-chaining of Montessori and more verbal cues for him, as well as mixing Speech Therapy into our group classes, I also love Jennifer O'Toole and her blog & books (Asperkids) To keep myself on top of things I use Moleskines (Writer's Notebook), Todo lists (Index Cards), and Mini "Binder" (Filofax) which covers child observation/notation, remembers/to-do lists, planning lists, shopping lists, menu planners, calendars, etc. Chore charts are still being made and only images would suffice to explain those, and they are optional and its a family board of current "to-dos" that aren't everyday stuff (everyday stuff is going on a whiteboard).

So I get the excitement of "planning" out filofax pages, making my moleskine pretty after I have finished a page, writing out ideas for themes, and generally playing with planning stuff other than rigid school or life planning. I also use my planner/ocd/ordering&organizing persona to do courses (I realized in about a week, for a period of 3 weeks I will be simultaneously enrolled in 4 courses, I have one course that goes for 2 years, another for one year, one for 2 months, and another for 1 month, so those 3 weeks will be fun, luckily I have a lot of nervous/busy energy, and my children do mostly independant stuff, so theres a 3 hour period every day where they get to be in the schoolroom (the child can divide it over 2 periods if they want, and they are allowed snacks) and I am not allowed to disturb or annoy them, so these courses help fill my need for learning + stop me from annoying the children with trying to "help" (which only interrupts their work and annoys them). Its the same as another person would sit on their hands, I use the courses as a helpful (they are actually needed and not wasted time, they just have the extra benefit) diversion. I also have a grammar/writing homeschool curricula I am currently working through myself (as its one area I obviously need to brush up on, as the grammar police on here seem to know, they have stopped me enough :p)

Obviously one who hates to plan/teach would swing the opposite way, lol. Its the area I love, and just taking that away from me would make me a very sad panda, or as hubby says "Happy wife, happy life; Sad Wife, No life" rofl. So I use that energy into something more useful like theme ideas/lists/units and observation notes/Writer's Notebook.

So getting back to the main subject, I don't really have a daily plan or idea, if there is a holiday, I may start a theme about 1-2 weeks before it, same if theres an event coming up (rodeo=horse unit) I use that for theme ideas. I record more than schedule, I make lists of ideas more than plan, and I generally try to have visual reminders and checklists to remind me of things that do need to be done or options we have. If I had planned, we wouldn't have done 3 days of glowstick science that turned into PE & Health, or created Rainbow Rice that led to my 4yo understanding fractions, or me actually happily sitting there playing tickles with the kids, or moving the new mattresses to the schoolroom so the kids could do mattress skiing and my eldest "deciding" math was more fun and going off to do some math. Instead I would of been staring at my perfect plans, yelling at the children and trying to get everything done because we were "behind".

 

Oh, and you know what I found out? I grabbed 3 main subjects of school workbooks from my local store the other day and flicked through them. My 7yo wouldbe able to go about half way through the 1st one before getting stuck (at her grade level) (1st grade), in another subject could *just* complete the 5th grade version, and in the 3rd subject could complete the 7th grade version with 1 or 2 quick explanations. I then decided grades were absolutely ridiculous. rofl. So was being "behind". As long as my child continues to learn, has the foundation there, and is happy to learn, I'm happy. And I also found I don't like workbooks. rofl.

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