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I've left the box curricula! Help me remember how to plan...


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You can't fall behind since you are the planner. 😜


Seriously though, what all are you doing? You can sit down and map out what you want to cover for the year, break that up Into quarters and then into weeks. For a lot of things, just do the next lesson each day. :)

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We are doing CC which is very structured and planned out already.  To that, I am adding VP self paced and various VP literature.  I just found the schedule for VP including what subjects are covered each week with assigned reading.  That helps!


I guess it's the subjects I won't be doing the next thing in - like Laying Down the Rails.  I'm jumping around in that book.  I can just put down one habit per ever four weeks or so like she recommends, into the planner.  I would just list LDTR on the days we are covering it for those 4 weeks, say T, TH weeks 1 - 4 (we will begin w/covering the habit of attention, I think.)


Math is do the next thing, grammar, do the next thing. 

BSGFAA do the next thing.


Maybe it's the Morning Time books that are tripping me up in the planning process...?

Edited by momee
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I have a planner, I have books.  Now what?  LOL



Seriously my question about planning has always been this - what do you do when (not if!) you fall behind?


It's not any different than if you buy a boxed curriculum and don't stay on target--you either:


Keep working at your pace and allow things to take more than a year

Cut some things (which might never get done or might be summer reading or might be used by another child later...)


My plans are always simple things that can be easily modified. I don't have highly elaborate dated plans, or even daily/weekly lesson plans. My plans range from very simple:


Math--aim to do a lesson per day, with X wiggle-room days.


I might pencil in what lesson I'd like to be on by Christmas on my math grading sheet (high school) or right in the book (before high school). 


To a slightly more complex plan:


For readers/literature, I list out the books in order, and the approximate number of days I think it will take my kids to read them. Then, in front of each book, I list what week of school we'll be on when they start that book. So it might look like:


1-book 1

3-book 2

7-book 3...


and so on.


I keep an "optional" list if we get ahead or want to swap a book out (maybe one just doesn't sound appealing at all come next February, and we need a fun "pick-me-up" book instead. Or maybe I have a couple of "reach" books that I secretly hope to squeeze in...)


If we get behind, I simply cross off one of the books. No plans are messed up and we're back on track. Maybe we'll catch that book another time.


For books that have a TOC (such as a history spine), I might photocopy that TOC and put it right in my planner, behind the tab for that subject. I might plan for a unit or chapter per week as a rough plan--in which case I might pencil in Christmas and maybe one or two other dates to aim for. Again, if we get behind those dates--I can choose to cut something later on.


For subjects where timing really doesn't matter, my plan might simply be: 20 minutes per day on spelling. No need to plan out anything more specific--each day I can either simply check off that we did spelling, or I can write down what we actually did. 


I prefer simple but flexible plans. If we want to spend the day on a field trip, I can simply draw a line across that day in my planner and write the field trip in. That school day still counts, and no plans were messed up. If we want to do a more involved history project that might involve art, writing, reading, spelling etc..., we can do something bigger like that--and again, no plans are messed up. 


If I want the option of watching a movie or reading a certain book when we come to a topic in history--I can pencil it in right by that history lesson in my photo-copied TOC in my planner. 


Here are some pictures/descriptions of my planner to give you some ideas.


Have fun, and make your plans suit your family.

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We school 4 weeks on/1 off year round but with the goal of getting our core work done in 7 of those 4 week sessions. (Leaving 3 sessions in the summer for review, reinforcement of rough areas, the fun stuff like art and interest led study, and enrichment activities.)


I'm in the process of planning now and I started by going through each subject and dividing it into 7 sections so that we know exactly how much to get done each month. After that, I'll make a more detailed plan for each month and divide the work into weeks. As I long as I get the first month planned out before we start back in September I'll be ok but I'd like to have a rough plan sketched out though Christmas at least. I'll probably take a few minutes each weekend to tweak the plans for the upcoming week if needed also.


I'm hoping this gives us enough structure to stay on track but enough flexibility to work around life.

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I've been at this for a long, long time but feel I've been going about making my own plans all wrong.  I'll take weeks and type out an elaborate spreadsheet only to fall behind or move ahead by week 8 or even 4!


I'm not going that route this time around, lol.  I do need a schedule and want to use this beautiful planner I have :)))))))))))


I am just not sure exactly HOW to go about that.  Thanks for helping me think it through.



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I'm another that plans for 4-day weeks. I've started doing weekly schedules, rather than daily. Actually, I just broke down next year into 6-week chunks (plans in pencil). I'll write out the weekly plans 6 weeks at a time, and write (or have older kids write) daily plans in their planners each week. So if we get behind, I can add it to next week. Do-the-next-thing is what works best for me personally. I've accepted that about my personality and I'm way more peaceful about planning.


Morning time is tripping you up? What type of things are you doing? Our morning time is folk songs, hymns, bible stories, poetry memorization, and read-aloud.

For the songs, I pick one of each every month and we just sing them on alternate days for the whole month.

Poetry--we have a list and recite one until it's memorized, then move on. We review 4 old poems every day.

Bible Stories--I don't schedule. Just read the next one and discuss.

Read-aloud a is pretty much the same. I have a list of 8 or 9 books for the year. I read a chapter (or more if I feel like it) every morning. When we finish this book, we will move on to the next. If I manage to finish all the books on my list, I'll choose more books. This year, I also realized I need to give up on the thematic, chronological book lists I've used before. Or the list of books someone else published that we "must" read this year. I get bored, I get behind, and I give up. Now, I'm just picking books I like, aimed at various age levels. Hopefully, the fact that I'm reading my favorite children's books will help me stay on track with reading every day.


Today, we just started Trumpet of the Swan. My oldest read it when she was 7 or 8 and doesn't care to read it again. So I will excuse her while I read aloud.


Ok, I just looked at my booklist, and she's already read all of them! Oops. But she can listen in if she likes, and maybe I'll add some books at high school level...or have an extra read-aloud time... or encourage dh to choose books geared towards her for the bedtime reading he does some nights. Sorry, I got off track...just thinking aloud!

Edited by TKDmom
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Thanks for all that info, it does help trigger alot of things.


I just signed up and entered our math, CC, grammar, handwriting, vp self paced, bsgfaa and writing lessons out with the Simply Charlotte Mason scheduler.  Adjusts for missed days, is free! and took me...idk...an hour?  It was easy to schedule the ending of one book and beginning of our next math level.  It was also easy to schedule in multiple units of the BSGFAA levels we are doing as well as the CC memory work weeks.  Cool!


I still need to enter our history books and literature...

Now to see how well it actually works! will be the true test, right?

Edited by momee
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Sometimes it helps to break things down by term, or semester depending on how you classify things.


In our home we have 4 terms that are 10 weeks each. We take 2 weeks off between each term. Knowing that base line allows me to decide how much we can achieve per term & to work forward from there. :)

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I create the general sequence for each subject (where I want to start and where I want to finish, a list of books and supplements) before the school yr starts. Those are the framework I plan our entire yr around. I only write 6 weeks worth of plans at at time and in pencil. My plans are written per child and based on what I know is absolutely realistic for their abilities.


For example, if I have a slow reader and I want a subject to take only 45 mins, I might schedule 6 pages for reading and 10mins for additional work (labeling a map, definitions, etc.)


I know my kids well enough that I can gauge realistic accomplishments if they stay focused and don't day dream. Their days are not finished until everything in the planner is done. Period. The only time I change things is if I know I made an error in my estimates or if I don't actually like the plans I created.


Normally the only way we get behind is illness or unexpected life stuff that really does prevent work getting done. Otherwise, outside activities don't enter. I am very, very reluctant to get involved in too many outside activities bc our academics at home are our priority and leaving the house is incredibly disruptive to our learning environment. I try to keep all outside activities limited to after our school hrs.


Fwiw, we school 6-8 weeks in and 1 week off from Aug first to mid May. The week off is my get stuff done week (appts, big shops, deep clean, and lessons written for the next block) and their free time week. My kids will work hard on our on weeks bc they want their free week.

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I only plan the overall year and never the individual weeks or months. Before each school year starts I look at each book (curricula) and decide when I am planning on finishing with that item, will it take a term? a semester? a year? 2 years?

A school year here is 40 weeks divided into 4 terms of roughly 10 weeks each.

Then I basically look at the table of contents assuming it has one and divide the number of chapters by however long the book will take to complete in weeks. Eg a 100 chapter book like FLL that will take all year to complete = 100 chapters /40 weeks = 2.5 chapters a week, I generally round UP as I know there will be weeks when we miss some lessons or take the week off so I would then aim to work on that program 3 days each week.
I do this for each individual curricula to give me a list of subjects and number of days each week to work on those then I just basically aim to stick to the number of days on the list, because I always round up there is usually a fair bit of flexibility in the plans. I usually do a check to see if we are on track at the end of each term and if we are way behind I may adjust the plan for the following term to do say grammar 4 days a week instead of 3 but that is not usual.

My plan this year for my 4th grader looks like this (and the 2nd plan is very similar)
FLL 3 days a week

AAS 2 days a week (we generally alternate these 2)

Writing strands 4 days a week

Working with words daily

Reading daily

Geography 1 day a week

History 2 days a week

Science 2 days a week

MUS daily OR BA daily (we alternate these on a monthly basis give or take) I do not plan to finish these at any set time, we just do the next thing for a set time daily and will finish it when we finish it


Starting 5th the plan will be done the same way but as she will be using more resources then for history and science so the plan for those subjects will be more set out due those additions. The science plan may or may not end up looking something like this:
Science book 1 - 1 chapter weekly with outline

Science book 2 - 2 chapters weekly

Science own research/reading - 1 day a week with outline (use encyclopedia or non fiction resource of choice to further research a topic from the weekly spine)

Experiment - 1-2 weekly

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I rarely put the lesson numbers in my planner.  I use MFW, so that is a separate TM.  But my planner has all math, LA, spelling, etc.  I simply list out things ot use as as check list.  So it may say "FLL, WWE, AAS, CLE Reading, ABEKA MAth, Mathematical Reasoning".  No lesson numbers.  Then if I miss a day, I give myself grace and move on to the next day.  I have even stopped putting days or dates.  It simply says "Week 1" and then "Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4".  


With MFW, I'm gonna use sticky arrows.  If we do two bible days in one day, the arrow moves to spots to day 3.  If I do only 1 science day, it only moves one spot.  I will try to keep weeks together (or at least units) but will allow us to keep going if we like something and then I know where we are.  I learned this doing MFW Adventures, because we would often just keep going when we loved something!  





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I use textbooks so I literally open them to page 1 and go.  Since they are public school text books they are generally already segmented into bite-size, daily chunks.  Such as a social studies chapter will be made up of 3-5 page sections. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday plans are sections 1, 2 and 3.  Thursday could be a small project or documentary and Friday is the test. Boom, done.  Science would be less chapters, but intersperse the reading days with lab days.  Treasures, the sixth-grade program I am using is already paced for weekly units, so follow that.  Math, is a lesson a day, unless stumped, then maybe double up on easier concepts as the textbooks have ~100 lessons. 

Really the only things I need to "plan" are the read aloud schedule (time them for when the topic is covered be it LA or history), projects (to research ideas and purchase materials - this includes labs,too), and field trips.

Edited by J&JMom
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