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Calling all Scheduling Diva's!


Alana in Canada
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I've posted about my woes (complete with spreadsheets) for scheduling the year--on the blog--much easier than trying to explain everything here in words.

 

If you have a minute (or ten) would you mind taking a look at it and helping me out?

 

The full names of the curriculum we're using is in the sidebar, though it shouldn't really matter!

 

Thanks so much--you can leave comments here or on the blog--whatever's easier.

 

Here's the link.

 

Thanks.

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why you feel like you're losing your mind!

 

When my first born "guinea pig" was just beginning K I thought about planning the way you are; my experience has been that it looks great on paper but (at least at our house) the execution of my well laid plans doesn't always match up IRL.

 

Rather than printing up a plan for an entire year, or semester, I plan in six week increments. I use a flexible system, based upon the number of lessons in each subject are I want to cover in a given year.

 

I map out a "master plan" eg. cover 42 lessons of SOTW, 100 lessons in FLL and 25 spelling lessons in 38 weeks at teh beginning of each year.

 

The I divide by 6, and establish theoretical "benchmarks" for each six week period.

 

I print planner pages for each of my dc for each week of the year, and simply check off the number of lessons we do in each subject area each week. Sometimes we're "ahead"; sometimes we're "behind", but I shoot for the six week gaols where I can.

 

Every six weeks, I assess where we are in relation to my goals, and make notes to myself to fine tune what I'm doing in the next six weeks. It sounds more cumbersome than it really is, and I don't have to go back and rewrite everything when we have sick days, as we have this winter, and other unexpected things come up.

 

 

I love the photo on your website :), and it's evident that you've put a lot of time and effort into planning! I hope you'll find the system that works best for you!

 

Here's a link if you want to read more: Laurie's planner pages

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You certainly are a planning Diva!

 

I'm not 1/2 so organized as you are.

 

I've done the spine splitting thing, and I have reading for the children scheduled independently of this Big Master sheet. I do that more frequently--usually weekly because it depends almost entirely on what I can get from the library.

 

I quess what I need advice on is--where should we take a break? or maybe we shouldn't?

 

Maybe we should do Latin and math everyday (except for our trip to Montreal. Not possible.) and do our writing/grammar on alternate weeks--just so we can get outside this summer.

 

I don't know.

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You certainly are a planning Diva!

 

I'm not 1/2 so organized as you are.

 

I've done the spine splitting thing, and I have reading for the children scheduled independently of this Big Master sheet. I do that more frequently--usually weekly because it depends almost entirely on what I can get from the library.

 

I quess what I need advice on is--where should we take a break? or maybe we shouldn't?

 

Maybe we should do Latin and math everyday (except for our trip to Montreal. Not possible.) and do our writing/grammar on alternate weeks--just so we can get outside this summer.

 

We school 5 days a week, 5 hours a day. That's OK in winter--but summer? I think I'm asking for trouble.

I don't know.

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IMHO, the best time to get outside is spring, when it's finally warm enough to leave the house without half an hour of prep, and fall, when it's finally cool enough to leave the house without having to run back every half an hour for another ice pop.

 

I posted on your blog that you could bump SOTW down to the Christmas time to free up more time in June. It looks like you could do the same thing with both kids' grammar and with Canadian history. You could also alternate the weeks in which you do it so that you have lighter weeks but don't get completely off track, ie, do grammar with Emma one week and Ben the next.

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Yes, OK.

There's the direction I need.

I can move SoTW down about three weeks, freeing up some summer time.

 

(Our true summer season is May, June and July. It starts getting cold in August again and the leaves turn in the first few weeks of September!)

 

If we go straight through, my girl is going to finish FLL by July 12th anyway. She should start R&S3--but I love the idea of doing it every other week for a bit.

 

we could even start that the week we get back from Montreal--since it will be tough to go full tilt that week anyway.

 

Grammer for the boy is a bit more problematic. I feel he is too far behind for me not to push ahead. I feel grammar is like Math--if not every day, then near enough. However, if he's breezing through things, I'm sure we can slow it down a bit. As well, I understand that as there is plenty of repetition, the upper levels may go more quickly. I may ask about that directly, though.

 

I didn't finish writing up the Cdn. History, unfortunately. There's 21 weeks of it, two weeks per lesson. I don't know if I should speed that up or not. (I wrote our curriculum, and I really have no idea what I'm doing!:))

 

oops, supper's ready. gotta go.

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Well, since you wrote the Canadian history yourself, can you make it simpler? Can you limit to one book? Perhaps you already have, in which case, I'm not sure what to tell you! I guess you could try some block scheduling, planning on leftovers and finger foods for dinner and devoting the whole day to massive amounts of Canadian history, then having that extra time the rest of the week to get outside. We did that for science for a while and were surprised at how much faster lessons went when we had time to get on a roll with them.

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Thanks Rose! A massive amont of Cdn History in one day! That madfe me laugh.

 

I think we'd just get so confused. (As if it isn't confusing enough. There's the French, the English, The Native People those for and against the French/the English, the North-West Passage, the Fur Trade, the HBC, the rival company--and THEN there is Acadia which changed hands about 9 times in 100 years. (don't quote me). And this is only up to lesson 11.

 

BUT. BUT. Maybe.....what would we "drop" to make room for it? or anything else for that matter?

egads.

 

The husband and I were just discussing getting new picnic table--with an umbrella! (We have no shade trees of our own in the backyard)....ours is old and warped.

 

All I need now is a portable blackboard and we can just park out there.

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How about something radical?

Try using SOTW as your read aloud once a week. You don't have a read aloud scheduled after the first few weeks. Can you change your Canadian history to be more read aloud-ish? And maybe drop the Bible program for simple Bible reading. Then you have combined 4 subjects into read aloud time. You could read SOTW, CH, Bible, some good literature, and maybe a Nature studies type book each once a week. It could be at the end of the day during summer so it didn't even look like schooling.

 

Are you doing Latin, grammar, SWR, copy work (and CW with the oldest)? At least for the summer if you want to do a lighter schedule, try just doing Latin and SWR or Latin and copy work. For the oldest, maybe just Latin and CW OR grammar and CW - whichever you feel works better.

 

Streamline baby. :D

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for the record, I feel like I'm in a straight jacket locked in a closet when I see schedules like that. :eek:

 

I suggest a weekly routine, based on your goals. Remember, you can skip portions of SOTW that aren't as important to you, you can delete portions of math that your child has mastered. It is good to assess where you are every few weeks (6 or so?) and stay in tune to where your family is at, rather than stressing over a yearly schedule.

 

At the end of the year, simply end in the content areas (history, literature, science) wherever you land. It is not necessary to finish your content areas 100%, nor to do each chapter or lesson. Keep doing math and English a little bit through the summer if you aren't quite done with their books. At my house, doing a couple of summer lessons per week keeps skills sharp anyway.

 

You asked for advice - so here's mine. Scrap the detailed yearly plans, and focus on your main goals for the next 6 weeks. See how it goes. Set yourself free!

 

Here's my general schedule (for details and checklist, see "CM Scheduling" at my blog). This works for me with any curriculum, since I modify the curriculum to suit my preferences. We have a definite amount of work for the week, and I usually finish our curriculums early. Consistency is the key. Do less, but do it well. Cut back to the point where you can do your school week consistently, and with joy. If consistency and joy are missing, you are likely over-scheduling yourself and your children. This schedule is what WE can handle - it may be more than some and less than many - but that is of no concern to me. We are not other people!

 

 

Monday

Book Basket Reading---(30-60 min)

Memory Work & Poem-a-Day---(10 min)

Bible---(20 min)

Composition---(30 min)

Music & 15 min play---(30 min)

Spanish---(20 min)

Reading---(30 min)

Math---(40 min)

Copywork---(10min)

 

Tueday

Book Basket Reading---(30-60 min)

Memory Work & Poem-a-Day---(10 min)

Bible---(20 min)

English Grammar---(30 min)

Phy-Ed & 10 min play---(30 min)

Reading---(30 min)

Math---(40 min)

Dictation---(10min)

Spelling---(20 min)

 

Wednesday

Book Basket Reading---(30-60 min)

Memory Work & Poem-a-Day---(10 min)

Bible---(20 min)

Composition---(30 min)

Music & 15 min play---(30 min)

Math---(40 min)

Reading---(30 min)

Spanish---(20 min)

Copywork---(10min)

 

 

Thursday -- Hands-on Day

Notebook Time---(60 min+)

Reading---(30-60 min)

Geography---(30 min)

Hymn/Folk Song---(10 min)

Art and Projects---(60 min+)

 

Friday

Book Basket Reading---(30-60 min)

Memory Work & Poem-A-Day---(10 min)

Bible---(20 min)

English Grammar---(30 min)

Phy-Ed & 10 min play---(30 min)

Math---(40 min)

Dictation or Spelling---(10 min)

Spanish---(20 min)

Reading---(30 min)

 

 

In freedom and joy!

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Thank you Tami!

What are shackles to some is much needed structure to others, however!

 

(There's got to be a quote on that somewhere).

 

In all fairness to freedom, however, I was just trying to get a handle on where we are going and when/where we would end up. I've noticed that without a Big Picture plan like this we don't actually do very much--and you must understand that I mean, really, nothing. I am something of an escape artist--so I need a few shackles.

 

I am waiting for Schaeffer McCauley's book to become available from the library. That might help me loosen up a bit on the daily grind. Your schedule looks lovely. I'd like to see if I can get a relaxed feel to my days, too.

 

Anyway, I'm going to go fiddle with it. I think I have some an idea how to lighten things for the summer a bit.

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Thank you Tami!

I am something of an escape artist--so I need a few shackles.

QUOTE]

 

ROFL!!! That is a good one. You have made my day!

 

I hope you find something that works. I find that consistency problems are usually related to something other than schedule. Do you hate your curriculum? Do you have attitude problems you are avoiding? Are you feeling lackluster in other areas of Life? No need to answer, just a thought.

 

Wishing you consistency! You will find your groove.

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Yep, we have huge attitude problems--but it is directly related to my inconsistency. So, we're working on it. Working on it.

 

Have a great day.:)

 

 

 

I understand! We deal with attitude issues, and I agree that best thing is consistency. Routine, routine, routine. After a while, the kiddos figure out that there is no getting out of it. *evil grin* Then they settle in, but it is UGLY for the first couple of weeks when they test your resolve. (Why do kids always need to test those boundaries!)

 

Is there no way I can talk you into cutting back even a *little*? I want you to be successful! You can always add in more. :)

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do you know about the FLY lady?

 

When establishing new routines, you might want to consider starting small.

 

We don't follow a schedule at our house, but we generally follow routines.

 

At the beginning of our school year, I began with two or three subjects, which we tackled in a particular order each morning. Gradually, I added more each week until we were up to a complete schedule.

 

Helps minimize the testing a little bit, if they don't realize what is happening to them :)

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I think I've got it.

 

No, I haven't cut back--just moved things about a bit.

 

I decided to focus on what I consider to be our essential subjects for June and July--so we're doing Canadian History (honest, it should be fun), SWR, science ('cause that's when the bugs are out!), math, latin and writing for my boy.

 

I'll alternate Grammar--so my girl has six weeks off (but heavens, it's only FLL and she loves it!) and my son has a mid-textbook break as well--but not at the same time--though, come to think of it, we could do that. Bible has been shifted as well (and we'll review verses, I think).

 

It feels better.

 

Anyway, I've got the new schedule posted.

 

Thanks everyone!

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