Friday, August 10, 2012

Planning for School

You know it's so funny that once again I've done very little planning for next year.  I looked at my archive to see what I last wrote on planning and it was August 11 of 2011 when I blogged that I hadn't done nearly as much planning for the upcoming year as usual.  Now here it is August 10 of 2012 and I'm in an almost identical situation.

Let me back up to say that by nature I am a planner and typically over the many years we've homeschooled I have spreadsheets and planning grids galore.  Many of them I've made myself but I also use a few from Donna Young's site.  If you are new or old to planning check out her site.  She literally has 100'ss of planning sheets for homeschool or home management and they are all FREE.  I just love free!

Last year I just "felt" like not planning.  Now that doesn't mean I didn't have curriculum picked etc...  But it does mean I didn't plan out each week with what we're going to do and have a spreadsheet for each child like I had for the past 6-8 years.  I was at total peace with it for some strange reason.

Turns out it wasn't so strange.  God was in control.  I had a year like no other (well one other but that was before I was homeschooling 4.)  My husband ended up very sick and off work for about 9 months of the year.  I ended up working part time along with running my home business and homeschooling the kids.  Needless to say my usual "plan" would have stressed me out.  We didn't do things in a usual way at all.  Some things got droppped or curtailed and we survived.

This year I'm not anticipating quite the year we had last year and I'm looking forward to enjoying some of those extras we had to cut last year as well as participating myself with my kids more this year.  Last year I'm afraid they were forced to be more independent than we usually like although that wasn't ALL bad.

I have started planning and will probably complete my spreadsheets and schedules but last year showed me that flexibility is a good thing.  It's also easier to be more flexible when schooling 2 instead of 4 like I used to.  So I am planning the weeks but I'm not assigning dates.  I'm trying to have less "weeks" but have noted some that "may take two" to complete. 

For instance on my history plan I have for week 10 "Prophets (may take two) because we're using the Bible and scanning the Mystery of History chapters on all the major and minor prophets.  I really want to focus on this and have them get to know and understand the prophets as I feel it's an area that is often not covered in a systematic way.  Other "areas" like week one on "creation, dinosaurs and the ice age" we're really going to skim because we've done so much on that in years past.

That's the nice things this year is this is our second time through so I feel like in the upper elementary to early Jr. high the girls got a nice overview of everything so now in the upper Jr. high/High School years we can gloss over what we need to and really camp out on what we want or feel is important to focus on.

I love that homeschool allows us to teach our children what we feel is important instead of what some state board decides is the right thing for our child!

So while planning is not done it's started and I don't feel stressed.  I will get some more done but I'm not worried either.

I've got History down to 23 weeks which allows 4-6 weeks of camping out or life interuptions.  I'm hoping I can get all the subjects into a similar timeframe to allow for that as well.  We'll see, maybe by the day after Labor day I'll have it figured out and then again maybe not.  It's all good....

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