Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Back to Homeschool BLOG HOP - Planning / Record Keeping

As a homeschool mom, I have a homeschool plan. In fact, I have a plan for the entire homeschool year. While some may baulk at the idea of planning out the entire homeschool year, allow me to share how and why I plan for the entire homeschool year.

Planning a full year of schoolwork for your students may seem like a formidable task at first; but dividing the work into four quarters, makes the task more manageable. As you can see from my example, I plan a 4-day week and we complete the homeschool year in 36 weeks. Quarter 1 completes weeks 1-9. Quarter 2 completes weeks 10-18. Quarter 3 completes weeks 19-27. Quarter 4 completes weeks 28-36.
To plan out a textbook by lessons, list the number of lessons in it and add the number of tests to be used with the textbook – this is your total number of lessons. Next, divide the total number of lessons by the number of school days to estimate how many lessons should be completed each day.
For example, my daughter’s foreign language curriculum includes 180 lessons. Planning a 4-day week, she will complete 2 lessons on Day 1 and then complete 1 lesson on Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4. She will continue this pattern throughout the 36-week school year.
Please note, my lesson book is also my grade book. When the assignment is complete, I write in the grade. After each quarter, I average the grade for the quarter and write it next to the quarter number. I then transfer this information to my student’s transcript or report card and then at the end of the year all I have to do is figure the final grade.
Now that you know I am a planner, perhaps you would like to know why I plan the entire school year.
A plan brings freedom. By taking the time in the summer to create my lesson plan for each subject, I don’t have to waste my time during the school year trying to structure all the “HAVE TOs”. I can use this time to provide some of the “WANT TOs”. We have the freedom to take rabbit trails, create memories, and explore new interests because the foundation has already been created.
A plan affords flexibility. With a lesson plan already established, I can see at a glance what subjects need concentrated effort and what subjects won’t require as much time and attention that day. If we need to jet off to an unplanned doctor’s appointment or make a meal for a sick friend, I can quickly glance at my plan and know what can easily be brought along with us or can be started and then put on hold until later that day. And sometimes we just have to rearrange our week, if we have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, we do school on Monday-Tuesday-Thursday-Friday, this is why I love our 4-day lesson plan.
A plan provides a goal. As the old saying goes, “Without a plan, you plan to fail.” Having a year-long plan sets definite goals for both me and my girls. While we may not complete everything on the plan each day, we always maintain forward motion because there is a clear and KNOWN goal. My children’s education is of high priority to me. I cannot afford to slip to idleness. Having a plan, or a goal, motivates me into action!
A plan creates a season. Scripture reminds us in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that there is a season for everything under the heavens. While each season of creation is different, they all have two things in common – a BEGINNING and an END. The very nature of a year-long lesson plan creates an obvious BEGINNING and an obvious END – a season. Without a plan of action, how can anyone know when the action is completed?
If you need help planning a full year of schoolwork, I would be glad to offer my assistance. Feel free to contact me and I can do this for you – all you would have to do is print the pages and create your own binder.
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  1. "A plan creates a season." Good statement. Thanks for this post. - Lori

  2. so many reasons to plan... I get it...but I planning...that is something I do poorly. :)

  3. Great post. When I first started home school I had no idea about planning. We'd start the day after Labor Day and end when all the lessons were complete. I didn't like when Math stretched into the summer with only a vague end in sight. I much prefer a plan. It brings peace!