It is easy to see people who have a super-organized school room and an entire year’s worth of lesson plans with each day’s activities ready to go, and then feel like maybe you don’t measure up. I just wanted to share that I’m not one of those super-planners with lesson plans organized, color-coded, and ready to go.
In case you think I fall into the ultra-planner category, I want to say that this the first year I ever made book lists ahead of the school year. Gasp! In fact, I wrote all of my book lists over the summer because of this blog. I thought others might like them, and I might not have time to blog about all the books I find at the library during the school year.
In fact, my John 1 poster in my school room is only there because I never took it down from the last time we did Cycle 3. I hope you grasp this. We finished John 1 in Cycle 3 in Spring 2012, and it still is hanging on my wall. Now, we are getting back to Cycle 3 with Classical Conversations, and I look like I’m all on top of things.
Let me share a little bit into how we plan our homeschooling and why it’s okay to not be an ultra-planner.
I pick curriculum that I can just pick up and teach. We make curriculum choices partially based on how user-friendly they are for me. If something involves lots of prep on my part, it won’t be picked. We are using Classical Conversations Foundation and Essentials, Saxon Math, and The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading for phonics. I have handwriting practice worksheets (printed from online) but I also own a handwriting software program in case we need different practice.
I set aside a time to organize for the coming week. I try to get the kids’ school checklists for the week done by Sunday night (or Monday night if I have to since we have CC on Monday). This gives them their tasks for the week. If I tried to make them too far ahead, I wouldn’t be able to take a dentist appointment into account or work that might be carried over due to the flu hitting the family the week before.
I have a daily routine. Our school day flows with a daily routine. We start our day with Bible, math, copywork/handwriting practice, reading lessons, Essentials work, and so on. The kids practice AWANA verses and piano. They also have independent reading time every day. I read aloud books to the kids and practice memory work with them. My children enjoy having checklists with their work for the week so they can cross off what is complete.
We work to create a lifestyle of learning. I don’t have all our learning opportunities mapped out, but Seth and I do work to create a lifestyle of learning. This means that our children are getting learning opportunities all the time: field trips, books, answered questions, and while running errands. For fun, Seth and the kids do science experiments. Our children make art projects and study the world around them. We make time for a lifestyle of learning.
And sometimes, a poster just might get left on the wall for a few years. But, we learn lots, and now we’re ready for the new year.