Saturday, September 3, 2011

Scheduling oh my!

Since I love homeschool planning more than actually implementing them or most any other household chore, I tend to force myself to wait until the very end to make my plan or schedule for the next year. I must resist the urge to plan all year for future years. I typically want to scrap the current year in January in order to start day dreaming about next September. But I resist. I hide catalogs that come in the mail and determine not to buy things at conferences unless already on my decided list.

I agree with other advisors that you really owe it to yourself to take some time off- either go away, or have the kids go away for the day or hire a mom's helper for the day? Anything, so you can really concentrate on the job, look through all those great resources, and search the house for those books you know you bought at last year's conference. . . It is also a good idea to discuss with dh [dear husband] each child's details and how you want to meet them.

After discussing the kids w/ their Dad, The first thing I do is determine my dates. I get a calendar and decide when I'm going to start, stop and take vacation. I try to have a couple of extra floater weeks for unexpected things. I pencil in all those weekly commitments; TKD, dance, soccer, piano, Speech, Bible Study, etc etc. . . Then I count up what's left and start slotting my resources in them. I mostly just concentrate on the weekly schedule and a loose idea of what the daily schedule will be like- [Latin on Monday, piano on Tuesday etc] Since each day is different It's unrealistic to think I can do the same 'school schedule' each day of the week.

Another thing not to forget in this planning is the household chores and meals. While not perfect in this, I do recognize that stopping more often during the day to pick up makes it much easier to maintain the house overall, rather than trying to save it up for one big mega clean up. This is a good thing to do for 'transitions' in your day [after breakfast, before lunch, afternoons before Dad arrives, just before leaving, bedtime, etc. ] set a timer for 10 minutes and have everyone help pick up the main areas of trouble. Whatever gets done in that time is better than nothing. You might schedule in starting a load of laundry in the morning, and swapping it at lunch time. I am going to attempt, yet again, to schedule children for various meals- 1) so they can learn/practice to cook, 2) to learn to serve their family, and 3) to take some of the load off of me. Even the younger ones can make eggs or sandwiches so why not make them for everybody?

As for school. I'm going to try something different this year. I seem to always be struggling to get in my 'favorite subjects' of history and science because I spend so much time doing the 'have tos' When I do school that is. . . Sometimes it's just a struggle period. but also things like teaching someone to read and do math. I've found that I just can't do every single subject each day anyway- and alternating days wasn't working too well either- unless I was in a co-op. So this year, I am doing units. First a 3 week science unit, and then a 5 week history unit. then back to science. there's a little tweaking to fit in the calendar parameters decided on above, but mostly it fits into the time slots I've made. I am very excited to try it this way and see how it works out. . . I've also determined NOT to try to do the whole book, but just pick a handful of related topics for each 'unit.' More details to come, I hope. We start on Tuesday with piano, TKD and possibly Speech Chapter. . .