Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nervous: Starting full school schedule tomorrow!

Before our vacation I did a good job of planning out the content of our first 9 weeks of school, but did not have a chance to wrap my brain around how to fit it all in.  When to do what, so that everyone was getting their work for me done in a timely manner, and their work for outside teachers/classes done as well.  So during this past week I pondered and prayed about the overall schedule and spent some time trying to map it all out on paper.  We are not a super tightly scheduled family, but I am a very visual person, so it really helps me if I can literally see how it all fits together. 

This is a picture of my first attempt at our fall schedule.  I usually have to tweak it after we try to live it for a few days.  And as I said before, we don't necessarily follow it to the letter.  It just really helps to keep us on track.  I purposely kept it small here, but if any of my fellow homeschoolers would like your own copy to see up close, or to edit for your use, please email me and I'd be happy to send it to you.  I originally got this template from someone else, so I'm happy to return the favor and pass it along!

In addition to the overall schedule, I made paper assignment charts for my three middle boys for each week of our school year.  The charts are not new, but what is new this year is binding them all together in a little book at the very beginning of the year!  ($5 per book at Fed Ex Kinkos) This does two things:  it prevents lost papers (unless the entire book of charts gets lost.... heaven forbid!), and it saves me the trouble of binding them at the end of the year as a record of what we did that whole year. 

Inside the bound book are 36 pages that look like this:

The pages for each of my three middle boys are slightly different, but in all three cases we write their work for each week in daily columns.  I am teaching the boys to do this themselves ~ that is going in stages and is a work in progress.  Some of my friends use online scheduling programs, and some have their children use handheld devices (such as ipads or itouches) to track their schedule.  I was paralyzed with indecision about what to do this year until I just decided to stick with the old fashioned paper method for now!  Again, if any of my fellow homeschoolers would like to see this template up close, feel free to email me and ask.  I have made and tried lots of different paper schedules, and this one works best for our family.  It was designed specifically with Tapestry of Grace in mind, and I love the section at the top where they can track their history reading progress through the week.

Our daughter G has her own planner and is 100% responsible for her own schedule now, so I do not make pages like this for her, and Little Man has his daily work written in list form on our school whiteboard.

Tomorrow is our inaugural day with the new schedule.  I'm hopeful!


Teacher/Mom said...

Everything looks awesome! I will pray that your first full week will be a good one, and that attitudes and attentions will be godly. The last week was the first week for us of having everything added in to the schedule. However, amazingly I am going to have two hours to MYSELF on Wednesday nights this year. I plan to take my Bible to Bakers Square after I drop all the kids off at church and spend an hour with the LORD and a piece of pie. Can't think of anything better. Blessings.

sojourner on earth said...

Those schedules look good :) Would you mind emailing them to me? I tried your email, but it doesn't seem to work, that is why I am writing here. My email is:
I really like reading your blog, it is a real inspiration. Especially since we are doing ToG as well, though we are doing year 1 this year. Last year was my first with ToG and I was so very much overwhelmed that I wanted to do something different this year. The only thing that kept me was that I have a high schooler and ToG is one of the best high school programs. I hope that I can handle it better this year ;-)

Unknown said...

Teacher/Mom: an hour with the Lord and a piece of pie sounds GREAT! Praying the Lord meets you in just the way you need during this date night with Him. How wonderful!

Sojourner: I'm sorry my email link did not seem to work. Feel free to cut and paste my email addy (from my sidebar) into your email program if you want to contact me in the future. I will send out those forms in a couple minutes! TOG certainly can be overwhelming because there is just so much to it, but if you can focus only on those things you feel are most needful for your high schooler it will be much more manageable. We have never done people or vocab, and only rarely use the SAP's. In high school we don't do TOG's government or philosophy (even though they are excellent). We do history and lit, and sometimes church history, mapwork and timelines. That's it. Of course, that is what is works *for us*. You may choose other things to drop or add, and that is what makes the TOG "buffet" so rich! My oldest is a 10th grader this year, so I have not yet graduated a student from TOG, but if you have high school specific questions, please feel free to ask and if I don't know the answer I may be able to help point you in the right direction!