~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Kids~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A schedule that works!

Let's get one thing out in the open. I am NOT naturally organized. Never have been and never will be. I started out homeschooling with a 5yo, 3yo and 1yo.  Of course at the time I thought it was really hard. Now I look back and realize how easy I had it!  We did our school work when we felt like it and got our state required 180 days in easily.  If I had a new baby, we took time off without guilt. Now that the children are older I feel like we need some more structure to our schedule. I'm still working on our daily plan but I have put together a yearly plan that I am in LOVE with!

It all started when an online friend was telling me about how she was scheduling her year and I liked a lot of what she was doing.  I took some of those ideas and tweaked them to fit our family (one of the many perks of homeschooling) and am very pleased with the results.

2013-2014 School Schedule

The Planning Process

I started out by looking at each month and marking any times that we normally end up not doing school. You know......times like the week of Christmas when life gets so busy and school just doesn't naturally happen. I scheduled those weeks off.

Then I made notes of other times my husband is off work.  There are a couple Mondays in there that he has off work so I schedule those entire weeks off school for us as well.

Next I looked at our extra curricular activities and took any time off that would be a busy time for us, such as the week of the local children's theatre show.  Last year we did do school the week of the show but it was HARD to get it all accomplished and would have made for a much more relaxing time had we not attempted it.

I wanted to get done by a certain date and I did NOT want to go more than 6 weeks in a row doing school.  I am good in spurts but need a break or I will burn out.

Using these steps I was able to get all 180 days scheduled and be finished by the end of May. Of course if we end up going longer it's not the end of the world. ;-)

Creating The Schedule

Next I made a spreadsheet of the months with 4 or 5 weeks (depending) listed for each month. The 5th week is colored gray if that  month does not have 5 weeks in it this year.  Some weeks don't have 5 days because of the way the calendar falls so I made a note on those.  I noted the number of days each week in the green highlighted column and left myself space to make tally marks with a pencil once each day is completed. This has been a great tool for me to check that box and see how far we have gotten in the year and if we are on schedule.  Any weeks that we are taking a break are marked with purple.

The schedule ended up in sections of a few weeks at a time, which was exactly what I wanted.  We have some things that we will do every school day, but there are other subjects that I preferred to do more of a unit study with. I set time aside each day for a "family elective".  This is noted on the schedule with red letters

My oldest daughter has some subjects that the younger ones don't have.  I have a special time for her to work on those subjects each day as well. Those are her electives and are noted with pink letters.

I don't have every item that we are doing on this yearly schedule.  There just wasn't enough room, but this gets the majority of it all in one place for me to see visually what the plan is. For record keeping and our daily schedule, I use the online scheduler at Simply Charlotte Mason. I find their scheduler is very intuitive and it helps me keep things straight.

I hope this post has gotten your creative juices flowing and will help with your school year plan.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy


Pam said...

Fabulous post! Love the schedule :)

Tammy said...

Thanks Pam. :)

Martha A. said...

Great job!

Tammy said...

Thank you Martha. :)