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Planning The Whole Year

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hsbeliever
I have read Donna's ideas about planning for the year, but I was wondering about how closely you all really stick to the year's plans. What do you do if you have to adjust to reteach, etc.? I was wondering if you all plan this way only for the workbook-driven subjects or for all subjects. Do you think planning this way is easier than going week by week? Are you required to do this by your states, or are you doing it for other reasons? What are the benefits to this long-term planning? I hope you don't mind answering these questions because I am always interested in hearing about what is working for other homeschoolers
mtbriere
I'm planning for the year so that I have a framework to go by. I hope to follow the plan, but by no means am afraid to change and adapt it. I am inputting my plans in excel in such a way that changing/adapting will be as simple as clicking the mouse. (inserting a row, cut and paste, that kind of thing)

This is my second year homeschooling and I feel as if I need have something in place for the duration to give myself an idea of how the year will go. I've already noticed that some subjects are going to take longer than others to finish. I guess I feel more confident about making a change here or there, or even prepared to explore other things (eg. unanticipated field trip) if I have it all down. Not sure if I've made sense or not... but that was my thinking.

Oh, and there's the fact that my wonderful family found it difficult to give me the time each week to put plans together this year. I found myself "flying by the seat of my pants" most of the time. Not a good feeling.
Nana
I normally do my planning after kids are in bed on Sunday nights...but work on it a little while they are doing some sort of work that does not need my attention (and that happens NOT often)
chocolatechic
I plan for the entire year, so that when life happens, I won't be caught off guard and not have plans ready. As for having to review etc ... I plan a day a week for reviewing..etc...
Appliejuice
QUOTE
I have read Donna's ideas about planning for the year, but I was wondering about how closely you all really stick to the year's plans.
I try to follow my plan, but it doesn't always work out that way. I always have high hopes at the beginning of the year, but by Christmas I see that I have planned too much.

QUOTE
What do you do if you have to adjust to reteach, etc.? I was wondering if you all plan this way only for the workbook-driven subjects or for all subjects.
I am scheduling work-book driven subjects (math and english) on Donna's quarter planner. I will move those schedules over to the weekly planner. A few weeks at a time; maybe two. If I see that I need to reteach, I will skip the time needed on my weekly planner. Once that is done, I'll go back and move more days over to the weekly. Does that make any sense?

QUOTE
Do you think planning this way is easier than going week by week?
I find it easier for textbook studies. Unit studies I work as an outline and then plan weekly as we go along. smile.gif

QUOTE
Are you required to do this by your states, or are you doing it for other reasons?
In Florida we are required to keep a portfolio with a teacher's schedule. We can do it daily, weekly, quarterly, or monthly. I have been doing it as a monthly journal, but want to be more specific this year.

QUOTE
What are the benefits to this long-term planning?
You know what is coming up. If you plan out the year schedule for one child, it is done for the next child (if using the same book).

QUOTE
I hope you don't mind answering these questions because I am always interested in hearing about what is working for other homeschoolers.
Ask away! That is why we are here.

Hope this helps. Everyone is different.

angie
Last year was our first year homeschooling . I planned out a week in advance, but had some rough goals established. As it turned out, all kinds of things interfered with our plans -- not the least of which was some major health problems for my oldest daughter. This year, I'm trying to set some plans for the entire year. Although, it won't help overcome health problems interfering, it will give us some sense of where we've been and how much we still have to accomplish.

I am also going to try to get my 8th and 10th grader to do some subjects together. I think that will increase the motivation for each. And introduce a certain element of competition, which might be good.
quiltinmommy
I'm working on my lesson plans for the year as well. I find it helpful...but I am the kind of person that thrives on order and having a plan ... flying by the seat of my pants is too stressful! Not to mention, my days are filled homeschooling 3 kids ... finding time to plan lessons is much more challenging when we are doing school too ... for me at least. I use HST Plus, which allows me to input all of my lesson plans but save them to apply to the assignment grid when I need them. I haven't applied anything to the assignment grid yet, I am just inputting data. Once I know, I will be able to formulate lesson plans very quickly because the data is all there. I usually apply about 6 weeks worth of lesson plans to the assignment grid. It's easy to reschedule if I need to do so... however we tend to stick to the plan ... although things come up on occasion that require rescheduling... can't help that...

While planning is a necessity for me, I am open to the needs of my children and the possibility that our lessons don't follow the plan. My son was struggling with multiplying and I stopped his regular math book and took 2 weeks to drill him intensively ... he did so much better later that it was well worth the break. He didn't finish his math book... as both of his sisters did, but I didn't stress it... he needed that time and honestly the end of his math book will be reviewed in the next book. My youngest is a struggling reader and I am constantly adjusting her schedule to accommodate her abilities ... I actually threw out her reading program mid year... it wasn't working. We started with a different program, which I am thrilled to say is really helping her.
Nana
QUOTE
My youngest is a struggling reader and I am constantly adjusting her schedule to accommodate her abilities ... I actually threw out her reading program mid year... it wasn't working. We started with a different program, which I am thrilled to say is really helping her.

OK I know you have probably told me but for review and others.. what reading programs were they?

quiltinmommy
QUOTE (Nana @ Jun 22 2005, 09:09 AM)
OK I know you have probably told me  but for review and others.. what reading programs were they?

We started the year with Bob Jones ... which I LOVE ... but it was moving way too fast...she couldn't keep up. Now we are combining Reading Rods, Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading and Bob Books. I like the hands on activities of Reading Rods, but they were expensive and don't cover all the skills we need...like blends. Because she is hands on, I incorporate them when I can. The Ordinary Parents guide uses a magnet board which is wonderful for her too.
Bob Books are really building her confidence ... short easy stories... she loves reading again! We also are using Explode the Code... very good workbooks. I hope to return to Bob Jones someday... I have used it with my older kids and love the program.. she just isn't ready yet.
HomeschoolLady03
I am working on my lesson plans right now too. We start back to school the 2nd week of July. clap.gif
I do the whole year ahead of time. First, I take each subject and divide it into how many days I need and write it down from there. Then, after I see if everything is going to work, I put it in my main lesson planner and add more details. I have the lesson plans written up already and now I'm working on getting them into my planner with more detail for each subject. I am the type of person that craves organization in everything.
Nana
QUOTE
I am working on my lesson plans right now too. We start back to school the 2nd week of July.

WOW and here I am still trying to decide what to use this year and school starts 7/11 here ...
I am so impressed with all you ladies

Donna

I make what I euphemistically call Master Schedules and we follow them closely. I have examples of them all over my web site and examples of how to make them for various kinds of books. A master schedule is a list. The books for one subject is divided into weeks or days and placed in a planner. If I need to add more detail to a master schedule, I can add it later. I don't try to forumlate details extensive plans for the whole year.
http://donnayoung.org/forms/help/lessons.htm

This web page example here: http://donnayoung.org/forms/help/go/ex/sww.htm shows a single subject (vocabulary) planned using a book and a software program. This is an example of a master plan for one semester. happy.gif

Here are a couple of samples of how one could plan Wordly Wise
http://donnayoung.org/forms/help/go/ww.htm

Here is a text book detailed master plan:
http://donnayoung.org/apologia/physical.htm

Here is a text book simple master plan without page numbers:
http://donnayoung.org/apologia/chemistry1.htm

These are all simple book schedules, (a list of pages and sometimgs a little detail) in other words, the books are scheduled so that they can be read/lessons done within the school year. This is just how I do it, others do theirs the way they want to do it. For me, planning this way is simple and easy and to the point.

The children get a copy of the master plan in some form. The history plan gets glued into their books, the science plan takes the form of bookmarks. In workbooks, the plan is either written inside the book cover or 'stop/start/do this' is written on the actual pages of the workbook.

If one of the kids needs reteaching it is just a simple matter of stopping where we are in the master plan, doing the reteaching, then resuming where we were in the master plan. If the reteaching requires a schedule, then that is made on a quarter planner or one of the new planners ... for example if I want to do the reteaching/extra practice in 9 or 12 lessons, I'd use a planner from this page:
http://donnayoung.org/forms/planners/columns.htm
I'd use the one with 9 or 12 blocks and use the bottom part for detailing what is going on and the progress made.

If you must keep records in a weekly planner, then transfer the plans from the Master Plan (subject planner) to your weekly planner.

chocolatechic
QUOTE (HomeschoolLady03 @ Jun 22 2005, 10:48 AM)
I am the type of person that craves organization in everything.

Me too.

I also record all my grades, so above each slot for each grade, I write down what the grade is for ...
Appliejuice
Thanks for the links, Donna!
HomeschoolLady03
QUOTE (chocolatechic @ Jun 22 2005, 11:37 AM)
I also record all my grades, so above each slot for each grade, I write down what the grade is for ...

Oh, if we only lived closer to each other ... .We are so much alike. laugh.gif

I'm also very particular with my grades. biggrin.gif

hsbeliever
Thank you all for your wonderful input and links. I love hearing about what is working well for other homeschoolers. I think it is terrific that you are able to organize for the year while still having ways to be flexible according to your kids' needs. One thing that I have learned about homeschooling is that as homeschoolers., we have to juggle so many more things than other families. So, I have learned that sometimes I have to think outside of my box to succeed. That is why it is so helpful to hear from all of you and to draw from your experiences. Thank you!
Michaelle
I was wondering how much planning you ladies do for the early grades (say K-3).
Nana
QUOTE
I was wondering how much planning you ladies do for the early grades (say K-3).

I just go thru the books I am using and make weekly assignments for each child (an 2nd and a 3rd grader this coming year) for the younger 2 we are sort of cheating this year and found a place online that has the whole year done for us.. and they have curriculum for babies thru K. The best part is it is FREE.

Brightly Beaming Resources

I hope this helps...

Sammi
I am very type A and plan the whole year out. I don't put dates down, because something always comes up, that changes the date. I learned that the hard way, after the 1st year. stunned.gif

I don't write out the workbooks, because I know how much we have to do, in order to complete the book. Especially with math, lesson 1, follows lesson 2! LOL

For more difficult things with extras, like science and history, I plan in much more detail, because of the books and experiments. I try to plan them to a T.

I don't want to look disorganized with the kids, not that it doesn't happen. But I don't want them to think they can be disorganized, by my example.

I am now starting to plan things out. I take my books with me to dr's appointments, to the pool, etc...

Good luck everyone! It's a huge task.
Donna
QUOTE (Michaelle @ Jun 22 2005, 04:34 PM)
I was wondering how much planning you ladies do for the early grades (say K-3).

I have several teacher planner books from that era. They are full of plans that have been checked-off, some are whited-out (is that even a word), erased and remarked. That was long ago, but apparently I planned everything more than a week in advance (hence the white-out). I probably sat down and planned two or three weeks in advance at a time, but I'm not sure, it's been a long time. I didn't start out planning the way I plan now.
Michaelle
Thanks for the link Nana!

I've been dappling, going by his interests or what I remember I have around the house, etc. He's been doing so well that I haven't really worried about it. Of course, I have decided that writing every day is going to be a must - his writing is not good (but quickly improving). He'd be going into K if he were going to public...so I feel a little structure may be in order ... I just haven't decided how much.
Appliejuice
QUOTE (Michaelle @ Jun 22 2005, 04:34 PM)
I was wondering how much planning you ladies do for the early grades (say K-3).

I don't really plan for K. Just kind of went along with whatever book I was using. This year I am planning though. smile.gif
chocolatelover
My littlest is going to be doing probably PK I think I won't plan anything out for her. Just write what she does daily. why make myself crazy if we don't get my plans done. badday.gif
Melanie
We don't have any reporting requirements at all in Alaska, so I didn't make a lesson plan for the past three years. This year I kept a diary-type record of what we did each week, mainly just to prove to myself that we learned a lot even when we didn't do any workbooks. I'm now in the process of drawing up lesson plans for next year because we're moving to S. Carolina and they seem to want some sort of daily record. I thought making out lesson plans in advance would be easier in the long run, but now I'm not so sure. There's no way we will stick to this schedule for any longer than a month! I'll have to update the lesson plans constantly and I'm not sure that will be any easier to deal with than a daily diary entry. dunno.gif
carmatlock
I wanted you guys to know you all are such an encouragement to us all
banana.gif banana.gif banana.gif banana.gif

I used to be a good planner/organizer and then I had kids laugh.gif laugh.gif

Now I am flying by the seat of my pants too!

Last night I checked out the web page Nana sent in and printed off lots of stuff from there and then pondered on what some of you said about organization and lesson plans ohmy.gif

I am from TX so they are pretty lax. . .but I want to do it unto the Lord so if anyone ever wants to check I have done what is acceptable and above. So I printed off the quarterly lesson plan sheets 2 per kid like Donna states on her web page. Then I started planning (without a pitcher of tea!) and got several weeks done. I am doing Interlock and FIAR books. . .and now will do a little of this Brightly Beaming. My twins need lots. I am hoping this will help keep me on my toes. The Interlock is only 3 days a week but maybe this will keep me focused. I tend to put off till tomorrow as I am trying to get my house in order. . .so taking a mini siesta on school right now. But oldest needs it and well I think they all need it. Went today to ps and they are wanting to test twins and see if they have autism spectrum stuff like their brother. So we all need structure in the home. . .including me!

Anyway, just wanted you to know I am converted and am going to be doing lesson plans like the "big girls" and this is my only 2nd year to HS.
apples
QUOTE (Michaelle @ Jun 22 2005, 04:34 PM)
I was wondering how much planning you ladies do for the early grades (say K-3).

I plan too much and find myself falling behind and feeling like a failure when I don't get the things done that I planned.
QUOTE (Donna @ Jun 22 2005, 07:44 PM)
I have several teacher planner books from that era. They are full of plans that have been checked-off, some are whited-out (is that even a word), erased and remarked. That was long ago, but apparently I planned everything more than a week in advance (hence the white-out). I probably sat down and planned two or three weeks in advance at a time, but I'm not sure, it's been a long time. I didn't start out planning the way I plan now.

This has been my downfall so this year I am determined to have a better yr and not plan so far in advance and just plan 2 or 3 weels instead of 12 weeks.
MomofBunbun
That is a neat link, nana. yes.gif Thanks.

I didn't do much planning for K this past year. but I need to plan now that I have a 1st grader and a K stunned.gif .
Again
Thanks ya'll for all of the good ideas. This is the first year that I am trying to plan out the whole year ... very interesting so far. stunned.gif Last year (1st grade) I planned ahead by no more than a month ... it was too easy too get sidetracked. I am really going to make the effort to make school the priority and not just an activity. That will be hard to do with my parents needing some help regularly and no one else in the family really pitching in. bomb.gif Somehow we are just going to have to do it though ... dunno.gif

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