Tag Archives: meme

How I Schedule

When I started homeschooling, I set up an excel file with pages devoted to a few topics:

  • My overall 12 year plan
  • Year Overviews for each grade
  • A Price Guide for each grade

My 12 year plan is fairly vague.  I wrote down a general idea of what I want to cover in each subject each year, and what currculia I plan to use.  This is based largely on what is presented in the Well Trained Mind.  As I am exposed to other curriculia, I frequently go back into this file and change my plan, or add suggestions for things to check out when I get closer to that age.  Having this general plan gives me conifdence in where I am headed and a little assurance that I am not going to forget anything.

On the year overviews, I have a column for each subject and have planned them out by week.  I list the week number, what I plan to cover in each subject (i.e. Bible lessons 12-16, Math lessons 32-36, etc.)  I also schedule our breaks on this chart.  Then I print it out and put it in a page protector in my teacher notebook.  I love to plan on the computer, but it is easier to keep track on paper.  Each week, I highlight what we got done.   This way, if we get ahead or behind, I go back into Excel, update the sheet and reprint.

I don’t worry about finishing a workbook or unit each year.  For example, the Bible study we are doing is 104 lessons long and we are about to finish it.  Even though I don’t plan to start Kindergarten till August, when we finish, I will just start up with Unit 2, since this is a subject I plan to do year round.  So on our math schedule, we will end up doing just a little bit more than one grade level each year, since I plan to school for 44 weeks total instead of 36, which is what curriculum is generally written for.  I think this gives me a little bit more freedom too, to take a week off if we need to.

I plan a four day schedule (Friday is reserved for field trips), schooling 36 weeks each “school year” and 8 weeks of “summer school.”  This gives us 8 weeks off each year.  I eventually plan to use Tapestry of Grace, which is divided into four quarters, each nine weeks long, so that is what I used as a basis for my weekly schedule.  In between each quarter, I plan to take a week off for planning, and then take two weeks at the beginning of the summer and two weeks at the end.  We also plan to do quite a bit of traveling while we are in Japan, so I may move those summer weeks around if I need to.

As far as our summer school is concerned, I plan to continue to do bible, math, and phonics (the basics) because I think reviewing at the beginning of the school year is kind of a waste of time.  I really believe in year round school because I think students forget too much over the summer that has to be retaught in the fall.  It is something I witnessed as a teacher and was the basis for my Master’s thesis.  (And now I’ll climb off my soapbox and get back to the topic at hand…)  The rest of our summer studies will be delight directed, probably unit studies that I will plan based on what Madison is interested in.

The other page in my excel file is a price guide.  When I decide what curriculum I want to use, I add it to this list with the price as well as where I found it the cheapest.  Then when I am ready to order, I just go down my list and buy it all at the same time.  I also add other supplies I think we will need for the next school year, like oil pastels, board games, etc, and also memberships I want to purchase (like to the zoo or the aquarium).  Then I have a comprehensive list to present to my husband.  One thing I do think I will do for next year is add a homeschooling section to my budget so that when we run out of printer ink, finish an ETC book before the end of the school year and want to buy the next one, go on field trips, etc, I will have the money set aside to do that.

During the actual school year on a day to day basis, I use a weekly lesson plan book (the same as I used when I taught).  This is where I write down what I plan to do each day in each subject and check it off when we have finished it.  I have decided not to write out my schedule more than two weeks in advance because things can change.  When I started using this book, I wrote out a schedule for nine weeks, then we got a little behind on reading lessons, and that is really annoying.  I don’t want to rewrite everything, but I don’t like having to flip back a week to see what we should be doing for reading lessons.  I guess I have learned my lesson.  I plan to purchase a new one of these books each year.

In the front of the book, I have converted one of the grid sheets into an attendance chart by month where I record days we have school, field trips, and when we are out of town, as well as “professional education” days for me.  I keep a running total of days we have had school on this chart.

So that is probably a good overview of how I plan.  Hopefully it makes sense… I am sure the longer we homeschool, I more I will refine this process until it is a well oiled machine, but for now, I am very pleased with the system I have.

This post is part of a meme at Heart of the Matter Online.  To read more posts about how to schedule, visit this link!

A little about me:

Two of my blogosphere friends, Lisa and Brittney, tagged me with this meme…

Here are the rules:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player tags 5 people and posts their name, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What was I doing 10 years ago:
I was finishing my freshman year in high school – I had just moved to Kansas and was having a hard time adjusting to life in a very small town after coming from Houston, TX. I had just met my husband but I didn’t know it then! We started dating that August.

Five Snacks I enjoy:
1. Garden Salsa Sun Chips
2. Peanut Butter and Snickers Ice Cream
3. Cheese and Crackers
4. Grilled Peanut Butter with Chocolate Chips
5. Sweet Potato Rolls

In the real world:
1. I love to read, but refuse to read in airports (or any public places) because I zone out so much I am afraid I’ll lose my daughter.
2. I love school! No really, I love school… I long to go back and get my PhD, but probably won’t be able to do that until my husband is out of the military because we move so much…  sigh…
3. I love being a mom, but sometimes I miss having a job.
4. I am extremely shy.  You know the quote “It’s better to keep quiet and appear a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt?”  That’s me.  Afraid to speak. It is something I am still trying to change, and it’s one reason I like the blogging world. I have time to think about what I am going to say, and to edit it 🙂  That’s a luxury you don’t get when you speak.
5. I’m getting ready to move to Japan – and I am super excited about the traveling we hope to do while we are over there!

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Be debt free – a goal I am already working toward and have almost accomplished 🙂
2. Travel, Travel, and Travel some more!
3. Set aside money for Madison and any of our future children
4. Donate to the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
5. Set up a scholarship fund at my alma mater

Five jobs that I have had:
1. Reference Librarian
2. Elementary School Teacher
3. Curriculum Development Intern for PBS
4. Graduate Assistant / Lab Supervisor
5. Bank Teller

Three of my habits:
1. Checking my email as soon as I roll out of bed
2. Grey’s Anatomy (please don’t judge me!)
3. Starbucks Vanilla Frappachino (and can I just say one more time how glad I am that there are Starbucks in Japan!!)

Five places I have lived:
1. Panama City, Florida
2. Knob Noster, Missouri
3. Houston, Texas
4. Kent, Washington
5. Lancaster, California… and many more…

What do you want others to get from your blog:

My main goal was to keep in touch with my family and friends after we go to Japan.  I have started several other blogs before for that same purpose (keeping in touch) and I have never followed through with it, so this time, I started the blog and didn’t tell anyone about it.  In fact, I still haven’t told some people because I wanted to make sure I would update.  I guess I can probably tell people now.

After I started blogging and discovered the community of homeschool bloggers, I hope that some of the homeschool moms who read my blog find some useful information here, as I have with so many others.

And I am going to tag…






Double Tagged!

Brittany at King Alfred Academy and Celly at Busy At Home both tagged me with this meme:

What’s on my desk? 

Well, technically, I don’t have a desk right now, since we are in transit.  I did, however, buy one to set the computer on, mostly for Madison to use when she does her reading lessons.  It was easier to have a place to set the laptop up where we could leave the webcam, the speakers and the printer all the time.  So this is the cheapest desk they currently sell at Wal-mart, since we plan to give it away when we move in a few months.

On the desk, we have the laptop, the printer, and the speakers.  I also have a letter from Kelly at Okinawa Raw on top of two Japanese Alphabet books she sent me all the way Okinawa (thanks again 🙂 )  Oh, and my cell phone, next to the printer.

On the side shelves, I have all our library books and our printer paper.  Underneath the desk is the books we have already read and my library bag, and a speaker that goes with our TV.  We just keep it under the desk so it is out of the way…

On top of the desk on the right is Madison’s progress chart for Headsprout, and on the left is a 100 chart that came with my Ruth Beechick book The Three R’s. We actually have used that chart quite a bit since I put it up; much more than I thought we would.  I was surprised.

In the drawer, I have CDR’s that I bought to make Madison’s memory CD, and that’s all.

Now, this is not truly an accurate representation of what is normally on my desk, when I have a desk, in my normal life.  A more accurate representation would be what I have on top of my dryer right now, but I am not going to take a picture of that 🙂  It’s bad…

I am supposed to tag 5 more people, but it seems like most of the blogs I read have already been tagged.  If you want to share what’s on your desk, check out the details at Apollos Academy and leave me a comment so I can check it out!

My Favorite Homeschool Products

This Friday’s meme from The Heart of the Matter is about our favorite homeschool product. This post was this was harder than I expected. Almost all of my ideas were office supplies (binders, notecards, smencils, my laminator, art supplies – how do I choose??) or brand new things that I don’t know if we are going to love or not. But I finally narrowed it down to the three that are my favorite – for this week at least…

1) My Pencil Sharpener. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy one, but I love having a sharp pencil. I need a sharp pencil to function in a healthy manner. Right now, we only have a manual one – I am putting off buying an electric one until we get to Japan because of our extremely limited weight allowance, but that is the number one thing on my Wish List for next year. That is also the reason I love Madison’s Crayola Twistables so much right now.

2) The Alpha Bakery Cookbook, which was free (only pay shipping), and full of recipes that are actually pretty good! There is a recipe for each letter of the alphabet, plus some more just for fun in the back, like play-doh and trail mix.

3) Our number line, which we use pretty much everyday. (I also really enjoy the Bible timeline you can see in this picture.)

Runners up include my Well Trained Mind book, our new nature journal, Headsprout Readers, and our memory CD… and I am sure I will think of more that I can’t live without!