Thursday, July 23, 2015

My Best Laid Plans

Well I feel as if my brain and the computer have been having a discussion now for several weeks on how to better a working (yet not quite perfect) schedule. (Is there such a thing, though?) I am on the hunt for it and will let you know if I find it! I also suppose that what may work right now may not work in a Term or two... we will see. Things always change and education is a life, as you know. It grows right along with us. And if there is one thing (out of just a handful) that is certain in is change.

Ok, all that said... back to the conversations between brain and computer. I actually love plans. I love planning, so I really don't mind all this labor so much - except when I have a deadline in my sights. And I really want to start this next term with a fresh start. It will be Term 3 of Years 1 and 3. So perhaps this is a good "test tube" to see if a decent rhythm can be achieved before more change comes when I begin Form II (Year 4) towards the end of 2015.

So I really want to thank all you that have been posting your own plans and how you hope to work through your school days! It is a tremendous help to so many :-)

:: This last term I have employed the idea of scheduling by week that Celeste over at Joyous Lessons uses. This has helped a lot. Oh, and I just love filling all those bubbles in :-)

:: This summer I also read through Brandy's summer loop schedules on her Afterthoughts. I had desperately been needing to do some house cleaning. Ahem. And *I* don't want to do it, so I was looking for a good way to get my kids teamed up with me on this not-so-likable task and just GET.'ER.DONE! 

:: Finally...such a timely post at A Sabbath Mood. Thank you, Nicole!!! I so needed to be reminded of working, not only on a weekly schedule, but on a time-based one. As mentioned above, I love filling in bubbles ... which also translates to checking things off lists ... which can lead to GMS (Grumpy Mama Syndrome) if things *don't* get checked off (or I keep pushing to finish it all), which tends to make the environment of education not so educational. Hmmmm...

So for those of you that like to look at schedules and other people's ideas, I post mine here. Maybe you are like me. Maybe you need inspiration from without to muster up the inspiration from within.

Starting with Nicole's time-based weekly schedule inspiration, I have worked out the following:

This is the sheet I will print out for myself to have for the week in my binder.
A few notes:

:: You may notice the circled numbers. This actually corresponds to the following Weekly Worksheet in a couple of categories, as there are choices for Alice in Year 1 under Natural History and Literature. Here she may choose which reading, if more than one is scheduled for the week.

:: There is also a Key of sorts on the right, grayed area. In addition to this being (hopefully) more of a day to do nature-focused things, I also wanted to provide myself with a list of the Clean Zones for the month as well as to note that (E) means information can be found on Evernote and (K) signifies a Kindle book.

:: The Spanish cells are for me to plan out language activities for the week. If I don't write it down, I have no idea what I'm doing!

:: Focus on Nature (under Day 1) is something I would like to start incorporating into our mornings once a week ... basically just a time for each of us to sit still for awhile (alone) with our eyes and ears attuned to the sights and sounds around us. This can be entered into a Nature Journal or not at this point. I just want to start encouraging more opportunities to find "friends" in nature. We'll see how this goes!

:: Under the days' headings are Handicraft, Drawing and Nature Study. This reminds me of our afternoon focus (since I ran out of space at the bottom!)


Now the Weekly Worksheet is what the kids see, and hopefully they can become more and more independent in reading, doing and checking off what they've completed as the days go by.

This sheet will hang on a clipboard for the kids to check off as we go along.
A few notes:

:: Titles with bubbles are readings to be completed as per the Weekly Schedule. 

:: Titles with the # sign are books scheduled throughout the term; however, they are not in the current week's assignments. This way I can just change bubbles to # (or vise versa) and not have to re-type things.

:: Math is at the bottom. I really need space to write out assignments. (Again, if I don't write it down, I don't know what I'm doing)! This seemed the most logical place. The kids can see it also and know what to expect.


Finally, here is a closer look at our Cleaning Charts. I have printed these, cut them into strips, laminated them and hung them under a light switch in one of the Zones. Kids (minus Almanzo) can read what his or her work is for that area and continue to work until they finish their jobs or the time is up. (Scroll down to see page 2)

Now, after all this brain-stretching work, I hope that at least something is a wonderful addition to our life as a family and as students in general. I do know that the hardest part of making this work is ME. I have to be the one to get things going and *keep* them going. 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

And I like what Silvia mentions at the end of this post: "if you are learning, your children will too."

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