I love the beginning of a new school year – it is always so full of potential, clean notebooks and great aspirations. In fact, it always brings to mind this quote I appreciate from Sally Clarkson;
“My aspirations and what I can idealize often times far exceeds my ability to live up to them in reality. Yet it is in being able to visualize the dreams of my heart and beauty of God’s design that I have found a standard of maturity to move toward.”
I dream and plan big so that we have a direction to move towards.
Our curriculum choices for this year will be shared later this week, but today I want to share about organizing the homeschool year.
My planner is one I made myself – we ascribe to the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education and the planner is bent that way. You can see the free printable pages – and a little video – of it here.
That planner, a host of sticky notes, and the best highlighters ever (no joke! check them out – they have a grey one!) are my tools for organizing our school year.
I find it very useful to divide my year into smaller chunks. For me, that is 6 terms of 6 weeks each.
Once the subject has been broken down into how much needs to be done per term, I figure out how much needs to be covered within each term – then it is simply a matter of tackling that subject that many times per week.
For instance; grammar, science, and history need to be done three times a week in order to squeeze it all in the school year.
Copy work is done daily in order to maintain their elementary skills.
Because I do so much of the same schooling with the boys, the above planner page works perfectly for me – on the left, under the day of the week, I will list the subjects for the day. On the right I will make note of anything extra or differences in their workload, or pages to be covered if it doesn’t fit under the date.
Each term has been assigned a color, as you can see on the post it above. Everything is then assigned to a term – every lesson, every book to be read, every poem to be memorized – and then color coded.
This helps keep things moving, and also for me to know where we are at and how far off track we get (because it’s bound to happen!)
Our 4 week Christmas break may turn into three weeks to give us a Spring Break, but it really just depends on how our life looks then. There is room to be flexible with our needs, I just planned it out the best I could following previous years use of time.
The light green magazine holders each hold 1 term worth of books to help with organizing the homeschool year (so from left to right, term 1 through term 6). These are the books exclusive to each term that won’t be making a presence throughout the entirety of our school year. If library books are needed, say for term 3, a Post it note appears in term 2 reminding me to request it online.
Another set of magazine holders hold the boys regular work books and my teacher manuals.
Throughout each term history, science, math, and language will continue on through the same books.
What will change up are our fine art studies. It’s brand new for me to use our habit training in a term – normally we do it by the month so it will be a change to do it for 6 weeks.
Every six weeks we will have a new habit, composer. artist, poet, hymn, handicraft, and nature study focus. I included read aloud in my planning sheet, but we just keep rolling through the books as we complete one so I won’t be planning out the read alouds for this year – I just try to be aware of mixing up various genres.