Monday, January 11, 2010

School Planning Time

I was wondering for those of you who homeschool, do you have a set time in your week (or day) for school planning/grading? No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get it all done. There is really no time without interruptions in my house until after 10:00pm, and by that time I'm pretty worn out to be able to think coherently. I'm having the hardest time planning out our week. And when the school week isn't planned well, the day just doesn't go as smoothly.

This is what happened yesterday while I was trying to get DD#2's Winter Unit set-up. Yep, DD#4 was messing with the flour again. If it's not one big mess it's 1,000 interruptions or questions from everyone else. I find that I'm easily side-tracked by all the other issues and can't get my job done. I'd love to hear some ideas on how families w/ young children are able to get some thinking time/school planning time in their week.



Anonymous Lisa (mom of six girls) said...

When we first started, i spent more time planning lessons than it actually took to do each activity. Now, we just go with the flow and I follow the kids. I keep EVERYTHING handy & organized, so that if they want to paint watercolor sunsets, we can do it NOW. If they want to learn more about ladybug metamorphosis, the computer is ON, we can youtube a video right away. They spend more time on the things they're interested in and We all enjoy our time together when I'm not obsessed with "finishing something" simply because it's on my list. Learning is such a natural thing for kids, I don't want to teach them that my arbitrary list of objectives is more important than their passions. Now, there's nothing we "have to do." and yet, we're busy constantly. Life is awesome.

January 12, 2010 at 12:58 AM  
Blogger Melinda said...

Well it must be something to do with the new year, goals and wanting the new year to start off right. I have been having the same type of concerns!
So here's a few thoughts I have had:
We school year around, which might make these not for everyone? Don't fit your schedule/plan into anyone elses plans, especially the public schools. They get their teacher prep days, as needed, so should you!
Here's a few suggestions:
1~Take one day a week, or one day every 2 weeks and use for teacher prep time, grading, correcting, and a different type of school day. I would still recommend that you continue math, and reading... as they just happen better when done daily. Trust me, lived and learned that one, too many times.
2~School for 3 or 6 or 9 or 12 weeks, and then break for a 1 week prep week. This time could be used for research projects. It could also be a time for educational TV programs, or whatever floats your boat. {so to speak!}
One thing I am trying to remember, is that I can not do everything. I can not spend hours and hours prepping for everything, I can not do and be involved in everything. Everything cost you, it's either your time, energy or you have to pick which you are willing to spend!

January 12, 2010 at 4:06 AM  
Blogger Tristan said...

I have lots of littles here too ;)

I prep on the weekend usually, but my big suggestion for avoiding those messes is to keep everyone together in the same general area during school time. Use baby gates to keep the little one with you all. For example, we sometimes do a read aloud in one child's bedroom and simply shut the door or gate it so everyone stay in. I used to keep the kitchen gated off. (Of course, now the 2yo climbs gates so I have to be diligent in watching for that, but the 10 month old can't climb them.)

I also do my best to involve every child in 95% of homeschool. If the big kids are writing, the littles get writing stuff. If the big kids are cutting and glueing(lapbooking) the littles get paper strips to tear and glue sticks. If we are playing a game the littles get to "help" roll dice or get a game of their own.

Most of that does not apply to the 10 month old for play items, who would eat anything you handed him. For him I keep a supply of toys and safe non-toys. For example he loves playing with anything from the kitchen, including lids, tupperware, or toddler silverware. He likes balls and cars. He likes board books. He likes being on my hip or in my arms.

January 12, 2010 at 7:19 AM  
Blogger Ticia said...

I usually take an hour or so on Sunday to plan a vague idea of what I'd like to do, some doesn't need as much planning because it's just workbooks, but it's fairly straight forward.
And I love the picture!

January 12, 2010 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Sheri said...

Oh that is so precious! Honestly dear that is something worth remembering and laughing upon. I take Mondays off from life and do my scheduling and prep and planning. During those days the kids usually do odd things that do not require my attention-like computer programs, videos, art projects, etc. OR simply just play. They are learning something (LOL), I save most of my weekend for the fam and errands and relaxing, and we can power school the other 4 days. Maybe getting a mother's helper in one day per week for a couple hours to work with the kids, whilst you do your planning and such? That too is an idea.


January 12, 2010 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Mozer said...

Thank you all for you ideas and listening to me vent :) I'm going over your ideas and seeing how to make this work better for me.

January 12, 2010 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Shaz said...

I have just finished my planning - I used MOTHS to do the overall plan and then only have to load the boxes each night and add in the fun bits. I blogged about it here

January 14, 2010 at 8:36 AM  

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