Monday, August 29, 2016

How to Make a Homeschool Schedule Overview Instead of a Daily Lesson Plan

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Years ago when my homeschooled children were younger, I'd slave over daily lesson plans. I spent hours on the weekend mapping out our homeschool week (or even month) in a handy dandy lesson planner.

It felt good to make lists and cross off each completed task, but even my type-A self realized at some point that I was WASTING too much time planning out daily assignments. I mean, we were going to get the entire book/workbook (or whatever it was for each subject) done anyway - why write it out?


Why write it out when inevitably something would come up every so often to mess up our schedule? It was especially frustrating when my kids would get sick and completely throw off our daily lesson plans. I always felt like I had to hurry and catch up so days, dates, and assignments would finally match up again! 


Needless to say, I no longer make daily lesson plans. I make a homeschool schedule overview instead. 

Now that my kids are older, this gives them a little more room for flexibility. Plus, it's great for learning responsibility. :) (I personally wouldn't give this much freedom to younger children, but I still wouldn't make such detailed lesson plans.)

How to Make a Homeschool Schedule Overview

For each child, I type a list of his/her subjects, the curriculum/books for that subject, a brief description, and suggested pace for the year.

At the beginning of the year, I sit down with each child to go over his/her schedule and maybe offer more details, especially for any curricula that is new. For most of our basic subjects, we use the same curricula each year, so my kids are already familiar with what is expected and the pace they need to set. 

This year I only had to type up schedules for 2 of my kids since my oldest is doing school online. Below, I am sharing my daughter's 6th grade and my son's 9th grade overview schedules for the current school year.

English:  Bob Jones 6—about one chapter every 2 weeks (Complete 8 chapters by Christmas break.)

Foreign Language:  Latina Christiana—one lesson per week; Famous Men of Rome—instructions are in your Latin binder (Before each test, you will have a one week break from lessons to study.)

History:  Mystery of History Vol. 2—three lessons with notecards per week plus one assignment, one map, timeline, and quizzes. (Other books, activities, etc. will be assigned last 2 weeks of each quarter.)

Math:   Zeta—one lesson per week (Complete 15 lessons by Christmas break.)

Reading/Literature:  McCall-Crabs Book C—three lessons per week; various books and assignments—daily

Science:  Exploring Creation with Flying Creatures—one lesson about every 2 ½ weeks (Complete 7 lessons by Christmas break)

Spelling:  Wise Guide—one lesson about every 2 weeks

Bible/Apologetics:  {I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist Curriculum/Because You Are Strong: A Study of Godly Strength for Young Men}—You have 25 weeks to complete I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist and 11 weeks to complete Because You Are Strong.

English/Literature:  {Bob Jones Writing & Grammar 9/various books and assignments}—about one lesson every 10 days including tests. (Complete at least through chapter 7 by Christmas.)

Geometry:  {Math U See}—10 lessons per semester (roughly 2 lessons per month – keep in mind that some months will have breaks.)

History:  {Mystery of History Vol. 2 The Early Church and the Middle Ages/The 100 Most Important Events in Christian History}—Mon-Wed: read one lesson per day, write a summary for each lesson, and choose one assignment per lesson in the book, read an event from Christian History book, or watch a YouTube video, etc. Thur: mapping and timeline Fri: quizzes/exercises/tests

Science:  {Exploring Creation with Biology}—one lesson every 14-15 days with the exception of Module #6 which will take 3 weeks. (Complete 8 modules by Christmas break.) In addition to reading, completing study guides, and taking tests, please use the website for extra study. I will also assign various videos, etc.

Spanish:  {}—follow daily lesson plans and keep up with work by recording on grade sheet provided.

Philosophy(Logic/Critical Thinking):  {Philosophy Adventure/Philippians in 28 Weeks}—one lesson every 3 weeks in Philosophy Adventure. Follow schedule in Philippians in 28 Weeks

I've always done literature a little differently. I don't follow a curriculum, and I usually don't know all of the books I'm going to use throughout the year. It's an ongoing project for me throughout the year. I LOVE literature, so it's not that big of a deal. :)

Also, my son's math isn't typical this year - starting as a freshman, he's already halfway through geometry. Since geometry doesn't come as easy as algebra, I'm letting him go at a much slower pace than usual. It's totally ok, though, since he's ahead anyway. 

Do my kids ever procrastinate? Yes. 

Does it frustrate me? Yes. 

It would frustrate me more, though, if I would have slaved over daily lesson plans. ;)

I still have to monitor my kids' progress. And since I'm the one grading their papers, it's not that difficult to notice when stuff's not being turned in. 

In the end, it all works out. (Even if a subject has to be finished over summer break.) 

*It's been interesting this year to watch one of my kids try out different times and routines to see what works best. I can't deny that it hasn't been frustrating because I can stand back and be all like, If you just did this or that then everything would be just peachy! But, the reward of letting my child figure it out by taking the initiative to set an alarm or uninstall a video game or whatever it may be is better than spoonfeeding. At least for older kids. 

Not ready to condense your homeschool year into an overview? Feel free to peruse Amazon's Homeschool Lesson Planners. The type-A list maker in me is like, Ooooh. But I'm resisting!

How do you schedule your homeschool year? Do daily lesson plans work better for you?

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LM said...

My do I wish I could do this for my kiddos and work would actually get done. I however, would go completely looney if I did this. I am putting this in my bag of tricks to pull out when I feel my kids are more mature.

Brandi said...

Thanks for your comment. :) We homeschool mamas definitely have to do what works best for our own families!

Syncopated Mama said...

I love how you just have these broad goals and don't schedule everything out to the day/hour! After all, isn't that what homeschooling is all about? Being flexible and not being tied to some super-tight schedule?

Brandi said...

I'm not always flexible in everything, but this is one area I try to be. :)


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