Saturday, July 11, 2009

School Prep 5

Wow! We are starting school 3 weeks from Monday! I am not ready yet!!


That is what I have been doing, and what I will be doing for the next couple of weeks. No matter what type of homeschool curriculum you are using (unit study, literature-based, textbook, etc.), you have to make a master plan for the year. This is the procedure I follow when making my plan:
1. Choose our starting and ending dates for each semester. We school 17 weeks each semester. We also take a 1 week break in both semesters. Previously we have taken all of December off, but this year we are not dismissing for Christmas break until December 11th. We will resume school on January 11th.

2. Calculate the number of days that we will have school. 17 x 5 = 85 each semester. Then I look at each subject and see how many pages/lessons/activities need to be completed for the semester. Next I divide the pages/lessons/activities by the number of school days (85) then I know how much work to assign to each day. Subjects like math are easy.....basically we do one lesson a day. If our math curriculum is shorter than 170 lessons (for the year)---like Teaching Textbooks, the child just finishes his math work early. If the curriculum is longer than 170 lessons a year, the child just doesn't finish the book....usually he has about 10 lessons left, and that is just fine!
If we are doing a unit study that lists activities to be completed, I just assign 2-4 activities a day based on my math equation described above. For assigned reading, I just assign the chapters or pages that need to be read each day. For some of Olivia's high school courses, I figured how many pages she needed to cover each day in the textbook. On the days that she had a test, I did not assign any additional reading.

3. I type up each day's assignments. My goal is to have every subject for each child typed up before we start school, but I may only complete 1st semester if I run out of time. Each child will have daily assignments for each subject typed on a separate piece of paper. They will mark off each item as they complete it. I do not date these assignment pages because (1) they may get off track because of sickness, travel, or whatever, and then have to play catch up and also (2) I can use the same checklist for subsequent children if it is not dated. I just label it Week 1; Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5; Week 2.....

4. The daily subject assignments are then placed in the front section of each child's 3 ring binder.

My next school prep post will explain how I set up my children's school binders.


  1. It looks like things are coming together really well for your school year!! I can't believe summer is passing by so quickly!! I also can't believe you have a high school age child!! When did that happen?! Best wishes with the rest of your planning!! I know you guys will have a great year!!

  2. I'm looking forward to the binder post!

  3. I like your idea of having a schedule notebook for each child. I have not gotten into the scheduling yet. Do the kids turn in the assignment sheet along with the assignments?