Thursday, March 28, 2013

Long-term school planning

March 23, 2013 052 My Evernote notes for our combined lessons from My Father’s World.

As our children get older, we are finding that our family life gets busier.  And as much as we love a simple lifestyle, life with five children, two of whom are teenagers, is busy. 

To combat the chaos that can come with busy lives, I’m trying to set our home on autopilot as much as possible.  In other words, I’m pre-planning whatever can be planned in order to simplify those aspects of our lives. 

This weekend, I set out to plan out the rest of our school year.  My even longer term goal was that if this went well, I would try to plan the entire 2013-2014 school year over the summer. 

Here was my game plan (and what actually happened) for the weekend of planning:

March 27,2013 274 Dave took the kids on a little field trip so I could work.

  • Get David to help me out.

  David took a day off from work (it was his idea too) and spent the weekend with the kids.  He even took them on a little field trip and a trip to the library.  This allowed me to stay focused on the task at hand while he took care of the kids’ needs.

 March 27,2013 002

  • Use Evernote to help me plan my teacher notes.

Evernote is a free, online note thingy.  Really I don’t know what to call it.  But I do know that I was able to use it to make my notes as to what lessons needed to be completed by what dates.  Even better, I can view & edit my notes at any time from my phone because there is an app.  

*I was able to completely plan the rest of the school for the older three on Evernote.

  • Use Excel to make spreadsheets for the children’s daily plans.

I’ve used Excel in the past to plan daily lesson plan forms for the kids.  Excel looks a little intimidating at first.  My husband uses it daily and is able to quickly remind me of the steps since he is very familiar with it.  But don’t let it intimidate you…once you learn the program, it is a wonderful tool for planning!

*I did not get to this step of the planning and will still be filling out weekly lesson plan forms for the kids. But all of the information is planned in Evernote so I think it should be easier than normal.


  • Print out daily lesson plans and make copies of the needed work.

 *I will either have to find time to do this one weekend or do it week by week.  However, I think it will be easier since I have included page numbers in my Evernote plans.

March 27,2013 008 The school files get a little ragged by March. 

  • File copies for future use.

Papers needed for the current school week are added to the children’s work binders.  Future assignments are filed away in the school crate file until ready for use.

**Still in progress

My conclusion:

One weekend is not enough time for me to get the planning done.  My hope during the summer break is to work in small sessions through out the summer to pre-plan our new school year. It may take all summer but I intend to start the new school year ahead of the game!

Some helpful links:

How do you plan for school?  Week by week?  In large chunks?  Or are you more of a free spirit planner?  *smile*

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