Wednesday, April 10, 2013

how we finally found our homeschooling groove…in April

April 3, 2013 014 

I recently wrote about my attempts at doing a little long-term school planning for the remainder of the school year.  These past few weeks I’ve been applying some of the planning from that weekend of work to our weekly school plans. 

Let me tell you what…that work has made my weekly planning sessions wonderfully easy!  Since most of the planning was all ready done using Evernote, I simply plug that information into a lesson plan form that I made using Excel.  Easy peasy!

We’ve made a few other changes that have also helped our little school run a bit more smoothly. 

April 8, 2013 022 nothing fancy but still valuable…an Excel worksheet of our daily lessons to be taught (can click to enlarge)

  • I now have a master checklist of the daily lessons to be taught.

Maybe it’s just me but sometimes I forget what lesson I need to teach next out of the many lessons taught each day.  So I thought that a checklist might keep me on track and spur my memory.  And it has!  Each week I make a copy of the checklist and simply check it off when I’ve taught Abby’s reading or Emma’s grammar or...  If I forget who still needs to be taught, I simply glance down and get back on track. 


April 8, 2013 023

  • A clipboard holds my master checklist, the younger children’s lesson plans, and copies of the advanced planning from Evernote.

This clipboard follows me around during school time and now I have quick and simple access to the plans that keep us on track.

April 8, 2013 120 

  • All of the work for the week is copied, sorted by student and days, and placed in a folder. 

I know this probably seems like a no-brainer to most homeschool moms.  But it really is so much easier if all of the needed papers are copied at the beginning of the week.  Sometimes I cut this step out to save time while planning.  And it never fails that I’ll have to run multiple times to the copier to make copies in the middle of a lesson.  So those minutes I saved during planning are not really saved after all. 

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  • We have modified workboxes for daily work.

Before the new school day, I place the copied papers into the student’s designated slot.  Once they complete the work, they place it back into the slot for me to check.  No more wondering if they completed the work because it is all right there in one place!

  • Work is graded at the end of the day.  Any work to be corrected is placed on clipboard (see above)so I won’t forget about it ::smile::.

So yeah, I have a tendency to wait until the end of the week to grade the kids’ work and then I end up with a folder that looks like this:

April 8, 2013 133

Kind of overwhelming.  Yet, 5 or 10 minutes every evening helps it to seem nice and doable because the humungo pile of papers has not had time to form. 

I know, I know…it’s a little late in the school year to finally figure all of this out (we won’t even mention the whole eight years of homeschooling part, ok?).  I’m just looking at it as I’m way ahead of the game for the new school year that starts in August!

Do you have any secrets or tips that you use for homeschool planning?


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