Category Archives: Planning

Week 9

I’d almost forgotten that I’d scheduled in a short break this week from a few things. A lot of our subjects fill in 32 weeks of our school year, leaving me with four random blank weeks so I inserted a break every eight weeks. It works out similarly with our other subjects where the curriculum provides anywhere from 28-32 weeks of lessons. I made a pretty detailed schedule of all these things before the beginning of the year. I prefer a random break week from a subject here and there over having 4-6 weeks at the end of the year when we have practically nothing to do.

Memory Verse: (one-week break)

Hymn: (one-week break)

Artist: (one-week break)

Composer: (one-week break)

Five in a Row: Truman’s Aunt Farm by Jama Kim Rattigan (learning about homophones) (10/1-10/12)

Pre-K Literature: Aunt Mary’s Rose by Douglas Wood (learning about plants, roses, and focusing on aunts in our family study) (10/1-10/12)

Read Aloud: The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

A Few Photos From Last Week

She’s a pattern whiz.

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When went on a nature walk to look for unique pebbles and brought along our nature journals in case we came across anything else interesting.

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Rocks!

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We found the roundest pebble we could so we could paint it red to replicate the pebble in Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.

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And of course she needed to paint a rock pink.

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This was our last picture study for Van Gogh.

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We enjoyed lunch outside on a beautiful day.

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I still can’t seem to get enough photos of these two in their backpacks for classes on Friday. They seem so grown up!

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We finished the week at a New York-Style Pizzeria as a fun ending to our current FIAR book, Little Nino’s Pizzeria.

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My New School Year Planning Plan!

You know you’ve reached a new level of obsessiveness when you start planning how you’re going to plan your school year, but this is who I am, as crazy as it sounds! I’ve spent the last two summers working my tail off trying to plan the following year so I decided I wanted to make an official planning schedule that allows me to relax and enjoy the summers, especially now that I’ve shortened our summers to eight weeks and added some extra shorter breaks in throughout the year (twelve consecutive weeks of no real routine has been just too much). My planning for the next year now starts in February. I start buying curriculum with the intention of having everything purchased by the end of March. April and May are my planning months, where I go through all my curriculum and figure when and how often it needs to be done to be completed by the end of the year. I absolutely have to know that we are going to finish everything in time or else I go nuts with worry, and a worried homeschool mom is not a good thing to be! At the end of May I plan on buying all new supplies (lots and lots of paper, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, etc.) and then I get to have eight restful weeks until we start back at the beginning again!

Here are a few of the things that get done during my planning phase:

I’d be lost without Evernote on my iPad/ iPhone. I keep so many notes for homeschooling on it that I can always have with me as long as I have my phone. Since our school revolves around our literature units, the first thing I do is schedule those and and try to match them up with the best time of year.

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I also keep a running list to things I need to buy and do that I delete as I do them. This list was SUPER long about a month ago and I’ve finally made some progress on it and am excited to keep taking things off.

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One thing I’m doing differently this year is instead of teaching right out of my FIAR manual, I made my own plan book with only the lessons I plan on doing each day. I found my self getting overwhelmed with all that was in the manual or having trouble finding something specific I knew I had read before, so this allows me to customize our FIAR days and add my own ideas as well.

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Then I start working on notebooks. This year I am simplifying quite a bit, but we still have a couple notebook pages I’ve made myself to go with each story. Here we have new vocabulary terms, which most books have.

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There are also some pages that are specific to each book. For instance, we’ll be doing some additional pages on animal classification, food groups, homophones, etc.)

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This is an oldie but goodie that we do for each and every book.

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This is a copywork page (from homeschoolshare.com).

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And then there are a few other things I’ve found to put in that go along with some of our stories.

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Caroline’s notebook is still a work in progress, but she will have lots of handwriting practice, narration and drawing prompts, and other activities that go along with our family theme and her various books.

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With all our other curriculum, I go through and see how many lessons per week/day we have to do. If one lesson is broken up into several days, I mark where we will stop after each day so that I don’t have to sit there and count how many pages they do. Elliot knows very well by now that the dot at the top of the page means “Go no further!”.
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Then are also things I add in for certain subjects. With phonics, for instance, I plan out sentences with words and sounds that go with the current lesson that I will dictate and Elliot will practice writing. This really helps reemphasize what he’s learned and has greatly improved his spelling and grammar as well.
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And then there’s math. It’s pretty simple since it’s all there for me in our curriculum and is very easily divided into weekly lessons. The hardest part about it is taking all the pages out of the books (Seriously….it’s a beating. I’ve had to reinforce so many hole punches because they ripped when I was trying to get them out.) and putting them in a notebook, which I like to do ahead of time so they are easy to grab when I need them. I add some extras here and there, such as reproducible worksheets on things such as graphs, money, time, measurement, etc. that I keep in a separate file folder for when I think he needs extra practice on something.

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So that’s what I’ve been doing these days! It keeps me busy and helps me get excited to start fresh next year!

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