How I Organize My School Year
Early in the summer I let my children take time off from math since they finished their textbooks early. I let them take that school time to pursue various school-related interests. They really enjoyed that, so we’ve kept it up to a degree.
Since we school six days a week, year round, I figured out that they only need to complete two math lessons a week in order to finish their textbooks by the end of the school year. So I started assigning them weekly math instead of daily math. Right now I have them finish in four days so that two of our days there is more time for writing on the one day and hands-on activities on the other day. I’ve been working to make every Saturday a hands-on day. Having that scheduled that way makes sure I do it. Otherwise it’s too easy not to.
I have also started giving them weekly copywork and weekly science as well (we do science half the year and history half the year). Science is assigned reading and worksheets, notebooking pages or lapbook pieces. They can do it all in one day, or they can break it up. My son and daughter approach it differently, but they both get it done.
The only daily assignment is for language arts. Monday/Wednesday are grammar days right now, but those assignments sometimes include creative writing. Tuesday is creative writing. Thursday was for spelling, but right now we are going to a homeschool coop then, so I’m not sure what I will do with that; it might get moved to Saturday which is currently free of language arts. Friday is non-fiction writing where we work on one type of writing the whole month. This month is writing a newspaper article. Last month was writing letters.
There is one other daily assignment–websites. Each day they have two websites assigned. One is related to our science topic and the others rotate topics. Monday-art, Tuesday-language arts, Wednesday-math, Thursday-critical thinking, Friday-language arts, Saturday-music. Language arts matches what they are doing for language arts.
Whenever they get their school work done for the week or the day, they are able to pursue other interests. My daughter takes the time to work on art which we encourage because she has a gift for it. My son takes the time to do science experiments which we also encourage because of his gift for math and great interest in science.
We have done it this way for a few months now and it’s still working well. There have been a couple of weeks where there was no time for extras, but then they realize what they are missing and buckle down and get their work done faster so they can do the “fun” stuff.
As you can see, I keep things scheduled. I don’t have a written plan of what we’re going to do each day, but having the plan in my head of what happens on what days keeps me organized and everything moving along. Over the weekend I set up new links on Delicious.com for the kids, so they just type in the day of the week and their name and their two links for that day show up. I get all the links from my Links to All Things Free for Homeschoolers blog, https://hebrews110.wordpress.com.
Over the weekend I also take out my binder which has everything I have printed out that I thought we would be using for a certain topic and move things into the children’s binders. Before the school year started I printed out everything I thought I would be using from the language arts curriculum, and before each major topic (like weather), all at once I print everything out I think we will use and put it in my binder. Each weekend I move the old things into the back of the kids’ binders, organized by subject, and I put in the front of their binder what they need to do for the week. I include the daily assignments then as well, so I only deal with putting things out for the kids one day a week.
Long post. Hope it is somewhat understandable 🙂 and helpful to some of you.