Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Planning, Planning and More Planning!!

I've spent the last two weeks fully engaged in planning for this year.  I mean, I've done a few things around the house and with the kids, but I've been putting most of my energy into getting things ready for our next months start of new learning.  You can image what the dining room table has looked like, I'm sure! :)

Yes, I'm definitely one who believes learning happens every day, everywhere, however I do start a 'school year' in the traditional way--helps keep my plans in a bit of order.  Plus, the kids like 'starting' when their non-homeschooled friends do.  I'm ok with this. :)

I've found such great resources online this week.  Pinterest has facilitated in this as I've done several searches of homeschool boards.  If you're on Pinterest, here's a quick link to three of my boards specific to homeschooling: General, Ancient history, American history.  You may find these resources helpful is you're following a classical method, although they can be used for anyone!  I may tweek these boards a bit as the 'general' one has all kinds of resources--we'll see.

I'm finding that a good amount of homeschoolers that I speak with don't take time to thoroughly plan.  Many are good about doing research on what they're going to use with their children, but they end up stopping there.  Then just starting and finding that things aren't laid out as they thought or that in pulling everything necessary for the lesson together they lose their children's attention.  One of the main things I'm sharing now with them is that just as teachers are given in-service days (for planning) and are required to attend workshops on how to use particular curricula, homeschooling parents must make/take the time to do the same.  Planning it more than just making a schedule or list of what you're going to cover, it's about going through lessons, outlining skills, pulling supplies and resources together and getting a good handle on how you will proceed (and ideas on what to do when you may need to reteach something because you child hasn't gotten it the first several times).  Since a lot of curricula designed for homeschoolers is pretty well laid out, not everyone takes this time to read through things prior to getting started.  But this is crucial!

Another important part of planning is scheduling time to plan on a regular basis throughout the year!  Finding natural breaks and making time at the beginning helps not only with burnout but with making smoother transitions.  Giving yourself enough time to evaluate what is working and what is not as well as being able to differentiate between the natural time-period needed to getting into the flow of something new verses things not being a good match for your children/yourself is critical.  Ample planning time is necessary for this.  Uninterrupted time, where you can think is what you need to make room for on a regular basis.

Hopefully you all have been doing this.  This year I've made it a BIG deal here.  The children have been cooperative, for the most part, engaging each other in other activities, since they know that what I'm doing is for THEM!!  I'll take some time over the next few days to share the specifics of my plans for this year on the page designated for that (Curriculum for 2012-2013).

How have you been planning?  What things are you finding and using this year?  I'm always interested in hearing what others are doing and what's working for them.  If you'd rather not rewrite a post you've already written, add a link below.  Thanks! ;)

Happy Homeschooling!!

If you're local and want to join a wonderfully supportive and encouraging community of homeschooling families in support meetings, park days, learning activities and field trips, check out this link.  Not local but want helpf/useful information and resources? Like our group's page on Facebook.


Latisha J Lee said...

Guilty. I'm not a planner. I plan what they'll learn, buy the material and go from there. :- / I want to be a (better) planner.

~Leslie said...

Thanks for your honesty, Latisha. Know that you're not alone!! Planning takes time and many of us at home have so much we're planning for that we don't always plan well. Good thing is we can continue to learn and grow with our kids. We'll be discussing this further and more in-depth at L.I.F.T. Hope to see you there!

Jewelry Rockstar said...

You got me! I haven't planned much this year. Just planned to homeschool. I am intentionally being very relaxed with the 11 y/o and very structured (public homeschooling with the 15 y/o). Flowing with the 2 y/o too. Today we are studying static because she asked about it, and baby is playing with root beer scented rice for sensory play.


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