If You Fail to Plan…

…Plan to Fail

There’s a lot to do in educating your kids and running a household.  How can you get it all done?

Children don’t become educated simply because you have a good curriculum on the shelf.  You still need to figure out when to teach them, how to get the baby down for naptime, what to serve for dinner, when to take everyone to the park, and how the dirty clothes are going to get sorted, washed, dried, folded, and put back into dresser drawers.

It can be frustrating to never get everything done.  What helped my family is when a friend loaned me the book, Managers of Their Homes.  I did not agree with the author’s recommendations about babies, but was nonetheless able to glean some good tips.  The author recommends making a list of everything that you are trying to accomplish in a day, and estimate the amount of time needed for every item on your list.  Don’t forget things like sleeping and eating!  When I did this, I discovered that I was trying to cram 36 hours into a 24-hour day. No wonder I wasn’t getting everything done!

Semesters

Once you know which subjects your children will study and the curriculum they will use, take an overall look at your year.  It is not necessary to teach every subject every day.  In the public school arena, students work on a system of quarters, semesters, or trimesters.  Customize that system.  Arrange your school year to best meet the needs of your family and your unique commitments.  It is easier to think about working hard at a subject for one term instead of a whole year.

Here is one option.  Math and science all year, language arts and occupational education first semester, social studies/history, plus health/art/music second semester:

 

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Math

XX 

XX 

XX 

XX 

XX 

XX 

XX 

XX 

XX 

Science

XX 

XX 

XX 

XX 

XX 

XX 

XX 

XX 

XX 

Language
Reading
Writing
Spelling

 XX

XX 

XX 

XX 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Studies
History

 

 

 

 

 XX

XX 

XX 

XX 

XX 

Health & Fitness

 

 

 

 

XX 

 

 

 

 

Art Appreciation

 

 

 

 

 

XX 

XX 

 

 

Music Appreciatn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 XX

XX 

Occupational Ed

XX 

XX 

XX 

XX 

 

 

 

 

 

After you have determined whether you will work on a full-year schedule or divide the year into quarters, semesters or trimesters, you still have more options.  Maybe you want to study every subject every day, but that is not the only approach.  In college (and now, many high schools), some classes meet on MWF, others on T/Th.

You have the freedom to create whatever plan will work best for your family’s schedule.

Here is one option that varies depending on the day of the week:

 

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Fri

Math

X

 

Science

 X

 

 

Language/Reading

 

Writing

 

 

 

Spelling

 X

 

X

 

X

Social Studies/History

 X

 

X

 

 X

Health & Fitness

 

 X

 

 

Art Appreciation

 X

 

 

 

 

Music Appreciation

 

 

 

 

 X

Occupational Education

 

 

 X

 

 

What this example means (we actually used this schedule one year) is that kids were doing math, language, and reading every day Monday through Thursday.  MWF were also spelling, social studies/history, science, and one elective (M: art; W: occ ed; F: music).  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, after reading, kids did a writing assignment then went to the YMCA for homeschool PE, swimming lessons, and gymnastics classes.

In Summary…

I can’t stress enough, winging it won’t work!

 

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