“For I KNOW the PLANS I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
I am a planner. I always start with a plan. I can flex quite well and can even throw out the plan if need be, but I must start with a plan. Over my 6+ years of homeschooling, I have made many plans. Some we’ve kept, some we’ve thrown out. But always, there is a plan. I’ve learned something, though. I’ve learned that I can get so busy planning the perfect __________ that I never do it. Time and again the Lord teaches me the lesson of laying my plans down and following His plan for my life, all aspects of my life. I’ll admit to being a slow learner in this area. Thankfully, God is patient and long suffering.
With the start of each new school year, I begin feverishly planning, gathering materials, planning some more. Making charts. Scrapping them. Making checklists, scrapping them. I’ve hit upon a system that is working fairly well for us this year and thought I’d share it with you. I’ve no doubt it will need tweaking throughout the year and I know I may go into over planning mode again.
If When that happens, I’ll come again and lay it all at the feet of the One whose plans I really wish to follow.
I use Simply Charlotte Mason’s Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education to do the tough work of gathering, sifting, sorting and planning. I highly recommend this resource.
- I make Term Charts for each child. This is my at a glance cheat sheet for what we should accomplish each term. This is one chart that I have used every.single.year and never change.
- The part that keeps me planning and re-planning are Daily and weekly checklists. I used the CM Organizer from Simply Charlotte Mason for several years and HIGHLY RECOMMEND it. I love how it gives you the next thing and you just KEEP ON KEEPING ON with your work. It is a fabulous resource! However, I find myself too easily distracted by checking e-mail or doing one little thing on my co-op website or . . . when I need to be busy leading my growing brood on their learning adventure. So, I decided to figure out a way to do on paper what the CM Organizer does online. My system is certainly not as sleek or flawless, but it’s working well enough for my purposes.
How am I doing this type of planning on paper? I’m using A SUBJECT PLANNER. I plan out each subject as far in advance as I want and we just do the next thing. I can plan an entire year if I want to and will not have to change anything if we get behind. EUREKA!! I am using this form for Horsey Girl (11) who is doing well with it. However, I’m now working on a new format for Superstar (8) because the grid format just doesn’t make sense to him. He is used to a very straight-forward list and this is just too different for him. I’ll post what I come up with for him soon.
Each subject has a set of 6-six week plan pages. I fill in each block with one day’s worth of work. If a subject uses 3 resources for one day of work, those will all be listed in one block. If we do a subject only 3 times per week, then only 3 blocks are filled per row.
Here are some filled in examples…
Ultimately, I’m learning that the perfect plan doesn’t exist apart from the Lord. Also, there is such a thing as too much planning. I’m trying hard to make a simple, yet thorough plan to cover us for the year. My next post will include all of our plans for this year.