Working on 2017-2018 Plans
I’m sitting at my desk today trying to not fall asleep as I begin working on our 2017-2018 Plans. I still have a few things to finish up for last year that I really should be working on but my brain needs a break so I’m giving it one. Hubby has the littlest out for a walk and the other three are playing on their own together.
So a few things I’ve been using as I try to start planning for this coming year.
I love having a one page calendar page that shows the entire academic year. Usually I’m dependent upon finding something that someone else has done and nothing I can customize. But someone shard a link to something this week which is making my planning so much easier because I can actually customize it!
This has some calendars for you to choose from with different starting months. I am currently looking at two of them and trying to debate which way will work best for our family needs. You can download them in a Microsoft Word format to give you an opportunity to edit them.
The advantage of being able to edit this is I can quickly indicate by color or by shading the days my husband has break as a college professor. Since him being home always sends to change how the days work being able to see this at a glance as I plan is an important thing. I already have enough tabs open on my computer and to have to keep opening up the calendar to remind myself as I plan it is just a pain.
If I decide we are going to consciously do a few weeks on and a week off, I can then also make this visible not just for me but for the girls as well using an editable calendar.
A Teacher Planner
Now you do not really need a teacher planner to homeschool, it is just my preference after years of trying to keep myself motivated to write things down and it not working. Last year I used a Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI) Happy Planner Teacher Edition. By the time I found it the year had already begun and I bought it off of someone from ebay. This year I’m currently trying to find one for the 2017-2018 School year. Sadly I live over an hour from major shopping options and the online places to purchase are currently out of stock. A friend of mine is going to check when she travels this weekend.
I did not write out everything I tried to do last year ahead of time. I learned quickly that was just not worth it.
I might have a child decide to do three weeks worth of Beast Academy in two days, or I got a cold so read a-louds just didn’t happen and we got completely behind. So I really started just writing down what we did (by subject) each day if it was a really bad week(s).
Or I would write out the goals for the week on Sunday and then use highlighters to cross off things as we did them. As you can see from above I color coded the days for the highlighters. Monday was pink, Tuesday orange, Wednesday green, Thursday blue and Friday was purple. I then used the bright yellow if we accomplished something the following week. The colors I chose based on the planner I had this past year. We will see what planner I may end of scoring this year so that might change. I hope to be more consistent with that this year.
I like this planner so I have the flexibility to add things to my planner but give me the ability to use it like spiral notebook and fold it back on itself. I am hoping this year to find a punch so that I can then add pages to the planner as well, like my calendar up above once I finish customizing it.
Figuring out my Philosophy
I think on of the hardest things is figuring out your philosophy on how to homeschool. One of the things that helped me is taking the quiz at Eclectic Homeschooling. I also interestingly enough, had my husband do the quiz to see how much we agreed on the style of learning we’d like to do with the kids. Now does this dictate what I use? No way because life happens. These last few years with not feeling well and surgeries my desired way to teach my kids and the reality of what works in this stage of life are completely different.
Just for kicks I’ll share my results and how our likely plan differs from what will likely happen.
My results …
Top three are bolded, lowest three are in red. I did move them around from how the results come to you just to make it easier to see my top and bottom three.
- Score for Unit Studies Approach: 21
- Score for Charlotte Mason: 19
- Score for Montessori Education: 18
- Score for Unschooling Approach: 14
- Score for Project-Based Learning: 12
- Score for Reggio-Inspired:12
- Score for Classical Education: 8 (tied)
- Score for Thomas Jefferson Education: 8 (tied)
- Score for Waldorf Education: -5
- Score for Traditional Education: -17
So Unit Studies are my dream… but not my reality. Projects and mess are not me at this moment, but it is how I would prefer to teach them. Worksheets happen in this house. Worksheets are easy to use and teach when you have a cold. But see my score for Traditional learning? -17!
When I started looking at homeschooling I always thought I’d be more of the Waldorf/Montessori approach, not realizing just how different they are apparently as I look at my results. I honestly had to look up Reggio-Inspired learning.
We do have a fairly Charlotte Mason approach as far as living books being used for our studies. Our American History studies using Bookshark have this type of approach but I do add a bit more of a traditional learning approach to it in evaluating their reading comprehension of their readers. I just feel the need, probably that education major in me, to have something tangible in my hands to show they have understood what they read. (I’ll explain that in another post).
Know Your State Regulations
We live in a red state and is in many ways that means our state is seen as being more restrictive or more hoops to jump through to homeschool. Even though we school in NY as of yet I have not found it to be too bad. We submit our Letter of Intent by July 1, Individualized Home Instruction Plan within 4 weeks of the receipt of the letter from the district and submit quarterly reports. My oldest just started “official” testing but that only has to happen every other year right now.
I’ve sadly been sitting on this post for a few weeks as life got in the way, more on that coming soon. So I’m posting this as is as I cannot get enough brain power behind it to really close it up and I have other things I want to write about. But I do not want to postpone this one anymore. There will be more that should be included here I’m sure and I’ll try to link those posts when they show up to the bottom of this post.