Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Planning Puzzle

Time to put it all together and see if it fits! I'm currently working on Bethany's (grade 7) plans. I have all of the teacher editions, worktexts, etc. spread out and I'm deciding how to divide it up for the year. (Remember "::::Gasp!:::: Textbooks" ? Well, here they are!)

Math : Teaching Textbooks Pre Algebra
Science :BJU Life Science 7
Critical Thinking/ Logic:
The Fallacy Detective (Fall Semester)
The Thinking Toolbox(Fall Semester)
Critical Thinking Book 1 (Spring Semester)
ELA (English/Language Arts):
Grammar- Prentice Hall Writing and Grammar
IEW- Student Writing Intensive B
Literature – Abeka Of People, Selections from Sonlight 7
Foreign Language:
French 1- Allez Viens (Holt) 1/2 this year, 1/2 in 8th grade, Rosetta Stone
Latin- Latina Christiana , The Book of Roots Book 1
History :
Texas- Celebrating Texas: Honoring the Past, Building the Future (McDougal Littell) -ch. 1-15, ch. 16-30 next year in 8th grade since she'll be studying world history concurrently
World- Story of the World 3
Money Matters For Teens (Fall Semester)
Greater Health God’s Way (Spring Semester)

I created a spreadsheet in Excel, with the "week of" down the left side and the subjects across the top. (It's still "in-progress", so that's why much of it's blank.) I blocked off the main subject areas in different colors so as I'm planning the days I can make sure they are evenly distributed throughout the week. It helps me to visually differentiate between the main subject areas. (I'm very visual!) The light blue are the ELA courses, green are the math and science. I didn't create a separate column for Critical Thinking because we just read through the books together with no set schedule. (The same applies to the Health and Economics books we'll be reading together.)

I'm planning a total of 39 weeks, although we'll take time for travel (God-willing!) when we can and I may have to bump some things into next summer. If we don't travel and actually stay on schedule we'll be finished at the end of May. As I posted a few months ago, one of her goals this year is to finish her work, to have a clear-cut beginning and end to the year so I'm making sure she's able to see where she needs to be in each book in order to finish in May. It looks like a lot, but it's very doable the way I've got it laid out.

Last year I began doing all of my planning on the computer, which I loved. My previous plan books had been full of circles and arrows as the inevitable adjustments were made throughout the year. It was much easier last year to simply copy/paste/delete/move things, then print out the week and put it in my binder. I made my own plan book last year, 3-ring style, so I could customize it the way I wanted. I don't scrapbook, but I had a bunch of the "stuff" so I made a bright cover sheet for one of those view-through notebooks. This was partly so it would be cute and fun, and partly so I could find it in a pile, LOL. I looked up all of the scriptures I could find with the word "plan" in them, then designed it on the computer with all of the scriptures in different fonts. I added a few stickers and, voila! The main verse in the center is kind of my little joke to myself. Obviously, that's the Lord talking, but I had to chuckle at how many times I have written in my plan book thinking that to myself. Yeah, right.

Inside the notebook there is a section for each child individually, plus a separate section for what we do together. Each section will have a yearly overview (above) as well as a hard copy of our weekly plans. At the front I have our weekly schedule (another Excel creation) and the local public school schedule printed out from the internet so I'll know what weeks the rest of the world is out of school. (Sometimes that helps me plan when/ when not to schedule field trips, LOL.) I downloaded some planning forms from Donna Young's site, tweaked them to my liking, and that's what I use on my laptop for my weekly planning. I usually print the plans out for the upcoming week sometime on Friday the week before, or on the weekend if I work on them then. I'll post more about my weekly planning another time... I'm looking at the "big picture" at the moment. :)

Well, this is the part of the "puzzle" I'm working on at the moment. I guess these would be the edges and corner pieces. Once I get the "framework" done and begin my weekly planning, I suppose those would be like the middle pieces of the puzzle. Hopefully at the end of the year it will look at least a little like the picture on the box (what I've envisioned in my head!).

But I'm not "gluing anything down" just yet, though...

1 comment:

Theresa ♥ said...

I made my own planner this year also and I love it... although I have made a few modifications to it and have to have a section of pages re-punched and sprial bound again but it was under $5.00 so not a big deal.

Blessings to you and your new school year.



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