Friday, November 03, 2006

Cutting and Pasting

It's Friday afternoon! Time to cut and paste!

No, not for an art project (we usually do those on Mondays now) but for lesson planning. For me, one of the benefits of doing my lesson planning on my computer is that at the end of the week I can simply cut what we didn't get done and paste it onto next week. If I already have things already down for the next week, I simply (you guessed it!) cut it and paste it later in the week, or on the next week. This has worked so much better for me than writing in a plan book and drawing numerous arrows or erasing.

When I sit down to plan, I usually plan two weeks at a time. Anytime I have projected any further than that, I have almost inevitably had to totally redo them. (I have already done my planning for the year, so I know roughly where we should be in each subject. My weekly planning involves specific page numbers and activities.) On Friday afternoons I look at the upcoming week, making adjustments where necessary, and then plan the following week as well. Of course, it's impossible to know exactly how long certain chapters/units/lessons might take. It's also impossible to know ahead of time who's going to get sick any given week. For instance, as I'm looking at my plans for next week (that I projected two weeks ago) I see that I thought we'd be farther along in History, but we've covered more ground in Literature than I thought we would, so I tweak things. And "tweaking" looks so much nicer when it's done on the computer, because you just cut, paste, print it out and it's a nice new sheet that looks like it's been that way all along! It looks so... together!

There are several reputable homeschool planning software programs available, but for now I just use my trusty Excel program. I created my own forms, but if you have Excel you can download a great weekly planner from Donna Young's site that you can modify digitally.

Cutting and pasting school plans may not be as fun as an art project, but a well-planned week can be a beautiful thing!

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