Saturday, August 21, 2010

Homeschool Planning - The View from Here

My boys went to an air show and here I am. Can you tell I've been here quite a while? Our terms were planned weeks ago and now I am working on the weekly schedules for Year 3 and Year 1. The process is more exciting but lengthier since we are going textbook free for math this year.

My planning essentials sit to my left. I haven't found anything better than SCM's guide for Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education and the CM related sites to the right.

Admittedly, I have a bit of a dream of going on a special retreat, to a beautiful cabin, or even sitting in a cafe in order to plan our school year. The reality is that it happens right here in my office, usually late at night or that golden time when Oleg takes the boys alone - affectionately known as Big Boy Time.

During this time I endeavor to keep an on-going conversation with the Lord about our plans as He is the creativity, the energy and driving force to our schedule. A cup or two of Sumatra and a slice of Bete Noire make this time of planning especially nice, as do frequent stretch breaks in the out-of-doors.

An unexpected phone call from my husband telling me NOT to make dinner helps as well.

How and where do you plan your year? Any special traditions?


Renelle said...

My homeschool planning is very similar to yours. I also dream of time alone for weekend to indulge in time with my husband as well as plan, but I cannot yet justify going away for a weekend to plan. Read yes , but to plan nup. I try to do this when (& this is a rare situation) I would get some time on my own. While my love takes my sweethearts to the beach to frolick for a few hours, followed by an ice-cream and maybe come home with some fish'n'chips!!My planning happens in the middle of summer, usually after a day swimming, when I am freshly showered, soft and in comfy clothes on a soft couch and all is quiet!Maybe an oil burner (lavender, rose & lemon)and either a cuppa tea. I also use the CM planner from SCM. I am becoming more realistic each time I do it, as I tend to overplan & schedule!

Renelle said...

I can't wait to hear how the textbook free year will go. It's an area I've had tp work hard at making more fun and understandable so I'd love to hear how you go. We have done a mixture of things and I have picked up some great little e-books from the Old Schoolhouse Store and Currclick. Have fun with it. I think after a year I am finally starting to get a feel for teaching it to Carter.

~Maria said...

Nice to hear I'm not the only one "dreaming" of alone time to plan. The reality of it though is that it happens in bits and pieces of down time late at night and throughout the day when the kids are sleeping or so into their play that they don't notice I'm missing! :)

My goal this year was to have my planning for this year done by the end of June so that I could truly enjoy the summer without feeling like I needed to steal away so much time to plan and research. I did get a lot of it done but still have to tie up some loose ends and finish organizing this last week before we start on the 31st.

Hopefully as I am more comfortable each year with what I am doing this will be more possible. Since a several day solitary retreat is just not likely!

Have a great year! Can't wait to hear how textbook free for math goes too.

Diane said...

Planning for the new school year is one of my favorite times of the year. I also use Sonya's CM Planning Materials. Looking in to getting her new seminar and workbook "Books and Things". Looking forward to a post about how you are doing math without textbooks for the year.

Amy in Peru said...

I've never used SCM's stuff... maybe I should join the bandwagon! :)

Lots of years I've been able to go out to coffee to plan as it's easier for me to leave and for someone to keep all the kids at home. But this year, Micah took the kids away one day, and then my mom was here, so I had several sessions of planning and got it ALL done. Of course there are always things to look up and research and well, plan... but I feel very good about our year (we're two weeks in already). I only plan one term at a time though. I'm looking forward to getting a lot of it posted in the next couple of weeks :) I tried to go textbook-less with math, but found it overly liberating; so much so that I didn't know what to do with myself.

I guess I need structure :)

I too look forward to hearing what you use and how it goes! It is GOOD to read you friend! :)

amy in peru

Amy in Peru said...

oh and forgot to say...
Um, yum?!

that chocolate whatever you called it looks delicious.

too bad we don't live close, we could do some planning together!! I have a feeling that would be a lot of fun :)

amy in peru

Melissa said...

Oh me, oh my! How very much the same our planning hubs look! Wouldn't it be perfection to 'retreat-plan' with those divine people we meet via blogging! (Except way too much chatting and laughing would be done, and very little planning, i'm sure!)

Hoping and praying as I type that your year will be amazing...that God will pour out laughter, times of learning and growing like you could not even imagine!

Have a blast, my friend!

Jeanne said...

Richele, based on your glowing recommendations, I'm looking at purchasing the CM Planner. Do I need to get the DVD as well, or would just the e-downlaad suffice? What do you think I would get out of this book? What do you gain from it a few years on?

I love your cup...and my basket 'Daily Reads Basket' looks just like your one.

I'd love to join you in that cabin, though I suspect that you are more of a planner than I am, and I may just get in your way and distract you as much...if not more...than your menfolk.


Richele said...

Oh, yes, planning together would be something! Imagine what we'd come up with if we combined all our creativity : ) and I'm not afraid of the chatting as so many great ideas and information come out of what begins as just a chat.

Math - we need structure as well so I am humming away at a math scope & sequence for the year. I'm super-excited as there are really some great living math books out there. Yes, will post.

Jeanne, I can probably only tell you what I've gained or what could be gained. With AO, everything is already planned out into terms and weeks. The concept of planning it out isn't terribly difficult, right? Year - term - week - day. Some get overwhelmed by this though or sometimes we all need a reminder of what actually is important.

With the CM Planner you are looking at the Big Picture - outlining an overview of your child's education and what your goals are for your child by subject. CMs methods are discussed and the reminder that there may be state regulations to fulfill.

Personally, I just love looking at Charlotte's daily timetables which Sonya has put together so nicely. There are also Sample schedules and blank charts included along with some other helps.

So none of this is overly complicated but it can get overwhelming so I find it reassuring to pull out the dvd and book at the beginning of my planning and refresh myself. The DVD probably isn't necessary but for someone that doesn't get to regularly go to conferences I enjoy it. I also really like Sonya's sense of humour.

If I were to recommend an actual purchase, Sonya's mp3s "Reaching Your Child's Heart" and "Looking Past the Fear" would top my list. I've got them on the computer and iPod and listen while doing housework.

So great to hear how CM planning goes in everyone's homes. No matter what, it always gets done : )

Jeanne said...

Lots to mull over here, as usual. Thanks, me friend.

Renelle said...

I'm sure that you have heaps of ideas planned for math but thought I'd let you know that there are some grest free ideas and activities found through Lesson Pathways to help with any new concepts.
We also have used Living Maths
Enjoy the experience. I really have enjoyed doing our own thing and the rewards when I find just the right thing that Carter clicks with, it just take more planning but worth the while.