Time to make my weekly homeschool plan. But first #allthestickers! Join me as I lay out my weekly homeschool plan and curriculum checklist.
Homeschool Planning Series
Part 3: Weekly Plan With Me
Welcome to the final post of a three part series: Homeschool Planning for the 2017 calendar year. For more info on how I utilize my horizontal planner see Part 1:Converting a Horizontal Planner, Set Up with Annual Planning and Trackers and Part 2: Monthly and Weekly Overview.
A little about our schedule:
Our schedule varies from week to week depending on a few factors – classes or co-op meetings, my daughter’s preschool days, and my husband’s schedule. You’ll probably notice that some of our days are very light on curriculum and some are heavier. Even on curriculum-intense days, we rarely spend more than an hour and a half total for sit-down work, Language Arts related reading, and “teacher directed” activities. Of course, learning is still taking place! Just not sitting at the kitchen table.
A little about planning for flexibility:
Near the end of the prior month, I layout my goals. We are rarely exactly on track at the end of the month. At times, the oldest loves what we are doing so we spend more time following his interests and digging deeper into the curriculum. Other times (especially with math and phonics), he wants to do everything right NOW, and we end up completing a week or two in a few days.
Of course, that’s when he loves something. There are times when it’s a struggle to get through it – whatever it may be. Then we take a break for however long he needs. Or switch subjects. Or power through. Like I said, flexible.
The way I plan and stay flexible is by keeping monthly goals in mind while only planning one week at a time. I check off our list, cross out what we don’t do, draw arrows, and washi off entire days when needed. I track everything from where we are going to what extra books we are reading. This way, I can always look back and see what was working, what we loved, what he hated, and what didn’t work at all. My running records may look a little messy, but it allows me to plan with the curricula, activities, and books that he loves while being as flexible as homeschooling allows us to be.
Weekly Plan With Me
A Closer Look at my Layout
There are a huge variety of stickers made for teachers and homeschoolers available through craft stores and Etsy shops. Because I am planning on a budget, I choose to use free printables designed for planners. In addition to a sharp scissor set, I have a variety of accessories I use for planning.
To easily cut my icons into circles (as opposed to little footballs, which is what they look like when I cut by hand) I use a 1/2 inch hole punch.
For measuring and drawing straight lines I like my Westcott metal ruler with cork back. I also use a Westcott Geometry Kit for shorter lines and to rip my washi. I like being able to see through these clear rulers. They also have a nice, sharp edge for clean tears.
PaperMate Flair for thicker lines.
Avery Full Sheet Labels to print sticker sheets. Roughly $0.10 per sheet.
Printer with remanufactured ink a money saving alternative to name-brand ink with remarkably similar results. I can’t tell the difference at all.
Functional Stickers and Icons:
Decorating and Functional Stickers
Using decorative layouts with stickers makes using a homeschool planner more enjoyable for me. I like seeing an organized, visual representation of our curricula and subjects laid out for the week. Using the icon stickers rather than just writing a list keeps me on track when I’m planning and while we are learning. I can see at-a-glance what we’ve completed or rescheduled, and how many times we are hitting a subject (or not).
The first order of business is laying out my decorative washi to set the color scheme and setting up my week with my functional stickers. I refer back to my monthly spread for classes, field trips, and other notes so I can plan for heavier or lighter curriculum days. I note these days with a pennant flag under the date. Depending on the activity I may schedule no curricula, just our daily subjects, or any variation up to a full day of work depending on the rest of our schedule and other factors.
Next, I add quarter and half boxes for our physical activity and lay down all of my subject area icon stickers. I use the colored boxes on the right side of each day for our daily subjects: Handwriting, Phonics, and Math. We try to complete one page or lesson per day. I decide which days we will have LA, Writing, Science, Art, Music, etc., use icons for those subjects, and note field trips and classes by which subjects they address. Storytime at our library, for example, is recorded with a Language Arts sticker. Museum Science class would be recorded with a Science subject sticker.
Checklists and Changes