When I did my day-in-the-life post last week, I had a couple requests for a closer look at my planner pages. I am one of those people that love to look at how other's organize so I totally get that. : )
There is nothing fancy about this chart. It's a simple table made in Word that lists out all of the have-to's in our day. When I started homeschooling, I used a simple spiral notebook and just listed what we had to get done (or record what we did do), but with three students and three different age levels and abilities, it wasn't cutting it anymore. Things were getting missed so I needed something that I could break down my planning a bit more on and then go back and check it off. Two years ago I download and purchased several different planner forms, but nothing was quite what I wanted. Thus, this very simple little document was born. I have used it faithfully this entire school year and never once thought of switching to something else, so in my book, that makes it a keeper!
This is the form that I'll be using for this coming school year. I think it's pretty self-explanitory but here's a little breakdown.
- Circle time is that time that we spend together - sometimes we start our day with this; some days we do our circle time after lunch. It generally always includes: CC memory work review, Bible study, whatever history or science we are currently reading aloud, etc.
- Math - I just write in the lesson number were are in (in pencil!) and shuffle them around as we miss a day or skim over a lesson if it's something that they already know cold. I've already got a line there for the boy for some reason, but he's obviously not doing math just yet!
- Language Arts - there is a block for me to keep track of what each girl is doing in language arts. The little girls both have daily handwriting and Explode the Code. B is has reading lessons that we are working through. N2 is dying to do some kind of spelling program so that will be listed there if I add that in next year. N1's block will usually be blank because her Essentials tutor in CC sends out a detailed check list that she works off of for her daily work and I don't transfer that info over because it's in an email on my machine. However, in these last few weeks of school, I'm using those blocks to keep track of her Hobbit study that she is working through to make sure she stays on track with it.
- The next block is something new that I've added for this coming (2014-2015) school year. I will have an up-and-coming 4 year old (not! possible!) this fall and I want to have a spot for ideas to keep him busy. He's starting to request his own "school work" so I need to be proactive rather than reactive on keeping him busy.
- A rare empty blank - in another year or so when the boy is in kindergarten this will probably become his space for language arts but I've gone ahead and left it blank for now.
- The last row is for extra curriculars - sports, music lessons, Awana, service projects - so I can keep track of outside activities that count as school.
Underneath, I've got three different groups of check boxes. The first two belong to the girls and the third is mine. You can see the categories: daily music practice, daily independent reading, and keeping track of the reading aloud that I do with them. N1 is supposed to read at minimum 45-60 minutes daily on her own, N2 reads 30-45, and B looks at books 20-30 (and some of that time I'm reading with her). As far as our "corporate" reading aloud, I would LOVE it if we read in big chunks twice a day, but generally I read our fiction book for an hour after lunch and call it good. It's much easier for me to do evening reading in the summer when we don't have any (or VERY few) evening activities.
The back is just a blank note sheet for whatever comes up. Ideally, I would use it for planning and recording notes from the past week, but that's not been a strength so far. Maybe this year!
If you made it to the end of this, yay. : ) And, if you think something like this might work for you, you are welcome to try it out. I've uploaded the Word version of this chart and you can download it here if you want to play with it. I just copy it front to back and stick it in a binder. As I wrap up these last weeks of our school year, I'll put these pages out and spiral bind them and throw them on the shelf with the rest of this year's school work in case I want to refer back to it.