(Does anyone else find it strange that I labeled the binder with "binder" - I am such a Virgo.)
A few of you took notice of the Weekly Homeschool Planner in my post last week, so I thought I'd offer it to you as a printable today. These things are quite personal, aren't they? It took me a few years of using another plan (that I liked very much) to realize just how I might tweak it and make it my own. A custom fit for our unique family.
The most unique aspect to our routine is that we only "do school" four days a week here at home due to being at homeschool coop one day a week. This isn't that unusual for homeschoolers, and the coop itself has plenty of great classes and experiences, but it doesn't mimic the things we have going on here the other four days.
Most planners I've seen are based on a five day week. I wanted something that planned out a four day week and was one sided (the one I had been using was two sided - not a big deal, but not ideal).
I never plan more than a week at a time. I do have an overall year long agenda, but the day to day details and expectations are planned weekly. Life happens, things change. It's discouraging to sit down in August and plan out the first half of the school year only to have it "fall apart" by late September. I was actually given this wise advice by a school teacher friend of mine. Also, if certain things do not get covered during the week, I can roll them into next week's plan as I write that up.
Having a plan saves so much time. Friday afternoons are the best time for me plan out our next week. I actually look forward to this time, marking the close of our week as we enter the weekend. And when Monday morning rolls around... well, that is when having a plan can really pay off.
While a plan is a great tool for organizing your week, it also provides a record for all that you've done on the back end. My state does not require any sort of record or report from our school year, so I don't have to keep track for this purpose. Once a student enters their high school years however, if the family is planning for college it can be beneficial to have a record of all that was done, including samples of work.
One of my favorite ways to record our school year is through a private blog. Typing keeps up with my thoughts more quickly than handwriting, so this is an efficient method for me. Plus, it allows me to include photos and samples (through attached files) of Emily's work. When I sit down weekly (or every few days) to write on our homeschool blog, I can refer back to our Weekly Homeschool Plan to accurately log all that we've done.
A few notes about the planner:
- It includes three pages. Page one is a brief example of how I use the planner based on the subjects and activities we do. Page two is a four day weekly plan and page three is a five day weekly plan. Use whichever suits your week best.
- There are links for pdf, word doc., and pages printables. I'm not an expert, but on my end I was able to type right in the fields of the word doc. and pages versions (which is how I'll be using this planner). Typing is smaller and neater than my own handwriting.
- "Special" is a term used to describe extra classes we may do such as herbal studies, afternoon of hiking, dog agility with Scout, baking, sewing, etc. These categories vary so much they don't require a spot on the planner specifically. We do something in this category at least two times a week.
- "Coop" is a slot for any homework Emily may have for our weekly homeschool coop. She is also teaching a writing class this semester so planning will need to be done for that.
- In the interest of space it works for me to combine like-subjects in one section. Math and Finance for instance are two different classes, but are similar and can be planned in one section.
- Each week I make two copies of the completed planner, one for my binder and one for Emily to have in her workspace. This allows her to know what is expected and how to best plan her days.
If you'd like to try out this planner:
- Weekly Homeschool Planner - pdf
- Weekly Homeschool Planner - word doc (for pc)
- Weekly Homeschool Planner - pages (for mac)
I hope this helps a few of you, feel free to share with anyone that could use it.