Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Basic Yearly Schedule

As promised, I am going to post some of my plans here as I work through them. 

I know that as a Home-Educating Mother I love to see what others are doing.  So, in case someone reading this blog needed some guidance, I want to show what our plans are.

I started with mapping out a basic school year.  

In two years of home schooling, I've learned that it is best to schedule time off between about Thanksgiving and New Year's.  That is a time of year to enjoy stories and baking and making gifts and decorating the house and tree and planning for the holidays and just enjoying the time together.  

I tried creating a schedule that made the Holidays our "summer".  I thought that we would want to do school when it was 100 degrees outside.  I thought we'd get a lot done in the summer.

That didn't work. 

Turns out, sometimes it is hard to concentrate and get things done in the summer, too.  So, I've also learned that it is best to schedule some time off in the summer.

Time off in the summer and  in November and December?  And  some time off in the fall and spring?  And some room for breaks so as to avoid burn-out?  

How does one fit all that time off into one school year?  

Well, first of all, one must remember that we have 52 weeks to fit a school year into.  Many people consider a school year to be 36 weeks, but of course you can do whatever is right for your family.  30 or 34 weeks would be fine, too.

For my family, I came up with this:

Split the year into 3 terms, 12 weeks each, with at least a week off in there somewhere.  That is 36 weeks of school.  That leaves 16 weeks to take off.

6 weeks of school ~ Term 1A
1 week off 
6 weeks of school ~ Term 1B
6 weeks off (Holidays)
6 weeks of school ~ Term 2A
1 week off
6 weeks of school ~ Term 2B
1 week off 
6 weeks of school ~ Term 3A
1 week off 
6 weeks of school ~ Term 3B
6 weeks off (Summer)

That adds up to 52 weeks ... perfect.

Now, I'm smart enough to realize that even when things look 'perfect' on paper, they rarely work out perfectly in real life.  But, it's a good idea to have a guide.  If something happens and we need to take more time off during a term, maybe we'll take it away from the 6 weeks coming soon.  Or, maybe we'll take it from the upcoming 1 week off.  Or maybe that particular term will only be 10 or 11 weeks instead of 12.  

It doesn't have to be perfect.
We don't have to finish at a certain time.
We don't have to start at a certain time.
It's okay if we continue a subject over to another term.
It is all okay!

What is important (for me) is to have a structured guide.  
I need structure.  
Without it, I get too relaxed.
When I get too relaxed, we end up doing nothing at all.
So, I need the plan.

It's nice to see that we can start in August or so and only need to focus on getting through 6 weeks.  

Then, I can take a week off, the kids can play and I can focus on planning the next 6 weeks. 

And, how awesome to realize that you have from October to January to get only 6 weeks accomplished!!  If the weather is too nice and you want to just play outside for 2 weeks, it's okay.  You have time.

Then, we come back in January and, again only focus on 6 weeks at a time.

I think that will work well for me.  

Instead of feeling like I have to plan the entire year, I can have an outline for the year, but only worry about planning 6 weeks at a time. 


Plus, when we are in the trenches and things get tough or I want to quit, I can push myself, knowing we have a break coming very soon.  "You only have to make it through these 6 weeks.  You can do anything for 6 weeks."

I think it will work. 
I hope it will work.
It will work ... if I make it work.

As I said before, it is up to ME! 
I have the power to make or break this.
The girls totally follow my lead.
If Momma is motivated and doing what she is supposed to do, they follow suit.
If Momma sleeps in and sits at the computer and stays in her pjs and lets things fall apart, they follow suit.

It is all up to ME!

So, there is my yearly plan, yearly outline, basic yearly schedule.  I do realize that this year I have sort of already thrown Term 1A out with the wash, but that is okay!  One step at a time.  One foot in front of the other.

Next I'll share with you what I have planned for these terms.

But, for now, I must get off the computer and start my day.
I must lead by example.
I must plan my first 6 weeks.

So blessed to be a home educator!

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