There are mothers (and fathers) who homeschool their children without daily goals and schedules. They may have yearly goals and work toward those throughout the year. There are some who even follow the interest of the child and teach accordingly. They manage to educate their children with ease and casualty, and they do so quite happily.
I am not one of those mothers.
Last year, I gathered our materials for kindergarten and followed the “do the next thing” method. That is, we opened our phonics book and did the next lesson. We opened our math book and did the next lesson. Some days we didn’t do school at all. I soothed myself saying, “she’s not even the mandatory school age yet, if we fail, she can go to public school.”
But this year, we are officially not public-schoolers. And this year, we are doing first grade.
After reading, and planning, and gathering materials, I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around it all. I had too much in my head. So I did this:
This is my organizational, lesson plan chart. I created a table and put in what we are supposed to do each week/day.
I realize this is a bit obsessive, but I can’t help it. I had to do it.
There are a few blank spaces that I will use as a journal. For example, I don’t know what Readers will be on my little’s reading level each week–you can’t really schedule learning like that–and I don’t know what’s available at the library, so I’ll just write down what she read that week.
We are in our third week of school, and I’m glad I gave us easy goals for the first few weeks. We eased into school.
Most of our subjects actually follow the “do the next thing” method. No serious planning involved. But somethings I really needed to see.
For example, the week we are studying Ancient China, I planned our animal of the week to be the panda. I also coordinated for me to be reading Chinese fairy-tales.
And it’s thoughts like these that bring peace to my life.
I like to know that all is going according to plan, that I am doing what I had intended to do, that there is a place for everything and everything in its place.
All is well in the universe.
Tomorrow, I’ll show you my calendar.
PS If you are as obsessive as I and would like to copy my lesson planner, just leave me a comment and your email. I’ll send you the Word file.