Planning looks different for every family, in this household planning even looks different every term, dependent on many factors. Factors to take into consideration include children’s learning styles, mum’s teaching style, children’s interests and mum’s strengths and weaknesses and simply the sheer logistics of a large family. Oh yeah and this term I have to factor in a new baby due in 10 weeks! and a First Confession, First Holy Communion, my Mum’s Wedding, my mil coming for an extended stay, soccer season continuing, Dh starting his CPA course, Dd’s birthday and, well you get the picture, life.
I’m not a planner by nature, that is I’m not good at committing plans to paper. I have ideas, lots of ideas, but truthfully only in some areas, like history and, well history and compiling booklists. And even then I never actually complete my plans. Slowly I am starting to broaden a little past “We’ll read this pile of books and do some writing and hands on activities” Do I plan all the writing and hands on activities in advance? Well no I sort of wing it, which means it sort of works. This last term I progressed to writing up my expectations on the Sunday night or the wee hours of Monday morning, a huge progress for me and it has lifted a huge burden and made life run smoother. Still I think this can be fine tuned a little more. I’ve been reading over other hs mum’s plans and jotting down ideas on how to plan and that has helped. Thank you ladies for sharing:)
This term I am determined to focus on some weak areas, to this end I have first printed a month at a glance sheet for July, August and September, and started by focusing on the liturgical year. I have written in birthdays (we have already celebrated two), baptismal remembrances, name days, and then using my liturgical year resource list I marked in every day that I had resources for. I plan on reading the picture and short chapter books at morning prayer time. The Vision books will be assigned to the older three children as part of their week’s reading. I have further plans for this area, I am going to google and see what coloring sheets, word puzzles etc I can find for these saints and I am going to print them out. I know from past experience if I don’t do it ahead of time it is far less likely to happen. Then adapting Dawn’s file crate system to suit me (I literally do not have room for a crate) by also combining withKim’s binder ideas I am hoping to have a usable system. (I’ll have to get back to you on this one). Any ‘big’ saints feasts we are going to celebrate (and children’s name and remembrance days) I am going to plan ahead for (I haven’t finished this area yet.)
Fine Arts is another huge area of neglect, I always have the best intentions but… well you guessed it, winging it here is not working. Jennifer’s suggestions and other ideas from here will be the solution to Fine Arts. However I will be planning and printing and filing ahead of time. (I’m learning;) Also I have taken a good look at when I intend on finding time for Fine Arts, previously I have written:
Monday- Craft, Tuesday-Art/Music Apprec. Wednesday-Hand Crafts, Thursday- Shakespeare, Friday- Nature Walk. Well hardly anything ever happens.
After the dc undertaking the Mercy Academy Learning Style Test (a whole ‘nother post) I have decided to divide our Fine Arts into monthly blocks (as one child will be learning with the majority of his subjects this way it makes sense) So block A will be Craft, Hand Crafts and Shakespeare and Block B will be Art/Music Apprec and Nature Walks.
Craft is yet to be planned, Hand Crafts is taken care of by my good friend Deanne running a ‘Woolly Wednesday Winter Wool Workshop’ for the first month and Shakespeare will be fitting Cay’s Shakespeare 101 to suit us. (Brilliant posts)
Art Appreciation will consist of using the Usborne Art Treasury a wonderful book written to the child, an artist’s work on one page, vivid and engaging, some short information about the artist and his method, and then a practical application. Music Appreciation is an area I always have good intentions with but I’m thinking it tends to fall apart due to lack resources, so I’m putting some thought into this. Nature Walks, well that hasn’t been happening due to laziness so I need to work on that. Aren’t I being embarrassingly honest?