Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Blessing of a well-laid Plan

By nature I am a planner.  I couldn’t stop if I tried.  I’m always spouting off to my family the order of the day and  what they can expect.  I make a menu and a grocery list every week, I even lay out clothes for all the people under 12 in my household, me included.  I’m  constantly thinking ahead and planning for the unseen, because of this obsession we are rarely ever late, but the downside is…I can be a bit of a nag.  (sheepish grin)

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This overflow of plan-bility pours into our homeschool too. I’m starting to reap the benefits of planning as my two oldest are taking college classes this year and are on track to graduate from high school, with almost an AA, in 2013. 

Last year I discovered the Old Schoolhouse Planners.  I know this sounds like a plug, it isn’t meant too, I really do use it all the time!

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This is what my planning book looks like.  I love the weekly planning pages because I can type in the different boxes, this is completely customizable!  I print out each week for each child and then store them in a page protector. I’m using a planner from last year.  I like to plan our school in 6 week increments.   For my 9th grader, she keeps all her planning pages in her own binder, this one here primarily holds the pages for the 1st and 3rd grader.019

Planning all that school for a highschooler and two elementary children takes some pretty concentrated effort, so I give my family lots of warning.  I don’t have to be alone to plan, but I do need less than normal interruptions.  So I make my expectations pretty clear:  “You can play down here but don’t show me your toys.” “You can have a snack but ask somebody else to get it for you.”  Stuff like that. 

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Each week I pull out a planner page for the two children, I like to put them back to back with a paper clip so I can just flip them over to mark things as completed.  This really satisfies my other obsession, marking things off a list!!  As we complete the task I outline the square with a highlighter, if I decide not to teach a certain subject or if what I planned at the beginning the 6 weeks isn’t working in real life, I just put a diagonal line through it.  I also like to write notes on there about what scriptures they worked on and if they had a sick day.  When the week is completed, I hole punch it and put it in a different section of my planning binder.

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My sons that are doing college are learning to schedule and plan their own time.  I am here to offer suggestions if they need it, but they are doing really well accomplishing their tasks and goals on a weekly basis.  I think this is because they’ve been exposed to some structural planning throughout their homeschool experience.

I should mention that even though our schedule looks like it goes in order from first to last, I generally let the children decide which order they want to do things in.  My ultimate goal for each of them is to get them to be successful and effective time management people.  I won’t be able to plan their entire life, though I think it would be fun!  ha! ha!

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There’s no right or wrong way to plan your homeschool, I would encourage you to try different things and see what works for you!  If you are afraid to plan, pray about it, find out what is the root of that fear and pray for wisdom, God loves to give us wisdom in great quantities!!  (James 1:5)

Blessings on an amazing journey of learning!

Joyfully,

Mrs. Taffy

7 comments:

  1. Wow! How long does it take you to plan? I used to be a HUGE planner and record keeper, but as the years go on I've become quite "relaxed". With my oldest starting high school next year I'm beginning to think I need a more structured planning system (at least for him).

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  2. Our side of the mountain~I usually give myself a whole weekend to do that big planning. Of course I'm not sitting there for the whole weekend. :o) I think it probably takes me about an hour (uninterrupted) per child. The first initial planning, the one after a summer break with all new books, usually takes much longer because I'm trying to figure the landscape of each subject, etc. It gets easier at time goes on I guess. Yeah, high school really made me get my butt in gear too! So much to keep track of and it ACTUALLY matters! :o)

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  3. I'm so glad you're making such great use of your Schoolhouse Planner!

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  4. Mrs. Taffy, As always great, informative posts. Question, Does your planning nature, trickle into your homemaking, are you able to set days specifically to say washing floors, washing sheets, cleaning windows. I have a large family too, and these things are a necessity to keep life running smoothly, Things don't go as smoothly, when I don't keep up my end, as you can probably attest to. Sincerely, Kim

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  5. Hi Kim!! Yes! I do have days that I do certain things on! Monday's we wash the floors, Wednesday's we change the sheets, Thursday's we wash towels, Friday's grocery shopping, etc. I lose track of time so easily, if I don't have certain days that I do things on things wouldn't get done! I really am a "stay-at-home" mom, taking care of my family and home keeps me totally busy! It's a busy I wouldn't change for anything! Blessings as you take care of your family!!

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  6. I am a planner too and I have a binder that looks very similar to yours...of course, I also plan weekly menus too! I just feel so much better if I have a written plan for the day..even if we don't do everything exactly as it's written, I like to know it's there! :)

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  7. Mrs. Taffy, Thanks for the response, I was also wondering which brand you use for the basic home management, maybe you could do a little post on that as well. Kim

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Your comments make me happy! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!!