One of my goals for 2011 is to answer a few of those nagging "How do you/Why do you" homeschool questions that I and my children are often asked.
The first question that comes to mind is not really a question but more of a statement, "I don't know how you do it." Hm, that one is a blanket statement which will need to be dissected and answered a bit at a time. So how DO I do it?
My first priority is to be organized. Now keep in mind that being organized means something different for each person. For my husband and our oldest, being organized means that their clothes are all in the same general area and their electronics are on the counter organizer in the kitchen. For our second oldest and myself, being organized means that shirts are hung long sleeve, then short sleeve and in color order. I won't even go into details about the rest of the closet and how electronics must be stored face up and cords must be neatly wound and placed in a separate basket...I think you get the idea.
Loving organization like I do, the first thing I order every school year, is our student(lesson) planners.
Having lesson planners in hand allows me to begin recording goals and subjects for the year. The hardest part of starting a new school year is deciding which books to buy and when to say "Enough Already"... I love books. By setting goals and courses of study first, I find it easier to keep my book orders in perspective and on budget.
We order our planners from FegNus Services.I have been using this brand for 6 years now. We tried different planners our first three years of homeschooling but once I discovered these...I was hooked.
As you can see, we buy one planner for each child and we use a high school planner for our high school students. What is the difference?
This is a typical week of elementary school. The squares are large enough that I can write out each days work for each individual subject. The kiddos can easily find their work for the day and we mark off each subject as it is completed. The notes section on the right is handy for days when we need to do a little extra study or when one of the children is doing well in a subject I can place a reward there. "No Spelling Today! You made a 100%!!!"
The High Schoolers Journal has a section on the bottom right of each week in which I can easily record the number of hours spent on such electives as P.E. or Music. This is VERY helpful when figuring credits at the end of the year. The individual subject boxes are also lined in the Highschool journal, which allows for greater details of the days work.
Finally, each journal has a School Year Calendar at a glance to help me be sure to have the right amount of days. There is a book lending/borrowing page and a field trip log. Really, I can not say enough about these planners. I really like using them and they are great for looking back and seeing what all we have accomplished in the years of schooling at home.
I do realize that everyone's organizational style is different, so here are some links to other Planners that might suit you and your family.
1. The Home Educating Family Publishing
2. Homeschool Plan Book
3. Aaron Publishing
4. The Master Planner
5. Cat in Hat Lesson Plan Book - Found this fun one on Amazon
6. Christian Book Distributors - I found this planner and several others here. We may try this one for our oldest next year. She will be a senior and will probably enjoy having something different...just her own.