I love charts and color-coded, esp. It seems I'm always making charts for some thing or another. I work on a Mac and use either Pages or Numbers to make them and I just choose colors from the crayon color box and adjust opacity.
The clipboard has worked well. I need to replace one that was recently broken and I would love to find one with a small storage box AND a timer. I can find them with calculators, but I don't want or need that.
I am determined to move myself OUT of perpetual planning mode. This year, I planned one term at a time and while it was ok, I greatly prefer planning the year and tweaking as needed before each term. I'll be doing that when we have a 3 week break in August.
Family Read-Aloud is simply a book we enjoy as a family, including Daddy, when he's in town. He's reading The Hobbit to the kids and I've missed to much of it, but usually it's just all of us enjoying a story. No one narrates. I have moved school books to that time slot on occassion and may do so again, but it will be a while. The kids want to hear the Lord of the Rings trilogy, including the ~5 yo.
I'm definitely going to redeem the kitchen chore time. They're old enough to get it done well and it will be a good way to fit that in. I like this more than reading when I'm supposed to eat!
One thing that jumped out at me that might save a bit of time during the Family portion of the day would be to save Master Skylark for a bedtime read aloud during the summer. It also seems like the family history & 5th grade chart is very heavy on literature. Maybe some titles could be saved for another time (a second run through the modules?) to free up family/her individual time some?
We school year round, mostly 3 weeks on/1 week off with a few extended breaks, so I try to even everything out over the year. I don't save anything for summer, since we don't take summer break. However, I can see where this would be good for those that do.
Some Checklists, if they're helpful.
Here is the 3 Week Checklist that I settled on.
Each 3 week mini-term has a front and back checklist that I print on cardstock color-coded per child. There is space for adding extras - books, field trips, misc. It also includes a "general schedule" of the day. We will likely never hit that exactly, but it helps us to have a flow to the day. This will go onto their clipboard with a copy of their Term Outline Chart and Yearly Calendar. Here's the chart in iWork Numbers b/c it lost formatting when I changed it to excel - 3 Week Checklist. Each 3 weeks was formatted as a sheet with each day as a table.
Here is the 12 Week Checklist in Numbers that I started with. Here it is in Excel.
Here is the Term Outline Chart in Pages. Here it is in Word, but some formatting is lost, including colors.
ETA: Let me know if any links are broken. My brain is tired.