I wish I could relax like Robin:) I tried that my first year with AHYS I and got to the end of year feeling crammed to finish the guide! This year we completed AHYS II and III w/o much troubl(I want to start ancients next year w/my 7th grader). I ordered my books (mostly SCM, a few AO or TQ don't miss). I figured out how many days I wanted to read history and how many days I wanted my kids to read independently. I then broke the books and commentary readings into daily segments and typed out a schedule for myself...day one reading, day two reading, etc. My kids have a running list of history readers and a schedule that tells them which book to grab next off the shelf (I keep the history readers in order on their shelf). Their list will say whether to read one or two ch. from ea. book. When I planned, I ended up w/a couple extra books that would probably have been too much to get in so I either dropped my least favorites, or added to their free reading baskets. I don't worry about their readings lining up exactly w/mine or it would drive me crazy! But it lines up pretty closely:) I guess that would be an advantage of Robin's way...the book readings would be at the same time as the commentary readings.
Also, if you tried to cover every single topic/commentary item w/a book it would take forever to finish a guide. For 'minor' topics I just read the commentary, or we may do a quick internet search or watch a movie to get a 'feel' for the info./times. So many books, so little time:) Blessings, Gina