I have a 5th and 6th grader, so I made them a smaller version of the binder for their weeks. It was similar to mine, and then I made their dividers and TOC. I found that they got "lost" this way, so made a weekly checkoff list from the schedule on the front of their binder. =) It worked really well since their assignments are like "read the next chapter in history or science, do the next math lesson, etc. Math, grammar (ILL this time around), music lessons, individual readings for history, science, and literature, morning routines, chores, cooking dinner, handicraft, lessons and practice are some of the things on the kids personal lists. I either choose to have them work a set amount of time or a set amount like a chapter for each thing on the list.
I made a list of books I wanted them to read and use for the year. I tried to have them read 2 literature books per term (length and difficulty based on ability), at least 1 or 2 biogrpahies in science or history as well as a couple of living science books (Thorton Burgess). One is working her way through the Laura Ingalls Wilder Series in history. Those books do not correspond with our history module, but they can make their own connections. I gather the books on my list and make a basket of reading choices for each person. I get better cooperation when I tell them they get to choose the order. Sometimes books have different appeals on different days. They also get some control over their day, and they know when they finish one book to just go get another out of their choices. Makes my life much easier during the daily routine of school.
Here's the deal though...instead of stressing over the nitty gritty daily plans that change regularly due to unforeseen life experiences (illness, etc) I gather my list of resources I want to use for the year. I make literally make piles for each person, including family, and write the final list of books to use. Having the list is simple because I can just glance at the list, pull out the book and we are off again. (I also keep all the books for the year on a seperate bookcase by my desk for easy access. Having the history and science guides are awesome. We read great books and the plan is already made for me. lol
Most of my plans are simple like: for family- read a poem and literature chapter daily, do scripture memorization and reading daily, the module guide is daily, science is 3 times a week (follow the guide), foriegn language practise, practice our hymn daily, etc. Then I throw in the twice a week stuff (nature walks and study) and schedule the once a week things: handicraft instruction, picture, composer, & hymn study, ASL lessons, creative art, Shakepeare, etc. Since those pretty much involve going to the next chapter or page, it makes it much easier. I divide out how much we have to do by 36 weeks and get a rough estimate of how much we have to do a week and keep that in my mind as we go. The beauty of this is that I can do more some weeks when we want and less on busier weeks.
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