One of the most common problems moms have when planning is trying to jump directly from their Year Plan to their Daily Schedule. I’ve found it a lot easier to take smaller steps rather than that one big jump.
First, break up your year into three sections. Charlotte Mason called them “terms.” (If you would rather call them something else, that’s fine. At least you’ll know what I’m talking about when I refer to Terms.) Since most school years cover about 36 weeks, it’s easy to divide those 36 weeks into three 12-week Terms. You can decide when you want those Terms to begin and end during the year, depending on which weeks you do school work and when you take your breaks.
Once you’ve determined your three Terms, take your resources and decide how you want to use them during those three Terms. It’s easiest to just make three columns on a sheet of paper and label them Term 1, Term 2, Term 3. Next, write down each resource’s name and make a note of how many divisions (chapters, lessons, modules, etc.) you want to use from it this year.
Now, if you want to complete all of that resource’s divisions during Term 1, write that total number in the column under Term 1. If you want to split it out evenly between Term 1 and Term 2, write how many divisions you want to cover in each Term’s column. If you want to spread out that resource and use it all year, split its divisions evenly between all three Terms.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a short biography that has 8 chapters. You want to read it all during Term 1, so you would list the title and put an 8 in the Term 1 column beside it (since it has 8 chapters). (That number will come in handy during the next step in the process: planning your week.)
Maybe you also have a science book that you want to use all year long. It has 15 modules, so you would list the title and put a 5 under Term 1, a 5 under Term 2, and a 5 under Term 3, showing that you want to complete 5 modules each Term in order to complete the entire book during this year.
This step of the planning process is not difficult, but doing it can give you a great overview of how you plan to use your resources during the year and how you can break that year into manageable chunks. When you look at your plans at this stage, you can get a feel for whether you are overloading one Term or slacking off in another Term.
Planning your Terms also lays a great foundation for figuring out how many days per week to do each subject. We’ll show you how next time.
Just wondering: How many of you stick to a traditional nine-months-on-three-months-off school year? Or do you get in your 36 weeks a different way (three weeks on, one week off all year; three months on, one month off all year; four days a week all year; etc.)? Leave a comment and let us know.