New to HSing as of Jan, even newer to the CM method, just beginning this semester. My kids are 7, 9, 12. We basically de-schooled for the first semester, doing the 3 R’s and lots of nature sketching and field trips. So, I’m ready to add in all the subjects and am going through the CM Planning book and DVD.
I’ve finished the year-long goals and am very close to finishing the term goals. I’m going by family subjects, then by each child. I am spending hooooouuuuurrs on this. I can see the benefit and know it’s a great thing, but should it really be taking me this long? Clearly, I should have started this back in June – but we were moving. Now I’m getting down to one week before we start and wondering if I’ll be ready.
Any suggestions? Less emailing and more coffee, maybe? : )
I’m in your shoes right now also. I was planning on starting last week; but since I found out about CM methods and this site 3 weeks ago, I’ve put that on hold to learn as much as possible. My kids are young and since formal Kindergarten is not recommended by CM, I don’t need to start yet. Give yourself grace and breathe.
This is the second year I’ve followed the CM planning book and yes it took me a very long time. But, the payoff is astronomical!! And the second time was easier since I was more familiar with it. As Cindie said, give yourself grace. It takes time to learn something new. I had to look at the first year as sort of a transition year; to tweak here and there. You could either start later if you need to or start when you planned to with what you’ve finished planning and incorporate the rest as you get the plan finished.
And definitely, more coffee!!!!
This is my planning process – maybe it will help. Sorry it’s a little long.
It takes me about 2-3 hours per subject to plan for the school year. This does not include all the research I do online. Once I know what books, notebooking pages, online resources, etc I plan on using then I can usually put it all together in a few hours per subject. I have 5 children but only homeschool 4 so I’m planning about 26 subjects in all so probably about 80 – 100 hours of actual making lessons. I have spent that much time or more on research.
I start research for the next year starting in January. This gives me plenty of time to know if what we are currently using is working for us and if any changes need to be made for the upcoming year. I research one subject at a time – seeing what’s new, improved, etc – I take notes, website url’s, prices, what I like/dislike and keep all this in my school binder for future reference.
As the school year ends (around may/June) I have all most subjects researched and the planning begins. I take about a month off (no school research or planning) then I go over my notes, do a quick research for each subject again (in case anything changed since my original research) and make a list of what I want to buy. Some subjects I already have what I plan on using so no need to research except for maybe some new supplements. Then I start buying.
Once I have all the books/items, I start planning it out for the year. I take my time and try to get at least one subject done every 2 days. I planned music and art study in the same day in about 3 hours but some subjects like math or english take me that long per child. I usually need about 6 weeks to plan lessons for a year.
If time is not on my side (is it ever? ;-)) I only plan for half the year so this may be an option for you. If you think everything will be calmed down more in say 6 weeks then just plan to that time, take a week off from school or do light homeschooling and take that time to finish planning your year or at least planning for another 6 weeks. Remember, there are no rules saying you have to plan for the entire year at once.
We are new to HSing too, but only because our children are so young. We’ve been HSing for almost a year, and have been doing CM the whole time. I only discovered the planner a month or so ago, and I can’t believe how unorganized I was before (which really wasn’t all that bad). I watched the DVD through once, no note-taking, no planning. I didn’t even stop when Sonya said to stop. Then I watched it through a second time after I had really thought about my goals, subjects, schedule, etc. That made it so much easier because I didnt’ feel like I had to come up with everything all at once.
It might help if you just write down what subjects you want to cover for each child first, and then give yourself two or three days (or even a week) to research books, go to your library and browse to see what books would be best for each subject. Once you have a good idea, then continue with the planner. I talk a lot about the library on this forum because I couldn’t HS without my librarians! They have been invaluable to me in finding books, planning, inter-library loans, etc. I really don’t think I could do this without them!
Also, when researching books, use the Bookfinder on this site (if you’re not already). You can do a specific search, for example, for a living geography book for your 7yo, and read a little about the books before you make a decision. And like some of the other said, don’t feel like you have to plan an entire year this week. You might want to just plan the next three months, take a month off to plan the next three, and continue from there. Don’t worry! You can do it!
thank you for all the advice – just needed some reassurance I think. I’ve done all the research and have everything bought, etc. I’m just trying to get throught the Weekly Work Worksheets so I have SOMETHING to start with next week! : ) I like the idea of just planning out 6 wks, so I can feel and end to this for a bit, then go back to it.
Now that I know how to do the planning (which I love by the way), it will be easier next time . . . and I’ll start earlier.
Coffee is brewing . .. thanks so much! : )
P.S. – I’m a dork and JUST found the CM Organizer. Uuugh! Have any of you switched over to this after already having all your charts made on your computer? Wondering how long that would take me. Maybe something I could do in Jan.
I am doing it just the opposite way because I was overwhelmed. I put all my materials in the Organizer, then watched Sonya’s DVDs, started reading CM’s books and realized my kids were too young to start. Yea! We are playing outside, working on reading and math and doing QLLs. The CM Organizer is AMAZING and very, very easy. I don’t think it will take you very long, especially since you have already done all the grunt work. I am really looking forward to using it with Module 1, when my oldest is 6 and ready; so we will pick it up in January.
Hi everyone – my name is Marilyn and I have never posted on any site before now. I already goofed up on my very first message because instead of posting in this general feed which is what I intended to do, it went directly to LindseyD’s private mailbox:-( Sorry Lindsey. Anyway, I will try this again.
I loved the detail that both RobynN and LindseyD gave on planning. My struggle is that I am a BIG planner but also a BIGGER perfectionist (to my detriment). I spent all of last year researching the CM philosophy while we lived in Georgia (lots of support for CMers there) – but moved to Florida (not by choice – but by circumstance) and have not found much support here (thank the Lord for SCM). Last year we used My Father’s World K and I spent several hours creating a customized “Lesson Plan” that I used to plan each week (too overwhelming to even consider planning beyond that). This yr I have my 6 year old son in his 2nd yr in 1st and my 4 yr old son (turning 5 in 2 weeks) starting K.
My question to those reading this is how do I plan for an entire year? Do you use specific planner pages you created and then transfer it to weekly lesson plans? Did you buy a yearly planner, and if so, does it already break out the days of the week for you? I am just overwhelmed trying to figure out how to plan it all “on paper” for two children. I am very visual and it would help to get some descriptions on how to set up the planning pages.
Just looking for anyone who will be kind enough to share how they organize everything and “put it all together” on paper.
Thanks in advance for those who take the time to write back. You ladies are really special to encourage others like you do.
I can’t recommend SCM’s Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education enough. I too am a big planner and even bigger perfectionist (also to my detriment and sometimes to the detriment of those around me ). I’ve tried so many things over the years and nothing came close to bringing me the peace and contentment that this has. Sonya has made it so easy to follow the step by step process of having a yearly plan right down to the weekly schedule. You can take a look at it and see what you think.
- Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education
I wholeheartedly second the “Planning Your CM Education” DVDs. Amazing! It made what seemed a daunting task actually doable. I am also using the CM Organizer, which I love! I’ve spent $80 on guidebooks that I couldn’t stand and had to tweak into oblivion, so I am so happy to be able to do my own thing for about the same amount of money. If you can only get one resource, the planning DVDs are the way to go.
Thanks for your replies ladies – it is very much appreciated! – Marilyn
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