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I’m in my 30 day trail person and I really love the current features of the organizer. The scheduling and daily plan are actually working really well for our HS.
Here’s the part that’s really hard for me, as the teacher. I feel like I’m flying blind for planning and preparing our week/month/term/year. I would love to have planning notes so that I can note that there’s a math lesson that’s estimated to take 3 days and we don’t want to begin it on a Friday or that I need to prepare certain items for a lesson. Finally and very important, I’d like a bigger view, than what’s happening tomorrow, so I can see if my goals are still realistic and if we’re tracking towards them. I’d like to know that on 3/31, we’re estimated to be at Lesson 60 in our math book, assuming we track. It would help me PLAN my homeschool vs just track our activities and know the very next thing on the list. The very next thing isn’t always the most important and a larger view would allow me to assess what we really need to be doing.
Is this something with which others have wrestled? Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you all so much!Rachel WhiteParticipant
Most everyone, if not all, do all their planning on paper first. Some use the SCM Planning DVD and accompanying book. For the past 4 years, I’ve used the 5-part planning system off of SCM’s Blog, I copy them and follow the directions, keeping them to look at as needed:
Most of the time it’s important to know what subjects you are doing on which days, and then let the CM Organizer remind you of the details of each lesson. That gives you an overview of each day’s load while not having to worry about the details by hand. We have a Week at a Glance video that gives some ideas on how to do this.
Rachel, Thanks for sharing your experience. I loved those articles. While I agree planning out on paper in advance of the CMO is a super great idea; should we miss dates, double up or skip assignments I’ll be editing those dates (pencil and eraser!) and that was what I loved about the CMO on a daily/weekly basis was that we don’t have to do that.
Doug, Thanks for replying. I really see how it can be difficult to determine projections, especially with dependancies, but for the currently scheduled and active resources (ie not dependant on the completion of another one), it would be nice to have CMO do my heavy lifting on projected dates. Then I can see if we’re moving too fast or too slow, all through CMO!SueinMNParticipant
If your Math book has 180 lessons then you need to do one a day, you can see if you’re on target by comparing where you are in your lesson plans compared to how many days you’ve had school.
But then there is the concept that are you teaching the book or are you teaching the child? The SCM Organizer helps you keep the focus on teaching your child today. If you aren’t focusing on what you’re doing today then it doesn’t matter what your plan is for three months from now. If our child is working today and learning even if they don’t complete everything according to some predetermined plan then you’ve still accomplished a lot. Taking a child from point A to point Z may mean spending more time on point D than what someone else needed. You can’t plan that ahead of time. All you can do is teach the child today with what they can learn today.
I’m not saying that you can’t have long term goals, but don’t let those goals frustrate you if it doesn’t go just how you planned. Children don’t learn that way, which is one reason why this tutoring system of homeschooling is so much more effective than teaching a roomful of children.
Hi Sue, Thank you for your perspective. I believe goals are essental – both short and long term. They decrease in specificity as the distance to them increases. Most likely similar to most people. I love the CMO for tracking, but find it to be a myoptic view of the future, which is good on a daily level. When assessing where we are, overall term or year, it just doesn’t have the tools (imo).
Hey Doug, you know what would be really useful towards this goal is to have Print Friendly versions of the Resource Scheduler Page and within each of the resources. (make sense?) That’s where all the info lies and having it printed would be SOOO much better than having an excel spreadsheet to tell me the infromation I already entered into CMO! Would you consider that?
Can you tell us a bit more about what you mean by print firendly versions? How would it be different from printing those pages now and what would be required to better meet your goals?
When they print now, they print without any special formatting that removes the side links, the search bar, very large Header fonts. Just do a print preview on those pages to see. There’s not a “Print” link like on the Daily Plan tab that formats the page to be “print friendly”. Did that make sense?
I would print out the Main Resource Scheduler Page and The Detail Page for each Resource; 3 hole punch it, put it in my binder and use it for tracking when we should be completed based on where we are – easier to see our progression by term and such and would give me that big picture view I desire.
A print link doesn’t have to be present for us to customize how the page is printed. When we include a print link it only does the same thing as using your web browser’s print menu. We only included that link in a few places because everyone didn’t realize they could print without it.
We actually have optimized those pages for printing by removing the sidebar, changing the font sizes and spacing, etc. It could be prettier, but at least most of the things that take up space and use lots of ink are changed. It somewhat depends on how well your web browser supports the printing standards. Which web browser and version are you using?Rachel WhiteParticipant
I must admit, that I don’t change things on my paper schedule that often. I’ve crossed stuff out that I may change my mind on, but I look at all of it as a guide, not written “in stone” so to speak. I also add resources in to the Organizer that I hadn’t originally planned on that I don’t add on to my paper planner. I don’t have a problem knowing where we started the year off and where we’re going next year or afterwards and how we’ve ended, when looking back. To me that is something I can tell on a regular basis. One of the benefits of HS’ling is that you KNOW where your children are academically and spiritually. The SCM Org. due to it’s design, actually KEEPS ME from having to do what you’re talking about- the constant adjusting, whether on the comp. or on paper, that, due to life’s circumstances, I’d end up doing otherwise and get frustrated as a result. I’m towards the end of my 3rd year using it.
Plus,as a result of doing all the pre-planning (reearching resources, typing them into the planner, etc) is that my goals are practically INGRAINED into my memory. I keep my planning pages in a binder, so I can look every 6 months or every year at where we’re at; plus I know where we are long-term (Big Picture) every HS’ling year by looking at that planning page of my previous year’s resources. Does that make sense? I just don’t have the quandry that you seem to be expressing and trust me, we skip pages (that’s one of the features of the Org.), get through books faster and/or slower than originally planned, and also change days to take off, as well as which resources to use that day (that origianally I wouldn’t have had them do) based on how long we’re going to be at the hospital or doctor’s office (some subjects being more independent) or if I’m just plain tired and only do one Family subject with them instead of all. My husband is disabled and has a lot of seen and unforeseen medical situations arise during the year, so I have to have something that is incredibly flexible and moves with our lives; not hold me to a paper and pen (however much I enjoy planning, which I do) and make me feel guilty because I didn’t meet an expectation I had when the year started.
Lastly, at the end of each month and school year, you can print out two types of reports that give you either a detailed account of what you’ve accomplished or a summary which shows what’s been finished. By doing that monthly, I can see exactly what we’ve been doing as how it measures up to what I had originally planned out. I print the monthly Detail report and place in my binder. Every year, things get changed or adjusted; no year has one doing exactly what one expects to have done or you exceed your expectations or you may not have done what you’d thought you’d do, but, thanks to the print-out, you can see what you did (there’s the area of ‘notes’ to add those extra things). My state requires the parent write out a report of the student’s year; I use those two reports to get that done; I don’t have to turn it in, but it serve as that marker for letting me see where my original plans measure up to real life.
As for the printing, my Daily page prints without the search bar. The only things that show up other than the subjects and the resources, is the name SCM and Bookfinder and Organizer, the page numbers on the top-right side, the date and child’s name; on the bottom left, the webpage address and numerical date on the bottom right.
I think I understand what she means regarding have a print option for the Scheduler page that is like the one on the Daily page. With planning things out in the way I do, using the method described on those links, it’s redundant for me to print the Scheduling page out as it has almost the exact same info. on them. My tracking for long-term and short-term goals come from my original planning pages and the final Reports that I print out at the end of each month and year (in additon to what’s in my head).
However, I certainly don’t stress over whether or not my son is on a certain page on a particular day of a particular month-I’d go mad to be that minutely focused. I know how many books I want to go through in a given year, have it broken down in the Organizer according to how I’d planned it on my planning pges (how many pages per term/week/day and then the next book is scheduled to pop-in directly after the previous is finished), but I don’t sit and look at the way you describe in your opening. Trust me, I definitely end up knowing whether I’ve been realistic or not about my plans for the year or too slack; it becomes all too apparent very easily.
Rachel, Thank you so much for your reply. My trial had ended and I decided to come back after really missing it for a week. Before I replied, I wanted to take your comments to heart and incorporate some of your experience into my use of CMO. I really re-looked at the tools I was using My “Big Picture planning spreadsheet” and CMO. I was looking for a single tool, but it isn’t really necessary. In fact, one of the most important things I learned these 60 days (more in the last 30) is that NOT seeing the Big Picture so often was so much better for us. We’re able to move as slow or quickly as the learning happens and not feel pressured to “keep up”. I didn’t think I was teaching to the book or schedule, but looking back, I’m sure the “schedule” played a part in our schooling. It’s really nice to know that the next lesson will come when my student is ready. Keeps me focused on him (as both you and Sue descirbed). Thank you again. I’m so grateful for the expereinced HS Moms, like yourself, that shed some guiding light!
Hi Doug, Regarding the printing…. Looks like you made some adjustments! The Resource Detail Prints better. They now print without the search bar and headers so that’s cool. I’m not crazy about the formating of Resource Scheduler Page. It formats the Resource Name below the days used, so it’s a bit messy looking. But I’m happy to have it for planning purposes. This way I can know what resource is coming next I might need to get from the library.
I was wondering if you’d consider adding Planning Notes column for each division. I often have manipulatives, worksheet copies, library books, YouTube videos and such I need to pull together before a lesson and it would be great to see that in the planner. It would be awesome if that would show as a column right next to each division description on the Resource Detai. If you really wanted to rock my world, you could have a 3rd column with a Completed date. (just a thought)
As another idea that might be a great solution – How about a Planning Report for each Resource (with a Subject Category Filter). Then we could run a report to show the next 10 (whatever) assignments and planning notes for each resource. Would L.O.V.E. that! I would love to use it as a preparatory tool for both monthly/weekly planning. It would also help tremendously as I pull together our school items to go on a trip.
Thank you for being so patient and helpful for this newbie!suzukimomParticipant
Ok, I like those ideas – planning notes for each division
(can note in things that the book says may take a couple of lessons, manipulatives needed, or I could add a note to reserve a related book from the library (like in the history modules…)
And then, yes, seeing the next “x” number of assignments with the notes would be very helpful! (more than the 4 you can get on the daily plan…)
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