Planning Your CM Education/CM Organizer Question

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  • Still very new to CM (and homeschooling for that matter) and I feel like I’m knee deep in planning, scheduling and organizing chaos. You should see my desk and my house! Yell On the other hand….maybe you shouldn’t. Smile

    Up until recently I have been typing up our daily schedule and giving it to ds8 so he can check off work as he goes…he’s a visual kid and likes the sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, I have not planned ahead and am usually doing this the morning of and sometimes winging it in-between lessons while he impatiently waits for me.

    I’ve browsed through some other posts and see the PYCME and that Sonya walks through step-by-step on planning your yearly and then daily schedule. I’ve also looked at Ambleside Online, and a few other sites, and read Catherine Levison’s A Charlotte Mason Education for help. Needless to say with all of these different suggestions and scheduling formats I’ve overwhelmed myself to the point of frustration.

    My lack of organization has caused friction between me and the kids because I’m beating myself up for not being organized and doing everything last minute and then snapping at the kids Frownbecause they’re anxious and complaining because we haven’t started school yet and it is clearly Mama’s fault, not their’s. I admit that our lessons drag out because I am not prepared. I need something simple that even the organizationally challenged like myself can implement with ease. Sonya’s PYCME sounds like it will work.

    My question is, once I spend the needed time putting everything on paper, can I easily transition that over to the CM Organizer or should I follow the steps in PYCME but instead of writing it out on paper, just set it up in the Organizer? Would putting everything on paper and then transitioning over to the Organizer be double work?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who chimes in to help me with this planning/organizing mess!



    Jodie Apple

    What you have described was me a couple of years ago (understand I’m still a work in progress).  What God has shown me was that my attention was divided among many good options, but that I must choose ONE and stick to it.  So I chose PYCME and am so glad I did.  I scrapped everything (planners, etc.) and put my full focus on doing PYCME exactly the way Sonya has it laid out.  Within that book there is a place where she states to enter your resources in the CM Organizer if you are using it.  So for me, the Organizer is the tool I use to manage the plan I put together using PYCME.  I find it very helpful to have the term plans on paper so I can refer back to them throughout the term to see how we’re doing.  And having it on paper makes it easy for me to see as I enter them into the Organizer. 




    Thank you. Your reply makes me feel a sense of relief. We’re all a work in progress, but at least I know once I settle on one plan and stick with it like you said, that I’ll be able to look back and think “remember when?”. Thank you!


    We use workboxes for organization of the actual school day supplies. It is basically a 4 rack shoe cart with 12 plastic shoe boxes.  I numbered them from 1-12.  Each box contains a subject, like math, art study, literature, etc…  I copied the scm guide for our curriculum and chose what modules to study.  Wrote down each week in a notebook for planning.  Then the night before school I follow our plan and place the books in the boxes.  This also really helped me work out teaching more than 1 child.  So, they both have productive activities to do when I am with the other child.


    Thanks for your reply! We actually already have workboxes that were working great in the beginning when I was still following WTM, but they slowly fell to the wayside (isn’t that sad considering it’s only October? Laughing). Part of the problem was that, once again, I wasn’t diligent and organized enough to go through and correct the kids’ work daily…not to mention that some mornings they would wake ready to go only to find there was no new work in the workboxes because Mama was on the computer trying to figure it all out.

    I just glanced at them in a corner in my kitchen (they are individual file boxes with handles) a little while ago and thought that once I get myself organized and figure out what I’m teaching and when that I’d bring these back as the kids loved them and they still gave my son that sense of accomplishment. Thanks for reaffirming what was already stewing in my mind!


    If you join the workboxes Yahoo group, they have files you can download.  Heidi’s workbox schedule is great.  It has Monday through Friday with 12 boxes under each day.  I decided on the order of our school day and filled in the boxes.  Once I got the first week done, the other weeks i just copied the schedule updating the books as I went.  If you want email me and I can attach this form, its .

    I copied her curriculum guide and the detailed weekly schedule.  In the morning while the kids eat I read their bible and their Literature book, plus whatever we are studying that day (art, poem, or music.)  This has helped a lot, especially with a toddler running around. Then we go downstairs and ds9 has language lesson and grammar on certain days and ds5 has a math sheet.  Next ds9 has math and ds5 has a free activitiy (today its a video on letters and sounds).  For box 5 ds9 has his reading and ds5 has a community lesson (we are talking about animal care this week.)  At 10 we take a break until after lunch when the baby goes down, the boys are allowed legos or other toys but no electronics.  One of the boys will help prepare lunch and the other will set the table.  While they eat I try to read their history and set them up with their notebooks while I put the baby down for a nap.  Then I will read more to my older son and have a more advanced notebook activity while the younger draws in his notebook.  Box 7 rotates between French, Art, and Geography.  Box 8 is dictation for ds 9 and phonics for my younger.  Box 9 is Spelling for my ds9 and legos or blocks for my ds5. Box 10 is piano practice for ds9 and ds5 is doing calendar math. Box 11 is photography for ds9 and ds5 is free for the day.  Box 12 is a chore or handicraft.

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