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With all this talk about More with Less, I’m trying to figure out how all this works practically. I LOVE the idea of planning a certain amount of time per day per subject. But practically how does that work when you are trying to plan books or lessons per year? It’s so much easier to plan a certain amount of pages or chapters than a certain amount of time. Does anyone have any ideas or insight on this?
We use a timer.
We use the SCM Organizer… so I just mark down whatever divisions were completed or worked on…
now of course, if the timer goes off we look for a good stopping point….6boys1girlParticipant
I understand using a timer and setting up the schedule to allow for the time wanted. But how do you plan books per year?
For example, I’m planning on doing ancients this year up through Rome. There are some books that I would like them to read and others that I definitely want them to get to. But the books are chronological so it makes more sense to go through them in that order. Yet how can I make sure that we get to all the ones that I definitely want them to read when I can’t say for certain how many pages or chapters they will get through in a certain days time.
Does that explain better what I am asking?
Ok, I see…. I use AO, so I have my reading list, and am basically trying to determine either how often to read the book, or if we will do the year in a different length of time.
For any books in Librivox or with audio, I look at the length of time generally per chapter… I would use that as a guage even if we didn’t use the audio. Fluent readers read quicker silently than out-loud, so it is likely the top time… My kids don’t read fluently so we do use audiobooks when available.
For books that aren’t on audio, I just guess and adjust partway through the year. Reading an average chapter in the book gives a good base to start from.
Make a plan, but hold it loosely. Try not to worry about books spilling over terms or even years. Charlotte’s students had books spread over years. It’s so much better to live with the material and stop when the timer beeps than to plow through just to check off the box. It really is ok. If you’re diligently working each day, little bits will add up. Trust the process.
This is easier said than done, but it’s so true!JanellParticipant
Daily: I use a time goal for each subject, and hopefully we reach our weekly assignment goals.
Weekly: I use a pages/lessons/assignments goal for each subject based on our weekday schedule and yearly overview plan, providing time to catch up and to update the next week’s goals. Ambleside Online has weekly subject and book schedules you can look at as an example of how to plan weekly rather than daily.TailorMadeParticipant
Similar to Janell, I use time as the determiner on a daily basis. When we’ve had an extended break, it takes a bit to build up to a max per day for reading. We use chunks of time and don’t fret if we don’t get as much done as I originally planned. Unless one of the kids, or our family read alouds begins to get way off target, I just pick up speed on days that have more room. Hope that makes sense.
For some books, I’ve divided pages over a term. Others over a week. It just depends on the books purpose….inidividual assignment, family read aloud, and I also try to keep the reader’s ability in mind, too. Strugglers take longer, but need practice anyway. That means I assign fewer titles, but require a certain amount of minutes per day instead of a set number of pages.
A set time just tends to help us get more completed over each term/year than a set number of pages/titles. Knowing that a brain change is coming within so many minutes seems to help my kids stay focussed on each of their assignments. That said, we do linger on some subjects longer from time to time and just let our day go long, or skip that particular subject the following time it is scheduled to make up for any lost time in another area.
Our schedule looks quite the same from day to day during the early morning hours. This allows me to cover a varied together time and still have ample time for the most important subjects that are studied individually. Then, later morning/afternoon have enough time for the important activities that don’t require as much structure and teaching. So, Bible, reading instruction/practice/assigned reading, and math are done before our family and other assigned lessons.
I’m hoping this makes sense. I do have our terms fairly planned out for each of the children for the upcoming year. I need to tweak one or two areas and then proclick them. Their binders are organized by subject, then time. My binder keeps me on track with the daily flow of our studies, so it is organized by time, then subject. I’m not sure if that makes total sense, but it works for me. Either way, I think I’ve only set specific page numbers for math and hope to gauge a good pace for read alouds and then adjust the booklist plans to add/delete titles after the first few weeks. The rest of the subjects have a set time, with the expectation that completion to the best of their abilities is the goal. This may mean more/fewer pages are completed depending on the reading level of each book for each child. So, I really just keep that in mind.
Christie shared some nice character reports a while back. I’m tweaking them for our needs. Because of the history curriclum we’ve chosen for this year, a character report will be completed at the end of each month. One goal for these reports is to make note of progress in areas of diligence, neatness, best effort, etc. This will mean that once our rhythm is going with our routine/schedule, more can be accomplished on an individual basis. I was really impressed with the idea of having the children evaluate their own character, not just me. I think this gives them the opportunity to honestly determine any need for improvement and then be able to see progress over a month/term/year. Narration (a form of exam at our house) and written evaluation will be done each month. During our report meeting, we will be able to discuss whether, or not the times need to be adjusted for more/less time per subject.
I’m not sure this helps you, but thought I’d throw the ideas out there for consideration. A real eye opener for me was the time given for a handwriting/copywork assignment during the Living and Learning seminar. The idea of less being more and more being less really made an impression on me. So, I’m seeing that in certain areas, we needed less time for assignments to be done at “best effort level.” Others needed more time for lingering and pondering.
Blessings on your planning!cdm2kkParticipant
I did both, kinda…. Some books have fine print and to read 4-5 pages a week would take longer than another resource with it’s print larger etc. So I read one page of the resource and timed myself and then I calculated how many pages a week worked for the schedule based on knowing how much time I had to give to that resource per week. It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t.
So resource takes 4 minutes per page to read out loud. I have scheduled this resource for twice a week for 15 minutes slots, so this resource gets 30 minutes a week. Divide 30 by 4 and that tells you approximately how many pages per week 7.5 — At this point you can round up or down or just go with each day and know that you should be reading about 3.5-4 pages per slot or 15 minutes. I take a post it note and write this down and place in the front cover so that I can tell after a few readings if my calculations are accurate or not and I can adjust if I need to. However I set a timer so that our day doesn’t get too too long.
Remember distractions happen and also remember to include any narration time too so if you want kids to narrate this resource, then you would want to round down and just read 3 pages per slot /15 min.
I also put this info in the Organizer — where it asked for narrate, read individually etc. I select custom and then I enter how I want it done for example — Read/narrate 3pg 2Xp/w 15min This tells me that I want to read and narrate this resource 3 pages two times per week and it should take 15 min. This is also what I put on a post it on the inside front cover of the resource and then I use post it flags as a book marker. It is working for us and if my internet goes down, then I still know what I need to do. HTH
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