Monday, August 17, 2015

Planning and Organizing Our Day (And book giveaway!)

For many of you, school has already started.  Backpacks are packed, lunches are made, and notebooks have been bought.  Usually, the same is true here.  Well, minus the backpacks and lunches!  For as long as I can remember we have started back to school with our new grades in August.  This year, well, let's just say we are a little distracted with Dad coming home for two weeks.

Sometimes distraction is good! ;)

But, as soon as he heads out again, the school bell is going to ring!  And we are ready.  Mostly!

On the 31st I am going to share what we will be using for curriculum this year, but today I want to talk to you a little about how we plan and organize our year.  Each year looks a little different, but here are some things that work for us.

A loose schedule.  For many years we ran a pretty tight ship around here.  As a matter of fact, by using the ideas found in the Titus 2 Ministries book,  Managers of Their Schools, we had our day very well planned.  I loved it!  Teri, a fellow homeschooling mom of 8, has a great chart method and color coding system to help you find the best schedule for your family.  Her book also includes other wonderful tips that helped keep me sane when I was schooling four kids and I think her book should be required reading for all homeschoolers, new and veterans alike!  Teri has graciously offered to give one of our readers a FREE copy of Managers of Their Schools.  You can enter to win with the rafflecopter at the end of this post!

Now that I am down to teaching one 3rd grader and supervising an 8th grader who is overall pretty self-sufficient, we are a little more relaxed.  The plan is to start school by 9 every morning, breaking for lunch at noon, and then resuming school until about 3 or 4.  Our Fridays are lighter work days with only a few subjects taught.

Sabbath Week Scheduling- This worked so well for us last year that we will do it again.  The premise is schooling for 6 weeks and then taking a week off to rest and regroup.  That week is a great time for field trips, vacations, and projects around the house. Things may get a little crazy around our move time, but we will do the best we can!

Assignment notebook- We have used a fancy planner in the past.  Several actually.  They never seem to fit our exact needs and become burdensome when everyone's assignments are in one place that is in my possession.  It makes for a lot of back and forth finding mom and the planner which just discourages everyone.  So this year, it is back to a simple spiral notebook.  Nothing fancy, just practical.  Each night I will write the child's assignments in the notebook under the correct date and they will check off the box when they complete each assignment.  Yep, that is it.  I have learned after 16 years of homeschooling that it is futile for us to plan more than one day at a time anyway,  Life happens and I get tired of erasing well laid plans in frustration and discouragement,  This way, each night I spend 10 minutes writing down the next day's assignments.  It also allows me the chance to check up after each child and monitor their progress.

Color Coding.  This may seems silly to you, but it was a God-send to us last year so we are doing it again.  Plus, it is fun!  Each child is assigned a color and their notebooks and such are all that particular color.  No confusion for them, easy for me to find their stuff at a glance, and no arguing over whose is whose (I have two boys remember?!).  On the first day of school I have all of their new stuff sitting on the table for them with a few surprises.  Word of warning- black is NOT the best color to choose!  Finding notebooks was easy- after that, I had to be creative.  Luckily, Salem does not care nearly as much as Colby!

Anything else?  Oh, I am sure I will think of something last minute- I always do!  Until then, we are trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer!

Happy schooling!

And don't forget to enter to win a copy of Managers of Their Schools!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linking up with friends-


My Joy-Filled Life

On September 8th, this post will be linked with the Carnival of Homeschooling!  Be sure to check out all of the posts to help motivate you in your homeschooling!  September's posts will be hosted by Nerd Family!



  1. Make goals at the beginning of the year and a penciled plan, then be flexible!!!

    Have a great school year, Michele!

    1. Thanks Nicole! And yes, pencil for sure!!! I like the goals idea, may have to include the kids on that one. It might be a fun thing to do the first day and write in the beginning of their planners so we can see the progress at the end of the year.

  2. I'm with you - don't stress over planning too far in advance. Choose your curriculum (boxed or pieced) and then just make assignments a few days at a time. Also, I love your color coding tip. I just might try that this year :)

    1. The less stress the better, right?! Have fun color coding- remember to avoid black! ;)

  3. For my 8th grader I get her input on curriculum. She has definite opinions on HOW she wants to learn certain subjects and having her help choose, within reason, has kept the complaining and curriculum fails to a minimum.

  4. I love the color coding idea. I do that with my kid's Christmas wrapping paper, but I never thought about doing it for school.


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