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And then it's time for the magic

*Disclaimer: All of these plans are not because I am Miss Super-Organized Mama. These plans are because I'm a MESS, y'all. If I didn't take these couple weeks to lay it all out, I fear what our year would look like because it's a train wreck up in here. 

This part is fun for me. This is where the math comes in!

Actually, there's one more step in here before math, but I haven't been able to do it yet. It's the step where we pull out all of the books we'll be using for the year and stack them up. Here's a picture of what that looked like last year:

After this,  I decide which ones make the cut and organize them. Then the math.

For the books we are using, I take the number of lessons in the book and divide them into my 36 weeks of lessons. I divide up our school work by weeks, even though we will be in school much more than 36 weeks. I divide up the books, not because our schedule is rigid, but because it is so very fluid that I personally need to know the framework for the plan before we dive in. I get off track so easily it's scary, and this allows me to jump in at any point and figure out where we are and where we need to be in order to still finish our books before the next school year begins. In the younger years, it didn't matter so much. We're tracking high school credits now and it really, really matters.

My family could take 3 years to finish a one year Latin book. We do that. Sometimes, it's because we enjoy doing it in tiny increments. Sometimes, it's because we forget a book is on our list. We lay it down for a week and it's as if it never existed.

I need a plan. It has to be a fluid plan, one that can adapt to our year round schedule and allow for spontaneous trips to Texas. Or Paris. For me, the perfect plan is to divide up the year into "weeks". The week #s won't actually translate into weeks of the year (for long), but they will allow me to always see where we are. For instance, we could be in our 10th week of school and be working on "week 6" of science. Sure, I'm 4 weeks behind in this subject, but it is okay because I actually have 42 full weeks of school. We have room to wiggle. If my son wants to continue working on his science during Christmas School, he has that option so that there is even more wiggle room during the summer when he wants to consider going to camps, retreats, and mission trips.

For example, let's take a look at Apologia's Physical Science book, with 16 modules. 36 weeks divided by 16 modules = 2.25 weeks per module. But I don't want to take the lessons partway into the next week if we can help it. So, if I take 2 weeks per module, we'll finish this book in 32 weeks. If I give it 3 weeks per module we'll finish it in 48 weeks. No thank you. 32 weeks means lots of wiggle room, which I like. The modules are not overwhelming, so this works really well.

Using Donna Young's 36-week Schedule form, I write Module 1 on week 1, Module 2 on week 3, Module 3 on week 5, and so forth. I have one of these forms for each class.

For one son, this is perfect. For the other, I need to divide it down even more and divide the pages in that module by 5 so he can know how many pages he should read each day of that week. If his wife ever tries to control him, I'm pretty sure he will say, "Thank you!"

I should note that we don't organize our literature assignments this way, unless they are part of another course that requires things be read by a certain time. For literature reading, we just read. They generally put in at least an hour per day of reading assigned lit. Sometimes we hit all of the books on my list, sometimes we don't.

One more step before we're finished planning and that's the file folders, which I'll introduce tomorrow. Here's a teaser:

On a different note, Sabbath Mood Homeschool recently shared a great series on lesson planning with a Charlotte Mason approach.

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

While there are many groups participating in this week's blog hop, I'd like to especially draw your attention to this group of ladies, whom I'm teaming up with:

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