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Planning a New School Year

This year, we're planning on things looking a bit different than all of our other years. Fewer things on our plates, with deeper and richer days. So what does planning look for that look like?

First, I'm remembering the wise advice from Christopher Perrin and Sarah Mackenzie regarding planning for Schole. Instead of taking all of the things you want to do and fitting them into your schedule, begin with your schedule and find out what priorities can fit into it.

The Tools

My wall calendar

This is for everyone in the house to glance at and know what's going on and when. This calendar gets comments from nearly everyone who comes in the house. It's pretty and it's incredibly handy.

My bullet journal

This is my brain. This keeps all of my junk in one accessible place. It also allows me an excuse for a little creative outlet.

Homeschool Manager
I can't say enough good stuff about this online planner. Easy Peasy. We're actually getting stuff FINISHED with this.

Menu Plan
{free printable in the link}

I don't have time to worry about this stuff. They insist on eating at least 3 times per day. With several evening activities, I really can't wait until we're hungry to start thinking about things or we'll end up eating at McDonalds every night. Eww.

Motivated Moms
(affiliate link)
Again, no time to worry about this stuff. Check off little boxes in my phone and get the house clean. Done.

The Plan

You don't mind if I just think out loud here, do you? I need to work through this and I think better in print than in my brain.

I have Monday through Friday, though Fridays often get eaten up with outside activities. We begin early, since they seem to do so much better at math if they work on it before 9:00 a.m. We take an hour for lunch, eating together and cleaning up. We want to be finished by 3:00. That gives us 7 hours, 4 1/2 days per week.

A lot hinges on a morning routine. By the time they sit down for a Circle Up at 8:00, they will have already finished their Morning Five:
  • Feeding animals
  • Feeding themselves breakfast
  • Bible Study
  • Beds Made
  • Dressed and Ready
If they only take 10 minutes per chore, they've already taken nearly an hour. I'll have to wake them up at 7:00 at the latest. They're going to ask me to wake them up earlier. I just know it. That will cut into my alone time in the mornings. My mornings are sacred. This is hard. Sigh. Okay, fine; I'll wake them up at 6:45, but no earlier!

Now, that Circle Time. I have a tendency to chat and get way off topic. It's supposed to be a time run through our memory work. If I feel the need to chat about something, I'd probably better do so over breakfast. They need to start math.

8:15 - 9:30 MATH

It's really the only thing we put on a schedule. Everything else is flexible. But if we don't hit this math schedule, nothing gets done. Nothing.

Must Do's:

Reading good books (history & lit)
Writing (& grammar & spelling)

If we do an hour per class, we've already gone over our time. It doesn't work. In theory, 3 of those classes will only take half an hour. But we get chatty. I think perhaps I should do Economics one semester and Theology the next, for safety's sake.

We can do this. It's going to work. It will!

Be sure to check out my article at Year Round Homeschooling, sharing how we managed to get our kids excited about a new school year.

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