Plans for 2018-19

One of the best things I've done for our homeschool is planning out every week's work last year. I couldn't really believe I'd gone that far last year and I wasn't really sure that we would actually be able to do it. But, we did. And it was so incredibly helpful to know exactly what needed to be done each and every week.

Yes, some things had to be chucked or changed, but for the most part, it was awesome. At least, for Eowyn and Gideon. Esmond's plans were good and helpful, but we also had to be much more flexible. Technically, he's still young enough that we can be very flexible. Eowyn and Gideon were able to finish all of their planned school work. Yes, we did get behind a few times, but then we were able to use breaks or do extra work to get caught back up because we knew exactly where we needed to be. We were also able to work ahead on the plans through a co-op break so that we could take a week off later when we went to the beach. (It was Eowyn's idea. And it worked well.)

It was also great when life happened this past year and I couldn't participate in the normal capacity. The kids had their assignments already laid out so they could do whatever they didn't need help with. I was able to do the bare minimum and still they didn't get behind.

I was also careful to spread our work out so that it wasn't ever overwhelming. Plus, Eowyn is definitely working more independently and Gideon really started working independently this year. So they were able to work even while I was out sick. Eowyn was also a big help with Gideon on the things he needed help with when I couldn't.

How do I do this? Well, I pick out all our assignments and then divide it all up in 36 weeks. Then, at the beginning of each week, I divide up the week's work into 4 days worth (since we have co-op once a week). So the kids know what they need to do each day. Altogether, I have 3 planners going: the weekly school assignments, the daily school assignments, and my daily bullet journal that has our calendar and my daily plans on in it. It sounds like a lot, but it really worked well for us.

It's a lot of work during the summer for me. Fun work, but work none the less. My advice? Plan small. Make sure the work you've assigned each week is doable. It's not doable to read a chapter book each week. So spread them out. You can always add to your plans, but if you over plan, you might feel like a failure or get so far behind it's impossible to get caught back up. It's like adding salt to your meal. You might ruin your food if you pour it out like Noemi likes to do.

I'm still working on Esmond's plans, although I already have all of his books picked out. Hopefully, I'll get it finished this week. I'm planning on posting all the schedules and will add the links to this post.

This year, we are studying Ancient history, Biology, and Earth Science, among other things. I love this cycle. (We still use the Foundations Guide for our memory work.) The last time we did this cycle, our reading list was awesome. I posted it on here, called Myths vs. Saints. We are using some of those books again, and some different.

We will be reading are A Midsummer Night's Dream and Julius Caesar, and memorizing lines from each. (Mark Antony's speech for one! Damian Lewis's video is brilliant. I'm hoping I can get Gideon to show such strong emotion.) We read a scene per week, or thereabouts, aloud and together. Gideon will be joining this year, but last year Eowyn and I either took turns or took characters and read each scene together. It was lovely.

I'll be reading Aesop's Fables to the littles this year, and I'm just adding it to our Morning Feast time so that the bigs will listen in too. I've ordered a bunch of picture books of the ancient myths to read together during Morning Feast too. I'm treating all of these as the poetry for the year.

I found Practical Arithmetics that I'm going to give a try this year. It looks interesting and not too hard, something the kids will be able to do independently. I'll be using it for all three, starting wherever they need and working up from there. I'm pleased with where the older two are in their math studies and am just going to let them keep practicing.

My sources in my search for the perfect plans are many, mostly just my own stubbornness. I use Classical Academic Press's Classical Reader, Ambleside Online, the rabbit holes of "Customers Also Bought" on Amazon, Memoria Press, Christian Book, and probably more that I can't remember. I've moved further away from textbooks, although I am giving Gideon an encyclopedia to read (because he's a boy and boys love reading those kinds of books). I haven't found a textbook that really excited us, so I look for non-fiction books that we'll enjoy and will teach us. We do a lot of reading and writing, and not too many crafty type things. Thankfully, my co-op provides those types of activities so the kids aren't missing out too much.

I think that's about all the common plans. I'm getting excited, although I only have a month left to get ready. We start back on July 30 and our co-op starts on July 31! I have a lot to do before then.

As I finish the plans, I'll add the links here:

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