i filmed a planning video for our homeschool channel!!!!! I've wanted to sit and film my planning for a while now. mainly, because i wanted some source of accountability to help me stick to my preparation plans. school weeks go by so much more smoothly when i have a thorough plan to help guide me.
i promise i might have one of the most complicated brains out there and homeschool planning for three little ones seems like such a big task to me. i am hoping that filming these videos will help me stick to it and have more fun with the crazy way my brain works, lol.
we will be studying plants for the next few/several weeks ahead and i just thought i would share how i approach planning our unit studies for my little ones.
i like to start by rounding up all materials and items that will tie in with our unit of study nicely. this time around our unit is ALL ABOUT THE PLANT. so, i grabbed any and everything that had to do with seeds, gardening, water etc. i also jump start my plans by taking a trip to the library and searching for any books that fit well into our unit. with my round-up and our library trip completed, i lay out all of our materials to help me get the juices flowing, lol.
BROWSING THROUGH CURRICULUM...
then, i like to grab the four sources of curriculum that we use and browse for content that adds to our study.
1. time4learning- we've used time4learning for a year now and it really given me a peace of mind and flexibility in my homeschool. i can adjust the amount of their work load as well as their grade levels based on how fast or slow they are catching on to different concepts, and i love that!!! it is also really helpful for me when i am having a bad day or when i have a LOT on my plate. they really enjoy it
2. easy peasy all-in-one homeschool- i do not use this resource very often at the moment but it is laid out very nicely and makes it very easy for me to pull lessons and find resources that will fit in well with our studies. i see us using the easy peasy all-in-one homeschool website a lot in the near future.
3. my father's world- on my second/third year homeschooling i really wanted to try and "follow" a prepared, boxed, all-in-one curriculum and decided to purchase my father's world for first grade. we do not follow this curriculum at all but i do use quit a bit of the books and other manipulatives included in our own ways as they apply.
4. learn with homer- i absolutely love learn with homer and have used the program with each one of the kids. we are currently using it as a main curriculumn for the lady baby and she loves it. since we first began using learn with homer, they have added lots of other goodies to the program like printable and we are even able to access from our desktops/laptops, not just the iPad anymore. its great!
i drew up a few planning pages that help me cover all the things that i like to consider while mapping out our weeks of homeschool...
.unit design board- this page is where i start. anything that comes to mind as i think of our unit study gets sketched out in this spot. this page is mostly, a visual representation of what i hope we will learn/cover... our objective for studying the unit to begin with. i also have a spot on this page for any supplies that i think we will need to accomplish some of the activities in mind for the unit.
.unit specials design board- this page is basically an exact copy of the unit design board but it includes any more challenging concepts or activities of the unit. in this case i have decided to introduce them to the plant cell.
.unit planner- this page is for me to lay out our objectives in more detail, listing actual vocabulary words, bible verses, books/movies, workbox content, content pulled from our curriculum resources, field trip ideas etc.
.weekly planner- this is where i take all/some of the lessons/activities etc. and assign them to a particular day of the week. i try to write these things in lightly with pencil and then transfer over to my iCal to make it super easy to move around when needed.
i was also thinking it might be a good idea to post the weekly schedule in the schoolroom so that the kiddies will be able to follow along and get a grasp on what we will be covering as well.
.field trip planner- this one is my favorite! we love our school field trips and planning for them is the difference between a successful homeschool field trip and just a simple family trip. there is totally a difference. simple family trips are great and there is still tons of learning going on, but i have found that putting in a little more effort to plan how i will approach our learning experience just kicks it up a notch. on this page i plan our days schedule, budget, special points of interest etc.
.event planner- ok, maybe this one is my favorite LOL! i have tons of really creative things that we can do to spice up our homeschool lives on a bigger scale and those things get birthed right here. from a homeschool restaurant grand opening to an art gallery and even toy drives this is the spot where we really come alive as a creative school and we love it!!!
we are also sure to add on an extras that we find on the internet that help us fill in the restless times of our day. so thats pretty much it. thats how i plan.
until next time :) :) :)
from syreena, with love