What is planning week? How do I implement it? Will it make our school year too long? Do I really need it? All of these are good questions to ask when considering whether or not to implement planning weeks throughout your homeschool year. I chose to do try and I love it! Let's talk about to have planning weeks during the school year or not.
So, why do it? As Sarah McKenzie discusses in Teaching From Rest, as homeschoolers we have the opportunity to start school in the summer and have frequent breaks throughout the school year. Taking a week off to plan after a six week stretch not only gives you a breather, but also allows you to step back and evaluate what resources you are using with each child. Are they helping you meet that child's needs? IF you need to change it up, you can because you have a week to prepare a switch.
Here's how to have a successful planning week:
1. Begin jotting down observations & ideas at least a couple weeks before planning week falls.
2. Gather resources for the next six weeks. (library, etc)
3. Think about the big picture: Do you have resources & materials, ideas & time segments that work for your family's goals with each child? You want these to work for you, not against!
4. Do your thing, GIRL: Whatever you use to plan with (your spreadsheet, your printed planner, your chicken scratch on a legal pad (okay that was me)), work it out into a list or blocks- whichever you prefer. Just so you feel COMFORTABLE & at PEACE with what's to come.
5. Organize it: Get everything together so you don't have any surprise panic times. For example: Stack all the books you'll use in one place (maybe even in the order you'lI use them.) Prepare a place for the work to go. I use little folders, but I put everything I can that's needed for each little subject into a folder (if it's a paper related thing). If it doesn't require any papers, (which most things don't), I at least have a folder labeled by subject so the child has a specific place to store THIS six weeks' work. *Plus, this becomes a portfolio by six weeks for you to save & helps your child feel accomplished with a completed work.
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