We are expanding our weekly homeschool planning meeting. Why? Things are always changing at Hodgepodge: our children’s needs, moving into older grades, more accountability needed. This year our eldest three children simply needed to SEE all their subjects and practice scheduling their time.
How We Expanded Weekly Homeschool Planning
- I typed up all the subjects, assignments and household jobs.
- Then each of our older three met with us parents and presented a plan for the week. Rather than us doing most of the planning, they are practicing their own time management skills and presenting the plan to us.
- We parents made suggestions for scheduling and considered extracurricular and appointments.
Why Weekly Planning?
Our children start with a Well Planned Day student planner in 5th grade – helps build independence and planning is a gift – a life skill we want them to have. More reasons and the Well Planned Day planners (the planners from Home Educating Family make things so much easier and I have a full review of each!) we use in Weekly Homeschool Planning Meeting for Multiple Ages.
A friend on instagram asked, “What do you do before 5th grade?” And I answered: The younger children are still a part of the weekly planning meeting – discussing the upcoming week and expectations. But since their subjects/schedule/assignment are so similar each week, they are welcome to ‘leave’ the meeting earlier. We are building the habit with them at this age (1st and 3rd grade). And if we have an eager one who wants to write down assignments, he/she uses a spiral notebook.
The Results of Expanded Planning
Honestly, this type of planning highlighted our weaknesses. We were letting certain things slip. And I was challenged in scheduling my day. But I really, really liked that the children needed to think through and visualize each day. They had to figure out what time of day worked best for each subject (they can pick the spot and lean heavy into their area of learning style), piano practice, electives and more. Plus work together to schedule Teaching Textbooks time on the computer.
We are pursuing an education, learning life skills and developing character (oh that one is kinda tough) – daily! (and Mama is too!)
Refresh Homeschool Study Space: This planning challenge also made Middle Girl freshen up her study space in her room. Last year we had created desks in the closet for our girls that share a room. She decided that she could do the majority of school subjects there – in the quiet.
More successes from our homeschool week
Building independence with Apologia General Science – the middle school years are a perfect time to practice time management for all the subjects. Plus the notebooking journal for General Science has so many wonderful prompts – for keeping notes and researching the text. There are so many things that my seventh grader can do with just a little supervision from me. Oh that is such a help for this homeschool mama in a busy household!
We are enjoying the notebooking journals on all levels – elementary, middle and high school. Highly recommend them!
Reading aloud Apologia’s Zoology 3: Land Animals – my view while 1st and 3rd grader work on their Notebooking Journals (have I said I love the journals?!) With our new schedule we were able to fit this in a couple of mornings and in the afternoons the rest of the time.
New Tapestry of Grace books always get us excited about a new unit of learning. You might remember that we sort of camped out in Year 3, Unit 3 – the Civil War. That was because we were taking advantage of so many local Civil War commemorative events. We still are! But we are moving on into Unit 4. We also decided, after much discussion as a family, that we would head into Year 4 – the modern era – again. It was just a few years ago we were here and we thought much about finally doing Year 1 (ancients) which we’ve never done! But, with the presidential election coming up and for continuity and the consideration of high school literature – whew! we decided on Year 4.
Technology is a true homeschool help. 1. Third grader loved the bonus round in Teaching Textbooks. | 2. We started back to Visual Latin this week! | 3. Late night with Michael Farris – In our expanded planning time we decided that Monday nights are good for our Constitutional Literacy time – Hodgepodgedad can join in – and we are learning so much about our nation’s history! | 4. 10th grader decided that viewing his Lynda.com courses on programming worked well on the family iPad with headphones.
A Hodgepodge of the rest of the week – 1. He is the third one to go through these fun Biscuit books and the fifth child we have taught to read! Exciting times! | 2. A rare Sunday after church treat – welcome to Moe’s – all allergy-friendly and gluten free | 3. Dover Publications resources we are loving! | 4. Checkers!
All this after a week of family vacation. I shared about our newest finds in Florida Gulf Coast: Favorite Sites to Visit (field trips!) Those starfish covered the shore the night we arrived. Those curly ones – amazing!
Many thanks to these kind hostesses:
What are YOUR successes this week?