I have been burying my head in the sand for some months, trying to hide away from thinking about what I am going to do for our next school year (which is little over a week away as I am writing this!).
It got to the point where I told myself, if I don't face up to it, sit down and think, the next year will be as wishy-washy as our previous year and we will accomplish little!
So far we haven't been taking any set breaks, rather just went with the flow, taking days (or weeks....or months!) as we needed it....and we have wasted alot of time! This year, I want to be organised inshallah. I have toyed with the idea of unschooling so much, telling myself we will just go with the flow and take each day as it comes, but when I pinch myself and take a reality check, I know I need structure. So the only way to get a bit of structure, would be to plan!
Thinking about planning a whole year seems hugely daunting....I don't know at what rate the kids will progress at, what they will be interested in, or what our situation will be in another 6 months! I don't want to spend so much time planning now, only to discover my planning was not relevant, or the kids had not reached that level, or indeed had far overtaken a level!
So how can I plan a whole year, without really planning a whoooole year? ....well, this is what I have decided to do, and I thought I would share how I have done things...
1. Work out school-time dates
After skimming through a few blogs to get an idea of how others do their planning, the first thing I did was to decide when our school year will start and end, before dividing into into 6 weeks blocks, with 1 week break between.
I like the idea of having a school year from Ramadan to Ramadan....so that our big break will be at the end of the year throughout Ramadan. So we will start just after E'id and end a few days before Ramadan next year inshallah.
I printed off a school calendar from Donna Young
and got out my highlighter pens, marking off school time and break time.
|Yellow marks school time, and the green break time!|
I have to tell you, just doing this exercise seemed to make planning the school year so much easier, as I can clearly see defined blocks! I have 6 six week blocks and 1 with just 5 weeks.
Straight away, this made the idea of planning so much easier alhamdulillah, as the year is broken down into smaller sections.
I also think taking scheduled breaks will be great for me and the kids inshallah....knowing at the end of 6 weeks, we will be taking time out to re-energise inshallah!
2. A rough plan 6 weeks ahead
I worked out what subjects I want to go through with the kids, and marked them out, showing how many times a week we would do them inshallah.
I've tried to be a bit more realistic this year, and not plan to over-do-it with too much every day! I'll try this schedule and tweak it if necessary as we go along. This is K's subject plan....
3. Organise Subjects
So after working out what subjects I want to go through, I then put together a subject lesson guide, going through what each lesson will cover inshallah and detail any resources which need preparing...which I then prepared ready!
4. Prepare resources
So once I had a general lesson guide, I prepared the resources, worksheets, lapbook segments etc and placed inside a file folder, with each file section containing 1 subject.
So all I have to do (in theory) when we start school next week inshallah, is pull out from the front of each subject section the work for the day put them in the workboxes.
So there you go, thats how I have planned this year round! I have 6 weeks of lessons planned ahead alhamdulillah....although still have a couple of things I still need to finish off inshallah. But I hope that it will mean I won't have to be searching the computer, making or printing resources as we go along, and instead spend more time with the children inshallah! We'll see how it goes.....!