Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Meaningful Planning for Our Homeschool and a Planner Review

I've been homeschooling my children for the last 23 years.  You would think that I've got the planning thing down pat, but let me tell you....I. Do. Not!!  When our family first started homeschooling I had just recently completed a master's degree in education.  My oldest daughter's lesson plans for kindergarten would have gotten me an A in some of my educational classes but behavioral objectives were really not called for in our homeschool and I quickly learned to plan a different way.  Listing chapters of books that we read aloud, KONOS activities completed, math pages or flash cards reviewed, phonics and early reading activities soon took the place of those long behavioral objectives.

I few years later I was given Marilyn Rockett's Time Minder and used it for over 15 years.  She had many, many useful forms that were reproducible that I still have......somewhere in my file cabinet that has become disorganized and disused in the last couple of years.  That file cabinet seems to mirror my homeschooling for the last couple of years as well.  Yes, we have been doing school.  Yes, my children have been learning, but we are not as organized and well-planned as we should be.  Once life started changing around here it seems to never let up.  In the last 5 1/2 years we had one daughter marry and have three children in that time and added a seventh baby to our own family.  Yes, my daughter and I managed to be pregnant at the same time!  We have also been convinced that we should be more focused on homesteading  and healthy living in the last couple of years.  Cooking from scratch, gardening, canning and food storage take up a good bit of time and we haven't even added in the animals yet!  It's been a challenge trying to stay on track educationally with all the life changes going on but we do feel that all of life is an education and there is much that the children, Jeff and I have learned through all of our changes.


Thanks to the Old Schoolhouse 2011-2012 High School Homeschool Planner, this year may be the year I get our academics and household routines back together!  I was sent the downloadable high school planner to review recently and have been madly printing out copies of various forms for my homeschool binder and for my 12 and 14 year old children's assignment notebooks as well.

In the 2011-2012 High School Homeschool Planner you will find so many great forms to help you in planning and organizing your school year.  Some that I am personally using are the printable calendars (some are even interactive--meaning you can type your information on them before printing), lists of must-know facts from different subject areas that I will print and put in their subject notebooks, weekly planning sheets to write their assignments on, to-do lists for extra work or activities, instrument practice forms to record piano and violin practice times, forms to keep track of time spent on each assignment for each subject, journal pages, vocabulary forms, logs for books read, videos watched and tapes or cds listened to.   There is even a generic daily planner with enough space for me to write out our group time plans and lesson plans for my toddler and 6 year old.  Bible memorization forms will also be included.

My state doesn't require attendance records and evaluation forms, but those are included in the planner as well as transcript forms, grading planners, forms to chronicle scouting activities and so much more.

Printing out all the forms available would more than fill up a 2 inch notebook.  The beauty of this planner is that you can print out what you need for your students and leave the rest!  Your student's planner will be very personal including forms that you and your student choose just for his use.

I am very grateful to have been given the privilege of reviewing this planner and hope to use it diligently as we prepare our students to live a life that is more organized and orderly.  If they don't learn it during these formative years then they will most likely never learn it.  That's another one of those life lessons that sometimes slips up on us and we miss the opportunity to teach it to our children.  I am looking forward to what this new school year will bring and praying that all that we do will bring glory to God.

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Kim said...

I love TOS's homeschool planner! The first year I printed out every page...took up most of the afternoon! What a great resource though~lots of valuable information and homeschool helps. Thank you for reminding me to get mine! :)

Rhen @Yes, they are all mine said...

I will have to check out the planner. We are working on planning the schedule for our first high school year! It is exciting!

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