But selfishly, when my kiddos are on their "summer vacation," Mom wants to be on summer vacation too! ...Especially up here in Alaska where the summer is way too short to be spent indoors!
So at the beginning of the school year, I start penciling in a list of materials I may want to use the NEXT year. I keep it on a sheet of paper in my Homeschooling Planner. I make notations of prices and where to order them as well. If I see a used copy on sale somewhere, I'll know right off it is a deal to be scooped up too.
About my Homeschool Planner...
The name of our homeschool is "Elucere Academy." It used to be "Shining Light Academy" but I thought that sounded too elementary school-like. With my kids getting older, and one graduating shortly, I thought it needed a change. And so Shining Light became Elucere. Which is actually Latin for "a light that shines forth; to stand out." Very fitting.
I keep all of my important homeschool things in here, like HSDLA information, and print materials....
When we lived in NC, I kept state-required information, like Attendance Records, Standardized test results, and our irreplaceable "peach card" that the state of North Carolina sends us, confirming our registration.
Now that we live in Alaska, those kinds of records aren't necessary, (Unless you are part of one of the state-run "homeschool" programs....which I am not....that's a whole other subject) but I still have all of my old records in here. I also have a tentative calendar with the projected days of school and breaks, with the estimated dates that each subject will be completed. This is not set in stone, but is only an estimate.
And so.....as January rolls around, I have taken my prospective curriculum list from pencilled, to inked. And the end of January, or beginning of February, I start ordering the curriculum.
As it comes in, I break it down into individual lessons, and then determine the number of lessons needed per week to complete it in the the set days of school the next year. I put all of these lesson plans on paper, and keep them in my binder, organized with the little tabs on the side.
I don't break the lessons into weekly plans, until the week prior. Instead each subject is broken down into a list of lessons.
At the beginning of the week I take whatever lessons are next, and put them onto a weekly schedule. I only do this each week, in case more time needs to be spent on a particular subject or sometimes things come up, like spur-of-the-moment field trips, or army life events.....like Daddy coming home from Afghanistan. Now that we are in Alaska...the weather might suddenly be nice one day, and we could take advantage of it and get out of the house for the day. So we keep our flexibility in our schedule. But it all gets done, and nothing is missed.
This is our system, and it works for us.
That's the great thing about homeschooling...the flexibility given to each family, to figure out what works for them.
By the way....if you aren't familiar with it and you are a homeschooling family with a blog (or just want to see more about homeschooling), the Carnival of Homeschooling is taking submissions for the next Carnival. Click the image below to find out more!
You can see this week's carnival, hosted by Janice Campbell - who just so happens to be talking about planning as well!