We are now on Day 3 of our 5 Days of Homeschool High School Planning. The schedule is the one step that doesn’t necessarily need to be in order, but you should have a decent idea of how your weekly routine will play out before you start making lesson plans (Day 5 covers this, in sha Allah!).
I suggest starting with a basic full year calendar by Donna Young (I like the 15 month calendar, personally) and crossing days off, highlighting, and otherwise marking it up so you can see a year at a glance.
Start with the necessities
Carve out times that you absolutely will not be doing school. Do you take the kids to Jummah each Friday? Want to take a full week off for Eid? Planning a vacation in the winter to get away from the cold? Try to set aside these times ahead of time so you can start seeing how your year pans out.
There are many who do not make plans this far in advance, and if that works, then that’s great! I’m starting to notice that if we aren’t pinned down to specific dates and times, it doesn’t get done when we think it should. “Tomorrow” and “later” are starting to become evil words in our house.
Picture a typical week
Notice I said typical not ideal. Think about commitments you have like homeschool groups, art classes, sports, etc. All of these things could be missed if necessary, but they do make up a typical week, so we can’t forget about them! We have homeschool group on Thursdays, so I plan out a four day week and any extra time we have on Thursday is used for extra work that has fallen behind, or to work ahead and get to take off part, or all, of Friday. One thing that took me a long time to realize when I started staying home is that I need to start thinking about dinner at least two hours before we plan to eat. My typical week had me out of the house some days until an hour before dinner. That caused undue stress and I’ve learned my lesson – don’t overbook!
Leave wiggle room
This is high school and while we want to think things should run more smoothly because the child is becoming an adult, there are massive amounts of hormones (or many that’s just my kid, but I doubt it) running through their veins and things become unpredictable. Yes, set dates (if you so choose) for assignment completion date, but add in there some days or weeks where they have time to either relax, or catch back up. Take a full week off for Eid, and whenever else you wish. Even planning one day a week that has a lighter load can help alleviate some of the stress from backed up work. Now just be careful that your child (my child) doesn’t start seeing this as a way to procrastinate. Still, make sure the schedule is flexible enough that it won’t break if it needs to bend a bit.
Online courses dictate their time based on what the teacher says, but the rest is up to you. I highly encourage Care Bear to do tougher work in the morning because she does her best work before lunch. I don’t make her daily schedule for her, but try to remind her of what works best. Doing it later is not one of the things that work best for her, hehe. Some families plan their lessons down to the hour, and others find this to be too much. Decide what’s best for you and your child, but you might find a certain time of day is best for some specific subjects. If that’s the case, use that time wisely.
Write it down
Okay, so now you have this beautiful schedule and everything looks like it has a spot and the spot is beautiful. You will flow from one day to the next with ease because you haven’t over scheduled or under scheduled anything. So what happens after you go to bed and forget through the night? What now? Write all of it down! If I wrote down all my good ideas, I bet I would have a lot more ease in my days!
Tomorrow we’re looking at the syllabus and deciding what’s heads and what’s tails. Make sure to join us, in sha Allah!
The rest of the series to check out!
- Planning a Homeschool High School Course List (August 12, 2013)
- Planning Homeschool High School Resources (August 13, 2013)
- Planning the Homeschool High School Schedule (August 14, 2013)
- Homeschool High School Planning - Syllabus and Weekly Plan (August 15, 2013)
- Homeschool High School Planning - Finalize Plans (August 16, 2013)