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Like all of you, I'm a number of things to a number of people...Navy wife, homeschooling mama, educated woman and aspiring writer. Read my thoughts on all of it here. Please feel free to leave your thoughts on all of it too!

Monday, September 6, 2010

How Do You Do It: Planning Homeschool

I'm not an expert on anything. In fact, I'm not sure what qualifies one to be an expert...there's always more to learn. That said, I have some experience in a few places. And I get asked often, "How do you do it?" So, I'm starting a new series to explain how I do things. I'm not committing to posting once a week or even once a month, but whenever I get around to it I'll answer a question about how I do it...whatever "it" may be. So, if there's anything you're curious about, just ask...

For some reason, I'm starting with the thing I probably know the least about...planning homeschool. But I did say I'm not an expert...

Gebel Family Homeschool is only a few months old and everything about it is still evolving, but in general this is how I plan. Every day we do math and vocabulary. The rest of our subjects are connected to whatever unit we're studying. I plan a unit or two ahead...and it goes something like this...

Once I have a topic in mind I do a catalog search of the local libraries to see what books they have on the subject. I also do a google search as well as looking on the sites of some of the homeschooling blogs I follow. If I'm looking at space I might also search for astronauts, weather, the solar system...related topics that can give me ideas. I use those searches to come up with a book list, web sites to visit with the kids, movies to watch, foods to cook, and activities to do. We don't necessarily do all this with each topic. Once I have all that info it gives me an idea of how long I think the unit will take, too. But I'm willing to give it more or less time once I see how the kids are enjoying it, or not.

During all of this I sit down with my planner (seen above) and bracket off the week(s) for a particular unit and the gist of what I want to accomplish that week. If I want to build a moving box rocket ship during the first week of space study, it gets penciled in...but it's always subject to change.

I didn't photograph the next page of my planner, but after the monthly pages there are weekly pages. On those I write down each day what the kids have done. Washington doesn't require me to keep detailed records so this informal way of tracking them works well for now.

And that's how I do it. Our units are very organic and based off their interests, my interests, holidays, family plans, time constraints, and trying to find a balance of things that make everyone excited about learning!

How do you plan your homeschool days?

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