Planning is everything…

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planning-thumb-320x326.gifTo plan or not to plan…that is not the question! Having homeschooled my daughter on and off for the past year with no real planning behind our daily activities has been hectic, chaotic and to put it bluntly…a complete mess!

 Whilst I know that there are many homeschooling mummies who tend to take the ‘unschooling’ approach. I knew as soon as I read a few unschooling books, that this was not the method for myself or my daughter. Even though I knew that effectiv homeschooling would take a lot of time for planning, resource making, lesson planning etc, I just couldn’t get down to ‘business’ so to speak. That was until I spoke to a dear friend of mine who has been teaching for almost a decade. She advised me well and before I knew it – within about a week and a half (with no breaks!), I had planned my first 6 weeks of teaching, including all the resources that I made. Basically everything was ready for reading, maths, writing, science, art, and of course Islamic and Arabic studies.

I cannot tell you what a relief it was to finish the planning and it really is paying off. Not only do I not need to rush the night before to plan for the next day, but it really means that I can get down to what is important – actually homeeducating my little one.

 So, where did I begin with the planning. Well, I nipped down to Woolworths – bought a ring binder notebook with dividers inside, took out some scrap paper from home an began to plan.

For each subject, I wrote down the following:

 1. Objectives that I had for my daughter for the year 

2.  Guidelines from the national curriculum

3.  A book list (all the books I can use as teaching aids for that particular subject)

4. Resource list (literally everything that I have in my home that can be used to teach from puzzles to flashcards to textbooks)

5. Idea list (ideas that I had for making the teaching really fun and inspiring)

Once I had finished these lists, the actual planning began. I divided each week into my teaching days (for us, we do school on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays). I the created two timetables – one for the week and a daily timetable.

So, ours looks something like this:

 WEEKLY

                                Sunday          Monday          Tuesday          Thursday

Reading                 1 hour                 –                   1 hour              1 hour

Maths                    1 hour                 –                   1 hour              1 hour

Writing                  30 mins              –                   30 mins           30 mins

Islam / Arabic      1 hour                 –                   1 hour              1 hour

Art                             –                  2 hours                 –                        –

Science                      –                  1 hour                   –                        –

Reinforce               15 mins              –                    15 mins           15 mins

With this in mind, I then divided the year into school dates with breaks for my daughter as well as myself to plan for the next 6 weeks.

The planning for each subject then began. 

For reading, I divided each teaching lesson into the following format:

15 mins teaching

Resource 1

Resource 2

Activity

Primer

I used the Letters and Sounds Curriculum as my foundation and resources and activities were fitted in accordingly with what I had at home or things that I would make.

The same sort of format was used for Maths. My main aid was the Foundation Numeracy Strategy from the Standards website. And again, we used resources we had at home, or I would make my own.

For science, we are sticking to a book called: Belair Early Years Science. It is superb! Full of fun ideas and covers key areas for learning.

For art, we are using a mixture of ideas I have come up with as well as a book called Creativity by Sandy Green. I also use the art lesson to finish off any major activity from a subject.

For Islam/Arabic: our daily lesson is divided as follows:

Surah review

New surah

Adaab

Module

Arabic  

And that…(phew) is about it. But believe me, it does feel great to have everything planned, dusted and sorted way before beginning the actual lesson. I hope this helps you all with your planning should you wish to plan for your homeschooling. It may not work for some, but as the title of this post says…for me…planning is everything…

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10 responses »

  1. Assalam alaikum,
    I really like that you shared your system for planning, mashallah, I like the way you break down the times and subjects. My daughter not yet two, but I am trying to do research and get ideas for the time when I should start having more of a plan, once we move on from basic letters, numbers, etc.
    I look forward to looking at your blog and learning from you, inshallah.
    Salam
    Kris

  2. Walaikum Assalam wr wb,

    I know that many people believe that two is a very young age to start with routine and to plan. However, I think the complete opposite. I started homeschooling my daughter at 2. And if I knew how to plan back then, I would have. Go for it sis, however – make your planning fun for her. Set your goals – what would you like her to achieve by age three, and plan your ‘school’ around that insha’Allah.

    I do hope you will benefit from it insha’Allah.
    Take care,
    Umm Raiyaan

  3. I think you ideas are fantastic marsha Allah. Insha Allah R will be inspired with a life long passion fr learning and seeking knowledge
    Sarah xxx

  4. Dearest Umm Raiyyan,

    This is a very old friend of yours posting – although we have not been in touch for many years sadly. My sister just sent me the link for your blog. Masha’Allah it made me so very happy to see this. I’ve been homeschooling my children for a few years now alhamdulillah.

    Do you have a link for this – Belair Early Years Science – never heard of it and it sounds interesting?

    Keep up the excellent work… I will be sure to check back here frequently.

    Wassalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh

  5. Assalamu Alaikum Dear Anonymous,

    Your message touched a cord in my heart. It is so sad when we lose touch with dear friends. I want to know who you are, can you send me a private email? I really would like to get back in touch. Belair Early Years Science is a book. If you type the title in the amazon search engine, you should be able to find it insha’Allah.

    Please do keep in touch sis.
    Take care,
    Wasalaam,
    Umm Raiyaan

  6. I know who you are! (At least I think) Umm Z? Email addy: ummraiyaan@googlemail.com. Look forward to hearing from you insha’Allah. It has been yeaaaaaaaars! Masha’Allah. You are so brave, homeschooling where you are! May Allah make it a success for you and your family. Ameen.

  7. HELLO MY DEAR DAUGHTER,

    IT WAS WONDERFUL READING ALL THE HARD WORK YOU PUT INTO TEACHING R. THEY ARE WONDERFUL IDEAS FULL OF LIFE AND COLOURS. I AM PROUD OF BOTH OF YOU. TAKE CARE AND SEE YOU SOON.
    YOUR MUM.

  8. Assalam aleykum wa rahmatullah dear sister,

    I very much hope you still remember me as we haven’t been in touch for couple of years now. MashaAllah, your efforts in homeschooling are enourmous. I pray Allah reward you in both of the worlds.
    With my 2.5 yrs son I was confused where am I as have been teaching him without any specific plan thinking still have got time. MashaAllah he knows a little from all, like 2 surahs by heart, some letters as well as some math. However, your explanation of planning is exactly what I need and I am grateful to you for sharing it. Thank you.

    Wassalam aleykum
    Maryam

  9. Assalamu alaikum

    This post is so helpful! Alhamdullilah as I have it all set out in my brain but I need to have an idea of how I’m going to implement my ideas for teaching. I have recently taken my three youngest out of state mainstream school, ages 4,6 and 7 and I find myself trying to replicate a school classroom. I don’t want to do this, It is really helpful to see how veteran Home-educators do things.

    Jazakillah khair.

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