To 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:
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
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:
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…