Planning For 2010/2011 – Part 1

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As R is my eldest child, I feel that the planning I do for her home ed has to be done very well so that when her brothers reach the same age, my planning for them will  be very minimal inshaAllah because its all been done before.

As I said in my last post, I have been planning and organising quite a bit. I find out next week if I passed this year of my English Language and Literature degree inshAllah. Although I get my open degree if I pass that year, I have decided to go for my honours in the degree and so my last year of part time studying will start this October. I think it will be the hardest year that I will study and so I want to have everything ready for home ed way in advance.

So here is what  I have been doing which I hope will make a difference in the organisation and quality of our home ed for next year inshaAllah.

1. Knowing what I have

I find that I have resources at home that don’t get used, either because they are stashed away in a box, or lost in my saved files on the computer or a fantastic website that I completely forgot about. So, this year I made these:

Okay, so basically here is what I did:

– I made a list of every single resource I had under the following categories: Websites and links, Books and workbooks, Saved files on the computer, Hands on resources (this did take time but it was worth seeing what I have and what I completely forgot about!)

– After this, I popped over to WH Smith and bought coloured index cards. Each of the above categories was given its own colour. So, Yellow cards for websites, Green for books, Pink for saved files and blue for hands on resources.

– I then wrote down all the resources onto the cards dividing them into different subjects. All saved files for Math were written onto pink cards and all Geography saved files were written onto a separate pink card etc. For some subjects, I had quite a few coloured cards per category.

– After all of this was done, I took all yellow, green, pink and blue cards for one subject and fastened them together with a paperclip.

– I then wrote a key as you can see in the picture to remind me which colour corresponded to which type of resource.

The reason why I did all of this was because I want to vary the types of resources my children use during their study. I don’t want them to simply use workbooks for everything. And it also ensures that the fantastic resources that I sometimes save as PDF files or great websites don’t just sit there unused. I remember this year R wanted to learn about bees. We took one of her Collins Bee books and she read it. It wasn’t until I made these index cards that I realised I had an entire unit study on bees that I had saved onto my computer. We could have used this but I had forgotten that I had it. Now, when it comes to home ed next year, if she asks me she wants to learn about something or I am planning a topic or want to reinforce a math or English skill with something hands on, I can go to my index cards and look at what I have got. This makes me feel better organised and I feel that our home ed will include variety which I have realised is important for R.

2. Computer Files

 

Now, this might be obvious to most of you, but my saved documents in my computer were all over the place. Now that I had categorised all my saved files as above on the index cards, I then had to separate them in the same way on the computer. So now, when I find a saved lapbook, activity, unit study or experiment PDF on my index cards, I can easily go to the subject file that I created on the computer and find it easily.

3. Back Up!

I cannot tell you the amount of times that my computer has either crashed or one of the kids has ‘accidentally’ pressed a button which has deleted a file or two, or my favourites have just disappeared into cyber space! The stress I tell you! lol So, back up, BACK UP! Yup, I don’t have a hard drive that I can save everything on and most of my files are too big to fit on the space on my USB stick, so backed everything up on a DVD. And I’ll keep doing this every time I find a new file so that I don’t lose anything. I want to be able to use resources for future home educated children and also its good to share with others too.

4. Year 1 Notebook

If R was going to school in September, she would be entering Year 1. Although I’ve planned for Year 1, I have used resources that are both Year 1 and Year 2 level as she has already done a lot of Year 1 work last year. Again the beauty of home ed is that you can move according to the child’s level. This year, I am going to record our daily lists in a notebook so that when it comes to planning Z’s or baby Y’s home ed at Year 1 level I can look back and see what I did with R.

The above book will include my planning for both R and Z this year. I like this kind of book as it has dividers so I can quickly flip to R’s section, Z’s section or our new Quran curriculum (I’m so excited about our Quran curriculum which I am designing myself for next year inshaAllah – more about that in another post).

So, in this book I have the following:

– A lovely poem on the very first page (thanks Umm Salam) to remind me of my priorities. The poem says:

“I hope that my child

Looking back on today

Remembers a Mother who had time to play

Children grow up while you are not looking

There’ll be years ahead for cleaning and cooking

So hush now cobwebs, dust go to sleep

I am rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep”

(I changed the last line to ‘I am teaching my children, and children don’t keep.’)

– In section one of the book, I have listed R’s goals for next year; our weekly schedule for next year; the amount of pages when it comes to bookwork that roughly need to be completed in a day (this of course can be adjusted) and the order I am going to work through when it comes to certain resources per subject.

– In section two of the book, I have listed Z’s goals, and his weekly schedule (this is very very rough as he is still very young but I want to give him some quality time too inshaAllah)

– In section three, I have my Quran curriculum planned out.

5. One Place

And finally, I don’t want to have to search for any of my planning stuff for home ed, so all of the above and anything else related to planning is placed into one box file.

Now, all of the above might seem like a lot of work. It wasn’t really. But seriously, being organised for home ed in my opinion is essential especially as I have a toddler and a baby to look after at the same time. Can you imagine the nightmare of trying to find something for R to do or trying to find a resource for a project she wants to do whilst my 2 year old throws a tantrum and the baby is screaming for a feed! At least now everything is inshaAllah sorted and easy to find.

Please read these two excellent posts written by another sister on the same subject:

http://yemenlinks.com/blog/2010/07/19/advice-to-homeschooling-mothers-manage-your-time-well-and-you-will-succeed/

http://yemenlinks.com/blog/2010/07/19/advice-to-homeschooling-mothers-managing-your-home/

In my next post ‘Part 2’ I will discuss our plans in detail for the kids next year as well as tell you about that new exciting Quran curriculum. Jzk for reading. Hope you are enjoying your summer.

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16 responses »

  1. Asalaam ‘Alaikum:

    I’m actually working on some of the same things as you – masha’Allah. I also have stuff stashed here and there and forget about it – what great ideas.

    Jazak Allah Khair!

    Asalaam ‘Alaikum,
    Sumayyah Umm SAA

  2. Assalaamu Aalikum dear sis,

    Masha Allaah the feeling I get after reading your post is a feeling of achieving a productive home school day.

    You have inspired me well before I started even thinking of homeschooling. And Masha Allaah you still keep on inspiring me and helping me. May Allaah reward you for this.

    This post will help me further Insha Allaah when I plan for my daughter end of the year.

    Jazzakillaah Khayr wa Barakallaah Feeki

    • Ws wr wb

      (Hopefully this reply will go through inshaAllah! ;))
      My dear sis, jzk for your lovely comment. May Allah (Swt) make me that which you think I am. Ameen. Ameen to your duas sis. I’m glad that my journey which is often quite rocky lol has been of benefit to you. Please continue to make dua for me and my family.
      xx

  3. Assalaamu Alaikum

    This is a great idea MashAllah, I think im going to do this aswell InshAllah, as I have loads of stuff saved on computer but forget about it! JazakAllahu Khairun for sharing.
    Take care
    Wasalaamu Alaikum
    Umm Ammaar

  4. Asslamualaikum,

    May Allah may this coming year successful for you. I remember finish university a few years ago when I had just two to look after, it was challenging subhanAllah. But then again, I’m not as organised as you are!!

    Sister don’t forget to organise your own “down time” otherwise you might head for serious burn-out with the workload ahead.

    Take care inshaAllah.

    • Ws wr wb

      Ameen to your duas. How very true sis. I need to have my time for myself. I love reading so hopefully a good book on the go will let me escape for a little while inshaAllah.

  5. assalamu alaikum sister.

    it’s a pleasure reading your blog. Jazakillahu khair for sharing your knowledge with us.

    I have a 16 month old son and my husband and I had decided (even before he was born) that we want him to be homeschooled, so I read your posts trying to prepare myself (and taking mental notes.)

    I do have a question for you. At what age did you ‘start’ home ed? And how did you start?

    As for me, I try to sit with my son with some flash cards I made of the Arabic Alphabet. After about a minute or two of listening to and repeating after mama he is crying to take the cards from me and then puts them in his mouth or rips them. After about 3 months of this (twice a day) he can recognize 3-4 letter and can say (repeat after me) 7-8 letters. It just feels like it just takes A LOT of time for V. LITTLE results.
    Can you offer any suggestions or advice?
    wassalam,
    Nida

    • Ws wr wb

      I started home educating my eldest child, R when she was 2.5 years old. She was quite advanced at that age mashaAllah but I don’t think I would do what I did with her with my son when he is 2.5 in a few months inshaAllah. Do look at my older posts to see how I started. If you click on the archive, the earliest posts should be in December 2007.

      I think 16 months is way too early sis. Just play play play and talk to him loads. I think we tend to do so much with out first one and put a lot of pressure on them way to early (yup I think I was slightly like that!). Now that I have two other children, I see the importance of just letting them be kids because believe me time just flies by!

      Hope this helps inshaAllah. Oh, I would do lots of messy stuff like painting, playdough etc at this age. Toddlers love it!

  6. Salam alikoum wa rahmatullahi wa barakathu,
    Masha’Allah! 🙂 Looking good. Pray that all will go smoothly with your course & also with the home-ed. May Allah reward you for all your efforts in giving the best to your family. Ameen. xxx

  7. Mashaa’Allaah.

    May Allaah keep your intentions sincere.

    I want to homeschool my boys inshaa’ Allaah. I will definitly recommend your blog to my wife. Don’t be surprised if you get emails for help.

    May Allaa reward you and your family.

    P.S. please verify my account on your forums.

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