Easy Way Planning

easy way planningEasy Way Planning

Podcast 251

In this episode,  Easy Way Planning, Felice discusses a system she recently began using to plan her day, her week, her month, and her year. And, it really works well. Taking a simple approach to planning helps keep the family and life in general organized. Add a journal and you are all set to a wonderful method of keeping life straight. Even in those times when nothing seems to go right.

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Show Notes:

Easy Way Planning

Planning is a tool we use to feel a sense of accomplishment. Many times our days consist of putting out fires and getting the kids fed and dressed! And sometimes we just settle for fed. Accidents happen, plans change and often we feel frazzled. I learned several secrets during my years of homeschooling and working from my home. I learned that if I put it on a list, even if I never looked at that list again, I remembered it. I also learned some of the things below:

  1. Plans are meant to be broken. Don’t stress if everything does not get finished in one day. God willing there is tomorrow.
  2. Planning my homeschool schedule one year in advance is the best gift I can give myself. Many times I went to the plan when I felt lost. If something didn’t work out for us, no problem! I shifted gears and skipped ahead… and then added to the list.
  3. During my planning time, my children enjoyed movies, crafts and play time. I hired a babysitter, typically the kid next door or my husband watched the children on a weekend so I could think.

    4-Square

    Easy Way Planning

    Faith:

    Pray daily

    Bible reading

    Time to listen to God

    Podcast: A few minutes with God podcast (*wink—I host this podcast!)

    Kids:

    Goals:

    Spiritual/character

    Specific academic goals

    Assign chores

     

    School

    Subjects for the week

    Reading/ writing assignments

    projects

    Special events/field trips

    Check off lists filled out daily

     

    Household

    Weekly menu

    Grocery shopping

    Cleaning schedule

    Errands

    washing/ folding clothes  schedule

     

    You can do this for the year – start big and scale down – to monthly, then weekly and then daily.

    There are things we need to do each day, depending on your season in life … with little ones your days are pretty much tied to their schedule, what their needs are like eating, changing and naps. As the children get older they become more independent (if you help them to be independent) and can do more on their own, without so much concentrated help.

    The four areas that may be in a 4-Square Page — a homeschool family will always be: Faith, Kids, School and Household.

    When planning I was sure to bundle activities. One day for errands and field trips. That was it. I was always tempted to run to the store for one thing or another, but I learned that if I did this I would lose precious time of homeschooling.

    1. Emails and computer time was at lunchtime. Even with a business, there was absolutely nothing that could not wait. (Yes, even a downed website could do without me for three or four hours.) I put my family first.
    2. Unit studies were a gift from God. I could teach multi-aged and multi-levels all at the same time, with various additions such as a grade-specific math and reading book. Otherwise, we learned as a family.
    3. Field trips were another blessing. We arranged our homeschool learning around our trips as much as possible, reading library books and building our own home library. The children illustrated, took pictures and created their own memory books after each of these outings.
    4. Hands-on learning was important no matter what the age of the child. Whether it was a mechanical toy, or paper body parts they put together or a chemistry, biology or physics lab as they got older. Experiential learning was important for long-term memory.
    5. Memorization charts are a fun way to learn facts as a family. I made it a game. A bird chart of various types of birds, and I allowed the children to study these charts daily. Then came the quiz on Friday (orally) as I pointed to each bird and the children excitedly named them one-by-one. I used this technique with parts of speech, the periodic table of elements, biology, etc.
    6. My children had their own chore and school subject check-off list. They could show dad or me each day their accomplishments especially for subjects they handled on their own such as math or writing. I gave rewards when they were younger for completed check off lists. They could select a meal or a movie we would all watch as a family. Believe me, we often had 3 movies to watch in one weekend because all three of the younger children (my most competitive kids) would complete their lists and chores.

     

    Just quickly – I wanted to hit more on journaling but will need to cover this further in another podcast. One thing to remember about daily journaling, it helps you take a snapshot look at your day and assess what went well and what you’d like to change it will help you pinpoint what needs to happen in the future. I didn’t like journaling at night – it got me thinking and then it was difficult to sleep – so I would journal in the morning.

    Podcasts for journaling that are faith-related:

    A. Answered prayer through journaling

    B. Journal How-To

    However, you use this planner I pray that you relax and use this time to enjoy your children. I had two children, a space of twelve years before I had the next three. So, basically, I had two families with the same husband! I got a “do over!” I could improve my homeschool methods over the first two, I could change and do some of the things I had hoped to do but never accomplished with the older ones as well. This planner is a reflection of some of the changes I implemented. I’m sure you can add your own as well. Happy “easy way” planning!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

 

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