Hopefully this will be of some interest to the homeschoolers out there. I want to talk about how I plan for our homeschool days.
Firstly, and most importantly, as you know, I use the Workbox System by Sue Patrick. If you don't know what it is, Google it. Go. Now. There's no time to waste! Just kidding, but really, the Workbox System is a huge part of how I pan our homeschool times.
I plan each week the week prior. I've tried planning nightly (way too time consuming), and I've tried planning monthly (this doesn't work either because it means that if we don't stay on schedule, I have to go back and redo everything. So, every weekend I spent about 30 minutes planning for the following week. I use two forms, both available from Sue's website when you purchase her book on the workboxes. One is a weekly planning form where I write down which core subjects we will do on which day of the week. I do one for each child. This one pretty much stays the same every week, except that the page numbers and assignments change as we move through the curriculum. From there, I use another form that has a numbered grid for each school day. I write down what will be in each workbox for each day in the following week in these grids. Again, one sheet per child. I make notes in the margin if there are any supplies I need to gather that we don't have on hand, or if there are copies I need to make, etc.
I keep both of these forms, plus sample work for each child in a three ring binder separated with dividers. Pretty self explanatory. It's simple, but it works for us (so far!).
So that's how I plan weekly. Each school day I have to prepare for the following day as well. We do school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. So it's basically like a two day week, a day off and then another two day week. The night before a school day, I set up our boxes, gathering materials (hopefully on hand by now), and organizing the boxes with every supply we will need for a lesson, down to the pencil or piece of chalk. This does take a bit of time, usually 15 to 30 minutes a night, so to cut down on that, I like to clean up the workboxes fairly quickly after the kids have used them up during school time. If they are both busy on work alone boxes, I start cleaning up what they have already used. I keep my school area really organized, with everything easily accessible and easy to store. That way, as soon as they finish something, I can go about putting it away, which means that night, when I am preparing boxes for the next day, I don't have to trouble with putting away used materials.
That is one hard thing about the workboxes--you use a lot of materials. I literally have to rack my brain at times because we never have something new to put in the boxes. We use all our materials again and again. I guess that's a good thing too. It just makes for more getting out and putting away though. So that is how I plan for our school days.
Still wondering what the workbox system is? Go check it out!