As you probably know, we homeschool year round. So planning and organizing our homeschool for the year, begins around Christmas. This allows me to plan the entire next year and be ready to begin it when we finish the previous year.
Basically, over the Christmas holiday when my hubby is home a bit more and there are more down days, I take a few days to focus on the next year’s schedule. This year we were in the middle of Year One of Ambleside Online and so I was scheduling out my Year Two of Ambleside Online over the break.
I love using excel for my schedules, it is a visual way for me to see what we are doing in each subject for the week. Ambleside provides a great spreadsheet with the weekly activities but I find that I need to break it down over the individual days to really keep tabs on my week. This in addition to making Ambleside a Catholic version for our homeschool, requires me to really work through the schedule and see what each day will entail.
Ambleside also does not break down our extra subjects for me so I have to break down those as well. These include Math, Copywork/Dictation, Handwriting, Latin, Grammar and Religion. These I need to schedule out throughout the year breaking them down over the three terms.
None of this is hard, it just takes some time and concentration so it is nice to do while Brian is home to keep the distractions to a minimum.
Once I have finished my spreadsheet, I can print it and begin filling my binder. A great friend and amazing organizer, suggested using pocket tabs to organize my year. I absolutely love this! It has been so nice having everything in one place for the week.
In addition to my spreadsheet, I place any printed materials that correspond to the week. For this year it included, history timeline figures, Burgess coloring pages, handwriting pages, and a few other things randomly spread throughout. Having them in the pocket tab makes it so easy to fill the kids workboxes for the week.
Once the schedules were done and my binder was organized, I was ready to begin the next year of homeschool!
As for the books we need, I purchase these throughout the year to spread the cost out a bit. When we begin term three of the current year, I do an inventory to make sure we have everything we need for the next year.
Part 2 – Our schedules up close and personal.