I don’t really plan more than a day in advance. I used to plan out each week for the year, but there are so many different variables (an unexpected field trip, an illness, a little extra review needed on a concept) that my schedule would inevitably get thrown off. Then, I would drive myself crazy trying to get back on schedule. That, in turn, would stress out the kids and make learning more difficult. So, I’ve learned to relax over the years. The important thing is that they’re all advancing, not that they’re following some unchangeable schedule.
Every week, I print up a chart with all the classes they have that week. When they finish a lesson in a certain subject, they cross off the corresponding box in the chart. They can choose to work ahead, they can see where they’re behind, and they have some sort of structure to their days. Below is N’s weekly schedule:
As the kids get older, they’re assigned more and more independent work. A fellow homeschooling mom gave me an idea for keeping track of daily independent work. Each morning, I look over their weekly charts, I find the subject that requires independent work for that day. I print up a list of independent work (maps, worksheets, reading assignments, assessments, etc.), along with any corresponding paperwork. I give each child her independent work packet in the morning. One can work independently while I have instructional time with one or more of the others. The kids can also choose to put off their independent work until later in the day, but I always caution them against that. I tell them they’re not going to feel like doing it later. It’s a way for me to help them develop some self-discipline and see real consequences to procrastination. Some are learning self-discipline better than others!