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    Random Thoughts on School Planning

    July 20, 2012 by Brandy Vencel

    Random Thoughts on School Planning[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ome of these thoughts actually came across on my Twitter account, if you follow it, but I started making notes so that I would remember what I was thinking, and then I thought I’d share this with you. I do this because I adore planning posts from other mothers. They help me think through what I’m doing and improve it. I get ideas. I get inspired. And so I share in hopes that you benefit in the same way that I do.

    • If you can get a hardback {or, even better, library binding} for within $3 of the paperback cost, do it! I find that paperbacks tend to be so badly bound that they do not stand up to re-reading. My children are careful with books, but some paperbacks fall apart anyhow. I am so happy that I started buying hardbacks whenever it was financially feasible. If you end up buying a paperback twice, you don’t save a dime!
    • I’m thinking about combining students for various subjects.
      • First of all, we didn’t finish the Burgess Bird Book last year, so I’m thinking about throwing it into Circle Time. They love it when I match the chapters with realistic coloring pages accompanied by our birding field guide.
      • I already combine all of the children for Shakespeare.
      • I plan to combine O-Age-Three and Q-Age-Five for a “Year 0” time. We’ll read through Winnie the Pooh and then Beatrix Potter’s tales.
      • Q-Age-Five claims that she is “ready for school.” I’ve really been holding her back for awhile now, but I have decided that doing this any longer would be a disservice to her. So I think I’ll combine the girls for geography in Term 1 and see how it goes. We’ll be doing Tree in the Trail. I don’t think it’d be wise to start her in Year 1 yet, for various reasons, but I think that doing some geography and then starting her in a slow, 18-month Year 1 in Term 2 {when she is six} might work well for her. Adding in a couple small things should give her mind some things to think about, which is what I think she is craving, while not overdoing book work at this age.
    • This year, we’re starting a Book of Centuries. I purchased the download from Simply Charlotte Mason. I priced printing it, and it seems to come in at around $10 per copy. I’ll be printing five copies at once {one for me, four for the children} and saving them until each student is ready for them. I like being able to reprint if a student wants to begin again when he is older. I have always wanted my own BOC, but I would never have paid the big bucks for it. Ten dollars, though, seems well worth it to me.
    • I went ahead and purchased the Classical Composition teacher’s guide. I was trying not to buy anything for this venture, but I decided I needed something to look at and read. My goal is still to modify E-Age-Ten’s written narration assignments rather than doing straight Classical Composition, but I decided I am just too ignorant to wing it entirely on my own. In an ideal world, I’d also do many of the exercises myself in order to improve my own writing.
    • I now have Island Story in an audio book. I cannot decide whether or not I want to use it, or whether I want to continue reading it aloud on my own. I haven’t used audio books before {except while traveling in the car} and I can’t decide if beginning to use them would actually save me time, or just complicate things because it adds a new factor.
    • I think I’m going to substitute the biography of Faraday from the free reading list for the biography of Alexander Graham Bell that is assigned for Term 2 of Year 5. The reason for this is that we have long owned a decent biography of Bell, and I think that E-Age-Ten already thinks he “knows” Bell. Faraday, on the other hand, would be a new person to him. I think he’d find it more interesting this way.
    • Year Five just looks huge to me. There is so. much. reading. Good thing E-Age-Ten is pretty quick at such things! He’s going to have to do a lot more on his own this year, due to the neediness of his sisters. As long as I carve out time to coach him in his writing, I think he’ll be okay with that. I often thought of Circle Time as helping me keep in touch with my preschoolers, but I think this year it’ll help me keep in touch with my big student as well!
    That’s all for now. Hopefully, I’ll have Circle Time plans to post someday soon. If not, it means my planning was derailed!

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  • Reply sara July 21, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    We have used a Book of Time (Sonlight) now for two years – American History and Core F Eastern Hemisphere culture and some history. It is spiral bound, and getting a little bit full in a few areas (last 300 years) but it is really helping us to pin down what we are reading. In addition to the historical figures, I take the bookcover thumbnails off Amazon and make a sheet for each of the books she reads so we can tape them on the timeline too. Helpful for books like “A Single Shard” and “Daughter of the Mountain” that seem almost timeless, but aren’t.

  • Reply ...they call me mommy... July 21, 2012 at 4:51 am

    I love this post, Brandy! Might have to try to incorporate some of your ideas or at least the bones of them! 🙂

  • Reply Pam... July 21, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Looks awesome Brandy.

  • Reply Trisha July 21, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Love this post and your practical ideas, Brandy! With just 6 weeks left, God-willing, before delivery, I’d love to have the first 12 weeks already planned out. BUT, I’ll do what I can. We’re done with the school year just now, and it feels fine to be finished. We’ll start again mid-October. Hugs to you!

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