When I started planning for my 31 days posts, I figured I would do a week of faith life, a week of food, a week of homeschooling, and a week or so of random bits of life. And then life happened. My Imperfectly Domestic series turned the corner of “Planned and Organized” to “Blowing in the Wind”, all over the place. And so my series gets a good deal more imperfect. I refuse to call it quits, because quitting on something with “imperfect” in the title and the description is giving up, not to mention just plain silly.
This week was supposed to be my “how we pretend this is on the lesson plan” week. It still is, but a few food and faith posts will be thrown in, because I roll that way, and this way, and all over the place. This is my reality, folks. It isn’t tidy. I am willing to bet yours isn’t, either, and that is not only OK, but perfectly imperfect and normal.
And now on to the meat of the post!
Sunday in my homeschool life is lesson plan day.
I once tried to do my lesson plans on Friday afternoon or evening, since the just-completed week was fresh in my mind. The problem was that I didn’t want to be lesson planning. I wanted be relaxing and weekend-ing. (Don’t go on and on about that not being a word. Maybe it isn’t *yet* an official word, but Shakespeare made up words all the time, and new words are added to our conversational language all the time, as well. “Selfie”, anyone?) So, lesson plans on Friday only get me as far as a few basic notes of what I want to be sure to cover the next week, or books I need to look for at the library, or pages I want to print for the coming week (like the awesome free learn-to-print number pages from Pam!)
Saturday has never been a planning day for me. Saturday is our day for errands, my time to get out alone (for a run! or coffee! or wandering the craft store!), our time for fixing up the house, garden, cars…basically our day for all the things–except planning.
Sunday, I know, should be a day of rest. That part is what nags at me about lesson planning on Sunday evening, but I just can’t help it. No other day works better for me than Sunday. I never get the books and planner out before Mass, brunch, and some family time. If I have to wait until 9pm on Sunday, I will. That’s my time. I get into a groove and my brain is ready to tackle the task before me, and I breeze through the plans.
Oh, you want to know my process? Brace yourselves, this is going to be earth-shattering(-ly dull).
First, I wander around the house (not kidding) to at least 3 different rooms to gather up my lesson plan book for the boys, the girls’ clipboards which hold their lesson plans for the week and any printables/math drill pages/etc pages, books I need to flip through before we read them, books I need to browse through up-coming lessons so I know what needs extra work, hands-on materials, or skipping, a pencil for writing with, my “brain-dump” notebook with all my random ideas of importance and near-brilliance about what we should study, and snacks. Always snacks. Popcorn, peanut butter, junior mints, pretzels, apples, whatever. I need something to much.
Next, I plop all my things and myself in the middle of the floor. Yes, I said the floor. I do almost all my best work and planning while on the floor. This has been a constant pattern in my life. Unless I have to work at the computer, I’ve always done my homework, research, and planning from the floor (I remember from grade school, spreading all my things in a half-circle around me on my bedroom floor!). I am that weird.
Finally, I just choose a kid and a subject and I get to the planning. Usually I write basic notes like “math–Saxon” or “math–Life of Fred” for which book we’ll use that day, and I know we’ll just continue with the next lesson from where we left off. If it is a hands-on thing, I write “science–experiment” or “nature journal–hike in … Park”. I used to spend all kinds of time writing very detailed plans, and without fail, I’d have to change them by the end of the week. Maybe something was too easy and we skipped it, or we an off-day and didn’t do much “formal” school at all and then were “behind” my plans. The unexpected things left me rewriting my plans too often. I will add specific poems or books I want to read, but other than that, basic is the name of the game. I’m learning to leave margins in my days for the unexpected, or the too-good-too-miss weather or other opportunities, thanks to the advice and wisdom in the book Teaching From Rest. I keep myself and my kids organized with printable pages from Plan Your Year, and also learned great tips for planning to meet the unique needs of my family from that book–which has definitely given me a sense of peace this year I hadn’t known before.
That’s that. Not much to it for me.
Now I need to go move that pile of books back to the school bookshelf… (because this week I planned on a Friday, at the end of our break week, knowing we have dinner plans with friends this Sunday.)