How do you plan?

As I’ve been working on setting up a tentative plan for our school year, I’ve wondered how other families and teachers plan. I’m not too concerned with whether I’m doing it right or wrong, but I’m pretty new at this and there’s a lot to learn.

I’m guessing trial-and-error works well, yes?

The way I’m going about it is to have a theme for each month. For example, in September we’ll learn about body parts/senses, in October shapes, November the farm, etc. With each theme my goal is to have a few works related to that particular theme, but also cross over into the areas of sensorial, practical life, language, etc. as well as works not related to the theme in these categories.

I also would like to incorporate informal lessons in art and music. Partly to fill up the time between nap and dinner when my son is ready for some action and I’m usually empty-handed, but I also think he’d enjoy these and I want to make sure I don’t neglect these areas. As of now, I’m planning on using The Usborne Big Book of Playtime Activities.

Another goal I’d had for a long time is to have our day more scheduled. Everyday is loosely the same routine, but I’d like to become more consistent with Joey’s hygiene (ie – brushing teeth), work time, and outside playtime. That’s something that’s been rolling around in my head waiting to be jotted down.

This morning I came across an idea for breaking up the school year from 5 Kids and a Dog. Dawn’s broken up the year into three terms: September – November, January – March, and May – July. I really like this idea, because you’re not schooling through some of the busiest times of the year and it’d be easy to tailor it to your family if you have traveling plans or are, say, expecting a baby… 🙂

But I’d really love to hear from you. How do you plan your school year? How do you keep track of theme units, art projects, and activities? Do you use an electronic planner, paper and pen, or another program? How do you store your school supplies? What works for you?

What tips or techniques do you have for planning your school year?

2 comments… add one

  • maevis August 28, 2010, 12:44 pm

    I am just finding out about Montessori methods and I found your blog very helpful, especially the Montessori activities and how you do them. Please add more! 🙂

    • Jessica August 29, 2010, 7:21 pm

      Thanks, Maevis! Will do.

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