Today is our first day with our new schedule. I decided to return to the schedule I used way back in Y7. It worked for us then, so I thought "perhaps, it will work now?" This schedule is based off of Y11, but it is not a complete program. I don't have everything scheduled, and we are not doing everything that is listed on the 12-week term schedule. Next term, we will add in some more books, so for now our goal is to get productive and to be consistent with each day.
I use three forms to keep us scheduled. The first is the House of Education 12-week term schedule. This is found in the Yahoo group for AO_HEO_Schedules. I download the Word version and then edit it to suit our program. I print this and put it in my 3-ring binder. This tells me what we need to do each week of the term.
The next form is for weekly studies. It is something I created from Power Point. I list out the daily subjects at the top -- just in list form (Bible, Math, Copywork, Recitations, etc.) and then weekly subjects below (also in list form: Art and Music Appreciation, Shakespeare, nature study, and so on). Then below I create 5 boxes with our readings. I post this by my desk so I know what subjects or books to add to his daily checklist.
Monday - read World History (Prentice Hall textbook), Short Story (Perrine's textbook), Geology (textbook), and Geography (Under the Tuscan Sun). Oral narration and one written narration is due at the end of the day.
Tuesday - read Biography (The Roosevelts), Literature (Lord Jim), watch Science (video on Planet Earth), and read Source Documents/Speeches. Oral narration and one written narration is due at the end of the day.
Wednesday - read US History (Carson's text), Literature (1984), Geology (textbook), and Economics (Hazlitt's). Same as above.
Thursday - read Supplemental History (Guns of August), Poetry (Perrine's textbook), watch Science video (Planet Earth), and read Worldviews w/Mom (The God Who Was There). Same as above.
Friday - read Devotional w/Mom (Knowing God), British History (The Great Democracies), Shakespeare w/Mom (Taming the Shrew), Natural History (John Muir's National Parks), and Writing w/Mom (On Writing Well). Same as above.
The third form is for my son. Although he is 16 now, he still needs a daily to-do list. I have tried using every type of form under the sun, but this one works. It is a simple bullet list of assignments. Whenever I have used something different, he does half or part or forgets something. If it is too cluttered (with a week's work), he gets little done. If I use this form, he can handle the tasks and is good about doing everything listed.
My process for keeping us on track is to use the 12-week schedule and highlight off the completed assignments. We invariably get off track, but in Y7, I made up my mind to not allow that to worry us. We simply did the reading and checked it off. If we got behind in one subject, we just worked from where we were, and did not get all hung up over it. At the end of the year, we finished some books early, some were almost done, and a couple were lagging behind. We just wrapped everything up and finished our year. It was the most low-key year to date AND we actually accomplished everything we set out to do.
Our Daily Schedule
Regarding our actual day to day schedule, it is pretty simple. My son needs to be up and dressed (showered and breakfasted) by 9:00. At 9, he begins piano practice. He is supposed to practice for 90 minutes each day, so that is what he does first each am. Depending on how much work he has to do for the week (chamber, Youth Worship, and piano lesson), he may take up to 2-2.5 hours on music practice. Once practice is done, school begins. He works on his school work in his own order, usually doing Bible first (reading and listening to Max Maclean). Math is online so that comes next. The rest is up to him. For those subjects where we read aloud or together, we try and do them during lunch or later in the day. Our goal is for him to be finished by 2-2:30 each day.