Since our homeschool and my teaching style lean Charlotte Mason quite a bit, planning content subjects (history, science, geography, etc.) can get complicated, especially since I quit using a boxed curriculum and have struck out on my own. I’ve found a rhythm with planning and finding resource for these subjects and I wanted to include a planning page just for this style of homeschool education when I designed my Homeschool Journal Planner.
I’ll share each section of this planning page and how I use it. The topic line is at the top of the page. This is where I write what we’ll be studying that week. Most homeschoolers rotate their content subjects on a daily basis, history on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and science on Tuesday and Thursday seems to be the most common one. But I changed that format in our homeschool to focusing on one content subject at a time for three weeks, and then switching. My content subject planning page is set up to go along with the way I do it, but it is still easy to use for homeschoolers who schedule their content subjects differently. Instead of using one page for each week, you would use two, one page for your history study and one for your science study. My topic line reads “Geography of Israel, Lebanon, and Syria” since that will be what we are studying the first week back from Christmas vacation.
Next there is a space to write your spine book or books. A spine book refers to a book that you are using as a basic overview of the subject or topic. Examples of spine books would be Story of the World, Apologia Young Explorers’ science series, or even a textbook. The spines for our geography study are Visits to the Middle East and A Child’s Geography of the Holy Land.
Now there are spaces for supplemental books and media and activities, projects, or experiments. These are the extras that you wish to add into your spine book. It can be extra literature to read on specific topics. For example, in our geography study I will be having Grace read a book on Judaism while both girls will listen to different folk tales from each country. I always try to add in some kind of movie or video clip to watch with any topic we are studying. For our study of Israel, we will watch Israel and the Sinai Desert. Activities, projects, and experiments are my girls’ most favorite part of any subject, but it is easily my least favorite. Therefore, I make sure that the things I find to place in this box are things that the girls can do themselves with little to no assistance from me. The girls will be painting a picture of the Dome of the Rock, baking challah (with my help), and note booking about the countries we study.
The bottom section is divided into days so that you can take your spine and all of your other resources and divide them up into the day of the week you would like to read, watch, and/or do each one. I love pre-planning our days on paper, especially the content subjects. This allows you to schedule more time intensive projects and experiments on days when you don’t have outside commitments and to make sure you are not over loading one day or another with too much reading or too little hands-on. For example, Grace has ballet on Thursday nights for three hours so I know that would be a really bad day to bake challah, but probably a great day to watch our movie on Israel.
What I’ve outlined above is how I plan all of our content subjects and using the content planning pages in my Homeschool Journal Planner makes it even easier. Remember, you can get my planner for free by subscribing to my blog using the gray banner at the top of the page, the sign up in the sidebar, or the signup at the bottom of the page. Take a look at the other glimpses into my planner as well.
Don’t forget to check out the other iHomeschool Network bloggers as we spend all week posting about different topics.
Organizing awesome resources was never so easy in the tree house,