How a Super Detailed Plan Brings Restful Learning

The past two months Everyday Scholé has been discussing restful homeschool planning. We’re finishing out the series by showing three different planning styles and how all lead to scholé in your homeschool.

Anyone who has read my blog knows that I love to plan our homeschool in minute detail. I’ve had more than one person tell me they could never plan that way because it would be too stressful for them to follow such a plan. Which is why I’m so excited about this post! Even if we all do it differently a restful homeschool year can be found in a multitude of approaches. I like to plan in detail. Even to the point of writing down page numbers for daily math work for an entire year in advance!

Here’s how my super detailed planning helps keep my year one of rest.

It makes everything open and go.
I don’t use a lot of pre-planned curriculum especially for history, science, and geography so taking the time to create detailed lesson plans is a life saver when the school days get busy. I don’t have to worry about flipping through books or gathering supplies. It’s all pre-planned, printed, sorted, gathered, and ready to go for the day.

It helps me instantly see where we are in the year.
When I have everything planned out by subject, it just takes a quick glance at my planner to know exactly how much ground we’ve covered and how much we have left to go in our academics. This lets me know if we need to slow down or speed up in one or more subjects to stay at the correct pace. That being said, though, I don’t necessarily rush us to finish in a certain time frame {more about this later}.

It ensures the academic goals I’ve made for the year are met.
Every year I try to make specific goals for my children that I want to focus on for that year. The academic goals I make for them are much easier to work into our schedule if I pre-plan the entire year. I can make sure that those are goals are being systematically and thoroughly addressed through my planning. When I try to be looser with my planning, these goals are one of the first things that are negatively affected. I forget about them during the day to day repetition of school.

It allows others to fill in if needed.
I’ve only had to make use of this option a handful of times over the course of our homeschool, but I can promise you that having everything pre-planned makes it 1,000 times easier for someone else to step in and run the day for you. I’ve had my mother and Preacher Man take over homeshcool duties in past years when I’ve left town for various things. And most recently Grace ran our school day while I was in Fort Worth at the Great Homeschool Convention. Pre-planning everything makes it simple to hand over the reins if necessary. I’ve also discovered it helps your older children be more independent with their work if you are sick.

The interesting thing about all of this pre-planning is that it looks very rigid and regimented on paper, but my implementation of all this planning is very restful and leisurely. I do not stress if we don’t make it exactly through everything I had planned for the year. Our days are very go with the flow. Our year has plenty of breaks and days off. But all of this is possible because I have these wonderfully detailed plans. If I didn’t, I would be a stressed out, worried mess. Which brings me to my final point,

It is super easy to tweak and adjust as needed for circumstances.
I find that the sweet spot of restful planning for me is having super detailed lesson plans on paper, a regimented year long calendar, daily anchors for each major learning block, and back up plans when time is short. Without all of this preparation when circumstances did change, I would be much more frazzled. Having plans and having schedules allows me to be more flexible in how our time is spent. I have my plans and schedules as parameters, but there is a lot of empty space on the road which makes our homeschool a true journey of rest for me.

Not sure if my super detailed approach is right for you, check out my two other Everyday Scholé blogging friends who take different approaches to planning as well.


What is your homeschool planning style that makes your year restful?

Fifth Grade Read Aloud List

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As my kids move into fifth grade the read alouds, and even their independent reading, becomes deeper. In other words, books begin to deal with the difficult things in life such as death, divorce, injustice, even murder. While these books might seem dark and depressing, they have inspired amazing conversations between all of us about right and wrong, dealing with emotions, and making difficult choices. Of course they are still light-hearted books on this list, as well as classic literature that I feel are must reads. This list of read aloud books was inspired by Jim Trelease’s Read Aloud Handbook and also some personal favorites that I added to it. I have also gone back and updated my other read aloud lists with printables so that you can print out my lists to have handy in your teacher planners or to carry with you to the library. Happy reading!

Goin' Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack (picture book)
More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby (picture book)
Teammates by Peter Golenbock (picture book)
Run by William Sleator (out of print) 
Stars in My Crown by Joe David Brown (out of print) 
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer 
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine 
Adam Canfield of the Slash by Michael Winerip 
Good Old Boy: A Delta Boyhood by Willie Morris 
My Dog Skip by Willie Morris 
The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald (series)
Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan 
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli 
No Promises in the Wind by Irene Hunt 
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier 
Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle 
Matilda Bone by Karen Cushman 
The Pinballs by Betsy Byars 
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor (series)
The Gold Cadillac by Mildred Taylor 
Christmas In The Big House, Christmas In The Quarters by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack
Rosa Parks: My Story by Rosa Parks 
The December Rose by Leon Garfield 
Sara Bishop by Scott O’Dell 
Slake's Limbo: 121 Days by Felice Holman 
Stormbreaker (Alex Rider Series) by Anthony Horowitz (series)
Raven's Gate (The Gatekeepers Series) by Anthony Horowitz (series)
Thank You, Jackie Robinson by Barbara Cohen
When the Tripods Came by John Christopher (series)
Woodsong by Gary Paulsen 
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
Sounder by William H. Armstrong
The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly 
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (This is a gorgeous illustrated version!)
The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon by S. S. Taylor (series)
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

What books are loved by the fifth graders in your house?