One of the things I have bounced back and forth in is planning Kidschool, or basically what is "mine" that I'm going to bring to the kids to inspire them. Sometimes I just wing it and "unplan", just letting things fall where they may. Over the past four years I've tried several types of planning; strict lesson plans, subject planners, student planners, calendar, etc. My recent decision is somewhat both - planning and unplanning. It is a simple blank weekly planner with the following squares:
- Names of each child
- Do Together
Read-A-Loud (some planned, some unplanned) - The list of the book(s) I read to the kids. I rotate between history, literature, science, Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers, Mathematicians Are People Too, etc. Many days I read from more than one, but maybe once in the morning and again after lunch.
Children (unplanned) - For each child, I write in what they decided to do that day. Some examples might be the book they are reading, a math lesson they worked on, journal entry, etc.
Do Together (some planned, some unplanned) - I lump what ever else we do together in this block; science experiments, fieldtrips, etc. If we all do it together it goes here, otherwise it falls under the individual.
Me - This is what I do for my own Scholar Phase. I list my daily reading, journal entries, projects, and study materials.
This version of part planned/part unplanned has really worked for me over the past year. It is nice to go back over and see a little synopsis of what we have done. I do not include details, just simple bullet items. I also encourage my Scholar age child to keep her own simple records of what books she reads, her writings (journal entries), and her planning for large projects. Some other forms I use for planning the year are mostly from DonnaYoung.org (link available in the left sidebar as well):
- Course of Study to plan the books I am going to use throughout the year.
- Curriculum Key to keep track of what I abbreviated each item to be. For example, Story of the World, Volume 1 = STOW1 in our planners.
- Two Page Weekly Planner to write in what we actually do. The blocks I use are listed above.
- Book Lists for each person that includes books, journals, videos, etc. This is especially nice in mentoring in the Scholar Phase. It helps me to see areas to suggest classics for the scholar to read.
- Binder (which I call "My BRAIN") to keep my planner, lists, and whatnot. I have tabs for each child and myself. Each child has a notebook to keep the year's writings and keepsake items. We have a few pages for scrapbooking the projects, fieldtrips, and special events throughout the year.
Do you plan or unplan? What works for you? Do you keep a binder? Do you keep records?