Tom, my husband, is the “Party Dad”. There are many reasons why we have been married for almost 20 years. First and foremost is his sense of humor, a close second, however, is the fact that he loves to take the boys to birthday parties. On Sunday he took them to a party for most of the day, while I stayed home and did some planning. As July got hotter and hotter, my zest for planning waned and waned. But with a whole day stretched before me, I knew I needed to get something accomplished.
Can you say “avoidance”? I wasted a bunch of time convincing myself that I needed a new planner. (Insert eye roll here.) Last year I used this planner from Homeschool Creations and it changed my homeschooling for the better. I loved that my plans were so crisp, neat and easy to follow. On this Sunday afternoon, however, I was doing everything not to start the painstaking process of filling in all those little boxes: chores, main lesson, movement, art, handwork, reading, etc, etc, etc. I thought to myself, “If I just have a newer, better, bigger, prettier planner, my planning would be so much easier.” (Insert another eye roll here.) Luckily, I am a member of Melisa Nielsen’s Thinking, Feeling, Willing program. Whenever I need a good kick in the butt, Melisa is my go-to girl. I downloaded her planning intensive audio onto my iPhone, closed the computer, took the dog for a nice long walk, and got back on track. Melisa is able to break down planning into manageable steps and also provide the inspiration I needed to keep going. I have talked before about what a great value I think this program is and I recommend it wholeheartedly. Anyway, my planner is fine, and I would recommend it too.
Melisa advocates beginning with your rhythm, and I would agree. I thought about our rhythm last year – but that is not going to work this year with both boys in the grades. Adding another main lesson into the mix is . . . well . . . adding another main lesson into the mix. The boys and I are used to a rather lengthy and relaxed morning that usually includes cooking an elaborate second breakfast before school. This year, I want (Party) Dad to be in charge of getting something substantial into their stomachs before he leaves for work. This is not what we are used to, so I am trying to begin to phase it in now. I have been working with the nuts and bolts our day and have an initial take on our rhythm below.
- 9:00 Boys dressed
- 9:30 Walk
- 10:00 Circle Time (Verses, Finger Plays, Tongue Twisters, Foot Work); Light Candle/Opening Verse/Poetic Recitation
- 10:30 Jude (Grade 1) Main Lesson (Vincent prepares snack, does math practice and/or chores)
- 11:00 Snack
- 11:15 Vincent (Grade 5) Main Lesson (Jude does chores, sets table for lunch and free time)
- 12:30 Lunch/Play
- 1:30 Handwork/Art/Extra Lesson
- 3:00 Read Aloud
- 4:00 Free time until dinner
How’s your planning coming along during these dog days of summer? Leave a link and tell us all about it.