Thursday, August 14, 2008

Scheduling CM

When we started Ambleside’s Year 1 last June (2007), I had to figure out how to take the weekly assignment list and turn it into a usable schedule.  I had seen other schedules, but none seemed to fit our way of doing things.  DD needs to feel some ownership in this process, some control over parts of it, in order not to be rebellious, so a micro-schedule with each reading assigned to a specific day would not work well for us.  Also, we had a new baby coming and two other little ones with their own needs and activities, plus the usual interruptions that life brings along.  A very specific schedule would be hard for us to stick to.

I knew we would school in the afternoon during naptime when we could be relatively interruption-free and could count on being at home regularly.  That gave us approximately 2 hours each day, although once we got in the swing of things we didn’t need anywhere near that much time.

In the end, I took the Ambleside weekly schedule for Year 1 and added to it the other items I wanted to be sure to get in each week.  Next to daily items I put 4 or 5 little underlines, some items got 3 little underlines, and the weekly items got 1 little underline.

That’s it!  That gave me a place to check off the items as they were completed, and an easy way to see at a glance what remained for the week.  I could make notes to the side to record what was done or what needed to be done.  If a subject (like nature study or drawing) was missed for a couple of weeks I could see that and make it a priority the next week.  And dd could choose for herself what readings to be done each day.  I often specified *how many* had to be done, but she selected them from what remained on the list.

This year, for Year 2, we are using the same schedule format.  To that, I’ve also added an organizational help.  I have one doing K and one in Year 2, so they each have a bin that contains all their school materials.  I keep it right next to the kitchen table where we school, so that I never have to get up to find the right supplies (well, almost never).  This has helped us speed up the flow tremendously.