Monday, April 4, 2011

Scheduling AO

Sometimes Ambleside Online seems daunting to implement, and usually it's the scheduling that seems difficult.  However, the scheduling is really already done for you--it's just a matter of finding a method of recording the schedule and your progress through it.

I use the chart-format schedules (new, up-to-date copies soon to be available on the AmblesideOnline website).  I then edit them to add things that I want to be sure we do daily or weekly that aren't already listed.  I take out what I don't want to do.  For things that need to happen more than once a week, like copywork, I put little checkboxes in the weekly chart box.  Then each day, we look at the column for the week.

We start with the things at the bottom of the column, the work that needs to be done daily or multiple times a week, and we do those in whatever order we choose, marking them off as we go.  I look at the readings for the week and figure out how many readings we'll need to do each day to finish in the week, and I let dd choose which ones to do that day.  Sometimes we mix those in with the other work, and sometimes we do them after the other work.  Sometimes I have to give input about what readings to choose so as to be sure we don't do two easy readings in one day and leave the hard readings to all be done on another day.

I've also used a checklist format, just taking the weekly schedule and putting little lines next to each item.  I used that for the first three years, but now that I've got two schooling the chart format works better for me because it is more compact. In fact, with my laser printer's option to print four pages to a sheet, I can print the entire term's schedule for one AO year on a single sheet of paper that folds into a little booklet.

Update 7-Apr-2013:  Post changed to reflect changes to available resources.


  1. The way you do scheduling is a simplified version of what I do (except I re-print the whole thing with my edits and fonts)... your way is much easier!! I've realized more and more that with my irregular lifestyle (traveling/furlough), simple is WAY better. It has also helped me to realize that many AOers, especially those who are just starting or who have multiple children, NEED simple!

    my posts are here:

    Kathy, I came looking for you because I was thinking you may be interested in participating in the CM blog carnival someday. I have a topic in mind that I think you'd be particularly excellent at hosting for. Please let me know either way...

    amy in peru

  2. I'll have to check out the chart formats. We used AO a few years ago, & we'll be using it again next year. I saw your blog in an Ambleside Yahoo email so I thought I'd pop over for a visit. :)

  3. So sorry I didn't reply to these comments! They didn't get emailed to me. Hmmm. I'll have to check my settings.

    Amy, I have been ignoring the CM blog carnivals for time reasons! lol But I could be persuaded to start participating again, I think. I'll email you.

  4. Hi Kathy...Is it the chart schedule that you put all on one sheet?...I do similar with all on one page but you inspired me to do a checklist as well, because my younger dd in Year 3 needs that for encouragement. Would you be willing to send me your spreadsheet? Is it each Term that you use, I'm a little confused, or is it the entire year it sounds like? I understand your use of checkboxes inside the more than one, but I am so visual, if you don't mind sharing your document? Or I can grab it on the schedules at AO, I just didn't see it. Thank you! lovingly, Denise...who is in the middle of revamping our website so I can share my stuff too from AO!

  5. The chart schedule goes all on one sheet. I think I have an example posted on the main AO Yahoo group site in Files > Schedules, but I'll send you one. The chart schedule is one term only--each term generally takes me three or four pages in that format, and my printer can do four pages to a sheet.

  6. Denise, I don't have your email. Can you see mine on the right next to About Me? Email me there and I'll send you an example.

  7. Hi Kathy, I don't see your file of schedule in the AO yahoo group. Would you mind sending it to me please? my email is or