Monday, May 30, 2016

How I Scheduled Year 3

I'm in the process of scheduling Year 3 for the fourth time.  I'm going to blog my way through the process, in case seeing my thought processes helps some of you.  Bear in mind that of course what works for me may not be what works for you, ditto for my child and your child, and that my process varies somewhat from term to term and year to year.  I school four days a week because one day a week is spent at the park and at band, so that may be different from how you schedule too.

*** My section labels in these schedules are fairly arbitrary.  I don't really care if the label matches the section's contents.

I downloaded the chart schedule in the .doc format from the AmblesideOnline Year 3 Detailed schedule page.  (The Basic schedule page should pretty much match for Year 3.  At this level, the Basic schedule just doesn't show you any of the alternate titles you could use instead of the first choice titles.)

I prefer to manage my charts from Google docs right now, even though they don't print quite as nicely from there, so I uploaded my file to Google drive, opened it, renamed it, and shared it with my child and my husband (view only so that my child won't change it).

Now I start rearranging. I added a couple of rows and scheduled artist/composer in one and handicraft in another.  I added another row next to those and scheduled drawing, but for this child we're going to do mazes and dot-to-dots for "drawing" this year, just to give him some low pressure fine motor practice.

Looking at Bible, I just simplify the row labels.  In History, I see that Trial and Triumph has only three assignments.  I move those to weeks that only have one other history assignment, so that the three History rows have a total of two reading assignments each week between them.

We'll use Michelangelo by Stanley, so I change the daVinci row to say Michelangelo, take out the Biography heading, and add that row to History.  That gives me three weekly History assignments so far.

In the Natural History section, I've added two rows, one for the optional Science Lab in a Supermarket and one for One Small Square: Backyard, a book I recently acquired and hope to use to inspire some more focused nature study.  (We stink at nature study here.)  I'll report back later on whether or not it worked.  I will need to schedule weekly lessons for both of those books--Science Lab may already have assignments in the regular 36-week schedule on the AO website.  (It does.  For now, I've typed those into my chart.  Later, I'll pull out the book and double-check them, making a list of necessary supplies.)

In Literature, I notice Parables from Nature and Heroes are scheduled in one row.  I don't want to look at them that way as I balance the load, so I add a row and separate them.  Then I shift around Heroes and American Tall Tales a bit so that no week has more than one of Heroes, American Tall Tales, or Parables from Nature.  Then I shift the Shakespeare tales slightly so that they fall on weeks when American Tall Tales is scheduled, and I mark out Pilgrim's Progress on those weeks.  (So we won't read Pilgrim's Progress on Shakespeare weeks.)  This gives us three assignments in Literature per week, which allows us to stretch one assignment over two days if we need to.

I moved Marco Polo into History.  I'll pull up an old Year 3 schedule of ours to see how I scheduled Marco Polo last time.  Map drill can be the fourth item in Enrichment.  I think this year we'll do the puzzle map of Asia each week.  Sometimes I schedule mapwork as a separate subject, but we'll try not doing that this time.  I added Timeline to Bible since it had space.  I'm putting CM's Geography in History with Marco Polo.  I'll schedule it on the weeks when we don't have a Marco Polo reading.

I add Chores and Read Aloud (for my student to read aloud to me) to daily work so we don't forget.  I looked through the Blake poems and chose a portion of one I thought my ds would like.  I asked him for preferences for Bible memory, and he selected a parable, so I've pasted both the poem and the parable to the end of the Term 1 chart.  I also found a Spanish song from our Jose Luis Orozco CD and picture book, and I've put the lyrics to that at the end of the Term 1 chart too.

Sample Year 3 Term 1 Chart with Changes

***Update:  Looking through the schedule again, I didn't like the Bible category being so unbalanced, with two substantial readings plus the very easy timeline entry and nothing on day four.  So I moved Princess and the Goblin in the place of Timeline since PatG may need to be read twice during each week.  Timeline I moved to Literature, where the easy item may help as the other scheduled items may sometimes need more than one reading each week.

***I've created a checklist for my child to use along with this schedule.  He needs more structure to his day, so his checklist has time blocks on it.  I slide it into a dry erase sleeve so he can cross of items, then at the end of the day or week wipe them off and start over.  The left side is weekly and the right side is a daily schedule.


  1. Thanks for this! We just started our first year using Ambleside (YRS 1 & 4). I've started scheduling for term 2 and also decided to start by modifying the charts. I look forward to your other bits of wisdom.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to type out your reasoning. But, as much as I have looked at your schedules in the past, my mind can't seem to understand! Oh dear. Does your DC choose which day he reads, for example, the Luke reading? And the CHOW reading? And Pagoo? It would seem not if you create this to strive to give them a balanced workload. I know I'm missing something obvious.

  3. Maybe the checklist linked in the update will make it clearer? He has to do one assignment from each category each day. And certain categories have to be finished before certain checkpoints in the day.

  4. Oh, I didn't click on that link! I clicked on the Year 5 link, and thought it was a simple, straightforward one (like for my boys who just want it clear and concise).
    Thank you. I do seem to understand better and am currently making my own for Term 2 (even though we are already nearing Week 14).