Well Planned Day Sale

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Edouard Manet

Edouard Manet

Monday, July 8, 2013

Well Planned Day Student Planner Review and Giveaway

Why use a student planner? 

As children get older they need to have ownership over their studies. After all it is their education. This year my daughter will be using the Well Planned Day Student Planner. It is well organized, brilliant colors and includes the month tabs.

Do you help with scheduling?

Depends on the child.  I sit with my children when they begin to have the responsibility of scheduling out their work.  I will hand them a 12 week at-a-glance schedule (term) and a 4 week schedule.  I sit and discuss with them how to schedule out their week.  It could take a day, week, or even a month before they are ready to schedule their own work.  Not everyone is naturally organized.  It is OK to hold your child's hand as they begin to schedule their own studies.

The Well Planned Day Student Planner is going to be a perfect fit for my daughter's scheduling. There is a nice reading log for each semester, a 2 page spread for the month and each day has room to schedule out assignments. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Planning Overview

Planning for the next school year can be difficult, therefore I write everything down in one place.  Below is my Yearly Planning Overview that I use for each child.

It is self explanatory.  I suggest using a pencil, writing every subject that you think should be covered and slowly try to streamline and eliminate any busy work.

Planning Overview

Monday, June 3, 2013

Well Planned Day Review & Giveaway

I am excited to host a give a way for a Well Planned Day Planner!  This planner has been a life saver for our home school.  I use it to record everything we complete through the year.  There is so much that I enjoy about this planner that it is difficult to write about it all.  Here are some of my favorite features:

Class Plan
There is a class plan available for up to 4 students.  Schedule their day/week and curriculum for the year.   This is important because you can coordinate their schedule with the teacher schedule.  (I use this to coordinate my time with each child.)  I use a pencil when completing this.  I make changes through out the year.

My Education/Responsibilities Chart
I use this for my younger children. I write down the main seat work subjects they have.  Then I use clear contact paper over them.   I hole punch the ends and cut a slit in the hole.  My planner is in a three ring binder.  So I pull those out every time they sit to complete their work.  They use a dry erase to check off and put it back when they are done.

Monthly Books to Enjoy/ Field Trips/ Enrichment Activities Page
Wonderful tool for reviewing what was accomplished over the year.  I use this to list all the books each child reads or has read aloud for that month.  I include all our activities, movies, etc. that we use school related.  It gives me a good at a glance of what we are accomplishing.

Calendar Layout

I am most excited about the new 2013/2014 because of the two page spread calendar and monthly tabs!  I have not been able to utilize the 1 page calendar in the past.   The squares were too small.  This simple update has saved me from buying a separate general calendar!  The two page spread of the week has been wonderful and can be easily used.  I have used this in a variety of ways.  I only write what we actually accomplish.  If I plan ahead and write it in the planner, than I make sure those items are completed.

The giveaway has ended and a winner has been emailed! 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Planning: Evaluating Prior Year

It is time to start thinking about/planning the next school year.  Planning strongly influences the flow of your school and family life.   There are a few steps I go through for planning.  First, start with an overall evaluation.  The key areas evaluated are academic, social, character, habits, and family cohesiveness.

1.    Evaluate the previous school year. 
o   Did everything run smoothly?  If not, why? 
o   What worked?
o   What didn't work? 
o   Discuss with your children/spouse their thoughts for the year.
o   If there is time have them complete a questionnaire.

2.    Evaluate each child.
o   What areas need improvement?
o   Where did he/she shine last year?
o   What habits do they need to work on?
o   List curriculum used and decide whether it is worth using again or scratching.
o   Use resources to gain insight of where your child should be.  I typically use The Well Trained Mind as my guide.

3.    Evaluate time.
o   Did we manage our time well?  Look at each week, day and the overall year.
o   Did we playing catch up most of the year?
o   Did our days seem relaxed or stressed?
o   What activities did we participate in?  Were they worth the time spent?
o   Was there time for them to explore new things, be bored, play games, etc.

4.    Evaluate yourself.
o   Decide your strengths and weaknesses.
o   Did you take care of yourself and not just the family OR too much on yourself?
o   Were you approachable by your children? 
o   Did you feel stressed or overwhelmed?  If so, can you pinpoint why?  
o   Did you use your time wisely?

This overall evaluation should not take long.  It is just taking a quick glance at the year and what stands out.  Do not be too critical.  This process helps you begin to think about what is going well and changes that you might need to make. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What a Year

When I started this blog last year, I was determined to post as often as possible.  Unfortunately, our life became very busy.  We spent last summer selling and buying a new home.  This took all my time and little was left for planning our homeschool much less posting to this blog.  The lack of planning definitely affected our homeschool this year. 

I found that I piled on too much school, activities, etc.  Throughout the year the love of learning slowly faded away from my children and to tell the truth myself.  Everyone has one bad year, right?  I have not kept my observations from my children.  I even gave them questionnaires to complete to make things better.   My older daughters both told me it was because I didn’t plan.  Maybe my lack of planning will inspire them to see the benefits of planning?

As we slowly end this school year, I am revved up about the next.  I have all my planning materials laid out on my desk.  Notes I have jotted down through the year and I look forward to posting the planning process here on the 2inspire5.  My contact email for this blog is inspire5@outlook.com  

At the end of May I will be hosting a giveaway for the Well Planned Day Planner.  There is a link on the blog for their planners.  (It was one of my saving graces this year.)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Claude Debussy

We are in our third term this year and my oldest asked if she could please pick the composer.  How can you say no to that?  She picked Claude Debussy.  She also picked the six pieces that we will learn about this term.  I have made a playlist with Grooveshark and thought I would share the Claude Debussy Playlist:

  • We spread the 6 pieces throughout our 12 week term.  How do we do this?
  • The first week we read a small portion of a biography about the composer.   Here is the website for Debussy:  http://claude-debussy.com/
  • Then we listen to the first piece at least twice.
  • We write on our notebook page a small narration of what we learned about the composer and how we feel about the song we listened to.  (As everyone is writing I play the piece.)
  • I complete a notebook page with everyone.  It makes a big difference if you are working with your kids instead of telling them what to do.
  • The next two weeks we will listen to the song before we do any group work.

Claude Debussy Notebook Page by

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Burgess Animal Book for Children

My younger 2 and I have been enjoying Burgess Animal Book for Children this year.  This book is recommended on Ambleside Online for year 2.   I created notebook pages for us to use with the chapters.  The notebook pages are downloadable below.  

I thought I would share how we have used this book in our school. 

  • I read a chapter (they normally look through animal books, draw, etc. as I read)
  • They pick the animal they would like to research (there is normally more than one animal mentioned in the chapter.)
  • We work together to look up information about the animal.
  • YouTube - excellent resource to see, hear and just learn about the animal.
  • Our narrations for this book are very relaxed. We talk about it as we are looking up items on the animal.
They are keeping their completed notebook pages to make an Animal Book.  My older kids did this with the Burgess Bird Book and still look through it.