Schedule - Making up for interruptions, holidays, sickness

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Schedule - Making up for interruptions, holidays, sickness

Unread post by MelissaM »

ECC Scheduling/Long-range planning
ArkArmyWife wrote:This is our first year to use MFW, and we're doing ECC with our two DDs (6th and 4th grades). We started the year later than we usually do, and I can see after scheduling our regular breaks that it will be the end of June before we finish our 36th week. I'm concerned that this leaves us very little "wiggle" room. I'm sure we'll have sickness, house guests and other "interruptions" throughout the year. We take Wednesday afternoons off for a homeschool PE group, so that adds a little more stress, too. Here are the possibilities I am trying to choose between if we get behind on the schedule:

1. At the end of the week, whatever isn't finished on that week's list just doesn't get done. Just go on to the next week, as long as the majority of the work got done.

2. Carry over unfinished work from one week to the next. If we only finish 4 days of work, then on Monday start with the 5th day of the schedule and go from there. Whatever isn't done at the end of the year doesn't get done.

3. Carry over unfinished work from one week to the next, as above, but whatever is left undone at the end of the year would be continued when school starts back after summer. We would stop schooling at the end of June no matter what. My concern with this is the impact on oldest starting high school program in 9th grade.

4. Don't take a summer break. School year-round. Children go crazy, but Mom is happy because all the boxes are checked! :) This one is not really an option, since my husband insists (wisely) that our children need summer, and so do I.

I look forward to all your words of wisdom on this subject, which has hounded me throughout of six years of homeschooling, no matter what curriculum we've used!
Well, I have't done ECC specifically, but I am handling our year-long planning a bit differently this year. Maybe something in here will help you. I did as you did - planned our breaks, holidays, etc, and came up with a "Last Day of School" date. This year, for the first time, that date is FIRM. We will not go past that date - I want something to look forward to as a, "Yay, we did it!" sort of celebration.

So, I broke down our weekly work. I haven't done the whole year in all subjects, but many of them. I put most stuff into weekly file folders - math pages, any work sheets, narration pages, notebook pages, etc that can get filed are filed by week. As we complete work, I file it into a "Completed" file. (At the end of each quarter or so, I will file what we want to keep into the proper notebooks or whatever.) At the end of the week, I take a look at what's left unfinished in the file. I then evaluate - how important is this? Must we do it? If so, must we do it this way? Is it something we can quickly go over orally, rather than do a written narration or worksheet? Can it just get skipped? Etc., etc. Then, anything that MUST be done gets filed into the next week's file and we just work extra hard to get the extra assignments done and stay on track. But I'm making peace with a) skipping a few assignments here and there, knowing that the material is going to be covered again later and b) "making do" on some assignments - doing a grammar lesson quickly and orally, only doing half the math problems, whatever. Also, it's helping me adjust my expectations and be more realistic - my poor oldest child - I have SUCH a tendency to push her to do too much. This is helping me see what she's REALLY capable of getting done in a week's time. I can see she's working hard but there's still a bunch of stuff not done, so that must be my...erm...eagerness. ;)

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Re: ECC Scheduling/Long-range planning

Unread post by doubleportion »

The 35th & 36th weeks of ECC are optional, unless you have to do 36 weeks for your state and record keeping. Maybe that will give you two extra weeks and you can finish earlier in June. You could also save some of the fun crafts or cooking things for a Saturday fun day with Dad included. We often did science extras on Saturdays in the past. Friday is light and independent day, so maybe you could slide in what you didn't complete earlier in the week on that day? We tended to do more work on Fridays than scheduled just to keep us on track.

Oh and my dd always did her read aloud Missionary Biography with her Dad at night before bed. She is still doing that in CTG too. He likes being a part of the "school" stuff and of course she loves the extra Daddy time ;) He's become better at reading out loud too (science-math geek- he married the artsy lit. loving musician). It used to pain me to listen to him read to her. So we all gain skills as we teach our kiddos. LOL

Last edited by doubleportion on Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
Julie in MN
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Re: ECC Scheduling/Long-range planning

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Edie's points are good -- there are 2 extra weeks and evening is a good time to do bits as a family.

I'd repeat what Melissa was saying, as well as your original options, as the various ways to solve the problem of getting behind. The main thing I'm adding is that *what* you are behind on (as well as *why*) also plays into the decision of *how* to approach that item on the checklist.

- If it's something we got elsewhere (such as a co-op art lesson instead of a MFW art lesson or a restaurant visit instead of a cooking project), then I can just write the sub in the box & check it off as done.

- If it's something in the "deluxe" portion of the grid, then I feel very comfortable just telling myself that we'll get to that later, if we can. I ignore the unchecked boxes under the deluxe line.

- If it's my child's dawdling or otherwise his choices that put us behind, then he may have an assignment after school, and the task will not be skipped. (Ordinarily, we end the day at a certain time no matter what -- to preserve sanity on all our parts.)

- If we really put in a full day of learning on the topic, even though we didn't read every page or do every assignment, then I may just check it off, especially if I don't feel excited about learning more on the topic ;)

- In some cases (if we didn't have the supplies, if we've already done that type of task, if the activity was optional, etc.), I jot the skipped activity on a running list of extra things we "can do if we ever have time." I usually just use the back of a junk mail envelope, and jot down each subject with the extras underneath. Or I put a sticky note on the top of the page and jot something on there such as "try plant in spring." I've never gotten to all of these.

- And if it's good stuff, that I don't want to skip, then we just "do the next thing" on Monday, and move our days over one column until we come to a point where we catch back up. So at the top of the grid on Friday, I might write "9/24-25" and spend two days on that column, but later I might find I can put "10/24" over both a Thursday and a Friday, or something like that. If the schedule get too mixed up, then I just write the date inside the individual box, instead of at the top of a column.

Maybe I'm too flexible, but I feel my son (and I) have received a thorough education in the end. And Bible has never been left off :)
More about when we can't fit it all in on this thread:
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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Re: ECC Scheduling/Long-range planning

Unread post by TriciaMR »

I didn't try to keep my days lined up in ECC. I just did the "next day". In your case, though, I might want my light "Friday" in the manual, to land on Wednesday so your light day and PE class land on the same day. I've done that for the last two years doing CTG and RTR, since my kids have PE and Dance on Wednesdays. I try to keep my light days on Wednesday, so I feel like we at least get some academics done that day. Otherwise, there is absolutely NO way we would get in all the work from one of the regular days.

Just an option.

We've done school on Saturday to make it line up, too.

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Re: ECC Scheduling/Long-range planning

Unread post by Joyhomeschool »

I can tell you what Im doing at the moment with ECC..

1. If the week is busy with a lot of activity I will skip art and music (we do listen in the car) and also our read aloud or read it during lunch. That helps some.

2. Because we are having a baby any day now our weeks tend to be 3-4 days long. So I combine Day 4 and 5 on those weeks. If its a 3 day week that means on Monday we'll do day 4/5 and pick up the new week on Tuesday. If I can on a Saturday I'll make up a day, but if it stresses us out I skip it. When I combine a week I will do things a little differently, like skip to the test on Math (if they know the material), test the weeks words after only 3 days of study (like in Spelling Power I will just test all the missed words for those days), and then most of ECC can easily be squeezed in.

3. We are also going to go ahead and school year around. BUT we take adequate breaks through out the year. This year October will be a month off. July is usually a month off. We take off time in November, December and again around Easter. Only 34 weeks of your 52 week year need to be school weeks so take off whenever you feel you need to. I find this helps with burn out alot because Im taking breaks when needed.
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Re: ECC Scheduling/Long-range planning

Unread post by ArkArmyWife »

Thanks, everybody, for the great replies! It sounds like the key word here is "flexibility". Keep the schedule flexible, as needed, and keep myself flexible. I will probably need to use a combination of methods to keep up. Some things I will have to skip; some things I may need to squeeze in on the weekend (especially the "fun" stuff); some things I may abridge a little. I think keeping all those tools in my belt will be important. And when I get to the end of the year, no doubt, I will not be on week 36. That's NEVER happened in my six years of homeschooling, and I think my kids haven't been TOO damaged by it!

By the way, today was my first time to post, and I forgot to introduce myself. Edie, you asked if "Ark" is for Arkansas. Yes, it is! (Go HOGS, beat Bama tomorrow!) I am from Arkansas, but we move around quite a bit, since my husband is an Army chaplain. We just moved to the San Antonio area from Syracuse, NY. Before that we were in Italy. Military life can definitely be an "interruption" to our schooling schedule, but it sure has been educational!

Thanks again for the replies. I look forward to collaborating more with you all throughout the year.

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Re: ECC Scheduling/Long-range planning

Unread post by mamacastle2 »

I didn't read all the replies, but I wanted to tell you that a lot of ECC is doable in one chunk of time. If you have one clear afternoon a week where you can read/work on projects for 2+ hours, you can probably do most of the ECC work (I'm talking the specific geography reading, worksheets, and crafts) from the week on that one day. I only mention this because we often had busier weekdays than Fridays, so we would get our every day work done early of Friday and then catch up with whatever ECC work we had missed during the week and were able to knock it all out on that last day. I'm sort of a "have to check it all off, can't stand to skip anything" kind of woman, so it was nice to finish it all up and check my boxes off. Plus, my kids enjoyed it and it was fun. Obviously, you have to have the time and your kids have to be able to focus for that long. It wasn't a problem with us because my kids are all about hands-on stuff, so I'd start them on the craft project for the week while I read the "lessons" from the week, and it'd get done.

Blessings as you figure out what schedule works for you,
Wife to Brody
Mother to DD 10, DS 7, DD 5, DS 3, DD 1
MFW User Since 2007: MFW 1st, Adv., ECC, CTG
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