Friday, August 03, 2007

Planning 3Rs

I like to get the 3Rs pinned down early because with those in place, the rest can be pretty flexible.

I used to make cool printouts with dates and page numbers and places for check marks. I still feel the pull of this but in fact, last year I didn't do that and we still made equivalent progress. It's usually sufficient to figure out

Total pages or lessons = T
A rough idea of how many days or weeks you want to use to complete the book = N
T/N gives you the rate of progress -- how many lessons or pages to complete per day or week

Then I also divide the total by quarters or months or trimesters

T/12 = M

M is the number of pages to be complete per month. Let's say M = 4 lessons to be completed per month. Then I can make a simple calendar that shows where I ought to be in each subject for each month, which helps keep me on track.
If I make it more structured than this, it may be a fun way to spend an hour, but I usually don't end up using the carefully wrought out assignment sheets. Though they are pretty to look at ....sigh. ....maybe I'll do them retroactively this year.

An even more basic way to do this is simply: "Do the next thing". ..... just work for an allotted time each day, and next time pick up where you left off last time. Doing this keeps you from hurrying a child through a half-understood lesson just so you can "be on track". But for me, the monthly goal sheets are helpful in avoiding the spring panic when I suddenly realize I have a third of the book left to complete.

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